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Countries Undergoing Demographic Transition Should Ban Abortion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/21/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,682 times Debate No: 24817
Debate Rounds (5)
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If you're going to take this debate, take it and stick to it! The last guy got rid of his account during the debate.

Demographic Transition: The decline in population that occurs in well-off developed countries such as those in Europe and Japan and is evidenced by a decline in birth rate.

Demographic transition is a real threat to the economic, social, and political security of Europe.
Europe is expected to lose 14% of its
workforce, and only 7% of its consumers.

This could vastly harmful economic effects on society as a whole. It is therefore reasonable for governments to take action that slows this trend. The clear thing to do is to ban abortion.

Both Britain and France have over 200,000 abortions a year.

Had the pregnancies been brought to term that would be more young people for the future to add to the workforce and slow down the harm caused by slow population growth.

Exceptions should always be made for the health or life of the mother or for cases of rape, but generally abortion should be banned for the sake of achieving more population growth to offset demographic transition.


I thank my opponent for this debate, and shall keep it short and sweet.

Firstly, my opponent's entire argument is essentially, from what I can tell, "If a country is experiencing demographic transition, then it should be banned for the majority of cases." I agree that demographic transitions occur in the countries mentioned - though there are exceptions in Europe, such as France. However, the reason that this should cause abortion is lacking. The reason is essentially because "This could vastly harmful economic effects on society as a whole." None of these are stated. In reality, the economic impact would be worse from not having abortions. My opponent's lack of evidence for this claim - and its extremely vague nature - shows the lack of real reason behind this.

Firstly, the major economic problem caused by DT (Demographic transition) is that too many people become over the age of being able to produce more than they "take up" in the economy. For example, those living on a pension do not produce to society, but take from it instead. However, the same is true of children: they cannot produce, they only take up resources. In fact, they arguably do so more than the elderly in many cases. Banning abortions will compound this problem.

Secondly, the criminalisation of abortion will not remedy this population deficit. Abortion in the UK is roughly 200,000 a year[1]. My opponent is yet to prove that stopping abortion will remedy this situation.

Finally, the majority of abortions are done for underage women[2]. As this being the case, the economic impact of legalising abortion will certainly be negative for these parents, not positive.

Now, to make a case in favour of abortion:

Simply, my argument is as follows : Abortion is the termination of cells. Cells are not alive. Therefore, Abortion has no real impact. If abortion has no real impact, then everyone should be able to have it as an option.

First, let's define Abortion: The cessation of pregnancy or fetal development. So an abortion is simply halting a process. I am sure the honorable gentleman will refer to the "child" being "alive", but it is not. A fetus cannot love outside the mother until the very end of the third trimester: This is not abortion. When a child is existent, they are no longer a "fetus". A fetus is an embryo after the eighth week of development until birth. This means a child only becomes a child when it is removed from the body via birth. The idea that the fetus is alive, which I am sure will be the main point of my opposition's argument, is unnecessary and flawed. A fetus is not developed as a person: It cannot live independently. It cannot "learn". It cannot "feel" for most of its life. Remember, I am not saying disallowed for all circumstances, but for all people. Everyone should be entitled.

Abortion is not used as a form of contraception. Pregnancy can occur even with responsible contraceptive use. Only 8% of women who have abortions do not use any form of birth control, and most say they don't use it as a form of contraceptive. (

Also, removing the right of a woman's choice to her own body is removing civil rights, and is wrong at a human rights level. It is just wrong to say that only specific people may have abortions, obviously. And saying that someone may not do something because it stops something from being alive? Not killing something, fetuses are not alive, they are a clump of cells, but it is just stopping the possibility. There's a slippery slope forming.

American Psychology association also found no psychological harm caused by abortion: There is no real side-effects.
( Also, the chance of death from complications is 1 in 50,000. This is the same as the general use of anaesthesia ( or the chance of anyone anywhere on the coast dying from a tsunami ( The risk of death associated with childbirth is about ten times higher than that associated with abortion.

I think that is enough on the medical and socio-economic factors, but let's move onto the moral factors: Is a group of cells alive? Well, the average human mouth has over 400 species if bacteria, their combined populations total to billions and billions of distinctive organisms, (Stevens J. It's a jungle in there. BioScience, 1996:46:1-5). Do we count these as the same quality of life as human beings? Of course not! I am not saying we should go out of our way to terminate fetuses, but to simply give people the choice.

We live in a liberal democracy. Our governments work in a way where the leaders represent their people, and give them what they want. The people want abortion. It is undemocratic to go against this.

Let's go through some hypotheticals: What if the woman was raped to pregnancy? What about if the woman gave birth, she would be killing herself, and the child would probably die as well? What if the woman who was pregnant was in poverty?

It's quite simple, really, at least, I think so. Socio-economically, abortion is a reasonable option. Morally, restricting someone's choice is terrible. Scientifically, a clump of cells aren't "alive". I await the response, thank you.

1 - unlike my opponent, a working source:;
2 - Ibid.
Debate Round No. 1


Rebuttal To More Children=Less Productivity

In the short term this may be true. However, the demographic crisis is worsening. To prevent it from getting much, much worse in the future measures should be taken to encourage more fertility, that includes an abortion an.

“The total population of Bulgaria is expected to decline significantly by 2050 as a result of low birth rates, high adult mortality and a high current level of net emigration. Fertility rates are expected to recover from the current low level while net emigration should come to a halt. Life expectancy, for both men and women, is currently low and significant progress is expected. The old-age dependency ratio, currently at the European average, is expected to rise to a much higher level than for the EU as a whole.”


Rebuttal to "200,000 a year" Not Being A Lot

It looks like a small number, but over a decade that's 2 million people. Over a half a century that's 10 million.

Banning abortion will also send a message, that the population is in trouble, this may create a sense of urgency in the public leading to more births. It can also be coupled with other laws such as laws against contraception in order to raise the population, however getting that restrictive is best avoided if possible. The first change that should be made to save the population is to ban abortion.

Underaged Women

There are was to remedy this. The state could provide aid to underaged women. Yes that does drain from the economy, but in this case it is an investment as these children grow up and join the work force. Alternatively, the state could mandate that women who can't afford to keep children put them up for adoption to rich families if it really wanted to save money. However, to save money off of the elderly there are only 2 things we can do, 1. Make them keep working, which only works to a point because of disabilty and besides people want to be guaranteed they will be able to retire someday, and 2. State-mandated euthanasia for the elderly, which is inconsciable so it's better to ban abortion.

Life Is Not The Only Valid Reason For Laws Against Abortion

My opponent says "Cells are not alive. Therefore, Abortion has no real impact."
The conclusion does not follow from the premise.
In cases of demographic transition abortion is destructive to society, because it leads to a disproportionate number of elderly people.

The fact that the cells aren't alive does not mean that abortion poses no harm to society that can justify a ban. My position on abortion is "pro-social" not "pro-life".


Although childbirth is riskier the state requires people to take other risks in defense of it such as with conscription in a war. It is therefore morally acceptable to require women to carry pregnancies to term in order to increase the population.


There is nothing inherently undemocratic about laws against abortion. What if the people change their minds and decide they want a ban? In some countries they have already decided that is what they want such as Ireland and Malta.
Besides that representatives sometimes pass laws against public opinion, that does not make such laws undemocratic.


I'll go through my opponent's case quickly, as most seems to be based on a misunderstanding of the demographic transition.

Firstly, my opponent says "the demographic crisis is worsening", without citing any reasoning for this. The only actual example provided is Bulgaria. The reason that this is a terrible example to use is, firstly, it is not solved by the demographic transition. As the source my opponent provides states, the major causes include massive, repeated exodus of people from the country, such as the 310,000 turks leaving the country[1] being one of many times when masses of people left the country. Further, the nation itself just left the Soviet Union: "The enormous political, economic and social changes which have taken place in central and eastern Europe since the end of the 1980s have had a significant demographic impact"[2]. Finally, and most importantly, this country is one with a very different political, economical and even social difference to other countries. The motion is "countries undergoing demographic transition", but even if one concedes this point, this does not affirm the resolution. My opponent ahs to show how this anomolous case translates into being true for the general norm of countries in the demographic transition.


My opponent claims this is a large number. In a decade, banning abortion stops 2,000,000 people. In a decade (2001-2011), Britain's population grew by 4,000,000. Yet my opponent's argument needs Britain's population to be shrinking, not growing, in order for his argument to be substantiable. There is a clear inconsistency between my opponent's case.

Underage women support

Both my opponent's solutions are either evil or impractical. In the middle of a recession, my opponent wants to spend more money looking after 200,000 people. To help a child survive, the state would need to give another £210,000(the cost of upkeeping a child[3]. Britain, with an already massive welfare state, would need to pay an additional 43,000,000 a year. For reference, britain's welfare state pays 80,000,000,000 already. This increase would further be done to create a totalitarian regime, something we must avoid. The other option is, quite simply, foolish. The current chidren needing adoption in britain is 4000 a year, and we can't get this tiny amount adopted. My opponent's suggestion is to essentially trying to teach the proverbial pig how to fly by saying "flap your wings". It's not thought through.

Then, my opponent simply tries to promote a more totalitarian regime, by promoting the murder of the elderly. I shall make my point simply, as tihs hardly needs rebuttal: if this is convincing to you, and you are convinced that we need to kill those who cannot work, then I would urge you to give this point to my opponent. But if you actually care for those who are in our society, then I urge you to dismiss this point. If you believe in the sanctity of developed life, then you must vote against my opponent.

Pro-social life

My opponent's argument is inconsistent, when he promotes the killing of the elderly: my opponent promoting the culling of the elderly is certainly not socially acceptable. Further, his medical point contradicts his position of promoting social life, as he is essentially promoting mandated pregnancy to make soldiers for the state. Finally, my opponent dismisses democracy becomes some countries don't want abortion. Firstly, we should take note of the implications of the second best case of a country banning abortion is Malta. Partly due to how small the country is, with a population of under half a million, but also due to the fact it legalises abortion in many circumstances, and the punishment is usually - as my opponent's source states - "18 months...[though] abortive procedures [are] performed within Maltese territory with no repercussions". But still, this proves my point, not my opponent's: as long as countries undergoing demographic transition are in the majority for its legalisation, then it is still a democratic imperative to legalise it.

Further, laws going against public opinion are, by definition, undemocratic. If a law passes against the will of the people, this is what an undemocratic law is. Almost all of my opponent's solutions, impacts and general argumenation promotes intuitively repulsive ideas that go against democracy, and instead promote biopolitics: my opponent's argument, by its own nature, has horrible implications. For this reason, one must take into account, "is it convincing?". If you do not support the mass senicide of a population for a totalitarian, oppressive regime, I urge a vote CON.

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Debate Round No. 2


MasturDbtor forfeited this round.


That's disappointing. Extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 3


Cost of Demographic Crisis Is No Laughing Matter

According to a recent Standard & Poor's study 30 of 49 major developed countries will see their credit ratings reduced to junk status by 2050.

Japan's national debt in 2050 is projected to be 750% of its current GDP (keep in mind that by 2050 if this debt keeps accruing Japan's GDP will likely have shrunk). This is something that these countries are going to have to deal with one way or another.

To Prevent Future Attrocities Countries In Demographic Crisis Should Ban Abortion

My opponent misunderstands when he says I am supporting the culling of the elderly. I unequivocaby OPPOSE such measures and would continue to oppose them even in dire economic circumstances, but I am only one person. If things get as bad as projected the developed world may not even be "developed" so to speak. An economy where 750% of its GDP is national debt will have to declare bankruptcy and will experience widespread poverty.

Under such circumstances the public may vote for people who favor culling the elderly regardless of my opinion or my opponent's. To prevent such outrages from manifesting in the future these countries should take appropriate steps to promote proper population growth now, such as by banning abortion.

My opponent is worried about the extra expense of caring for more children. This small effect will be nothing compared to the economic disaster that may befall nations that don't maintain enough population growth over a long period of time. Even considering the current recession look back at Japan's projected outcome and think about an economy in a nation in that level of debt and insolvency. The risk is compounded because don't know when the lenders will want their money back or how much.


There's a very easy way to ban abortion in these countries and have it be democratic. Simply, educate the public about the demographic transition and the need for an abortion ban, and then when it has enough support the public elect people to office to pass the laws against abortion.

Even if it were by some other mechanism such as a court ruling that does not negate democracy any more than the US Supreme Court ruling in Love negated democracy when they decided interracial marriage was legal against the wishes of a vast majority.


The future of nations

My opponent has completely misread the source: it explicitly states "if nothing is done", or "if nothing changes". So if current trends continue as of 2010, then yes, this debt would happen. Same goes for Japan. I humbly request my opponent to correctly cite sources, not misrepresent them.

However, my opponent has dropped and conceded the point about raising a child costing so much more, instead comparing it to an uncited, unstated "economic disaster that may befall nations". He has dismissed the fact that his state-run childcare would skyrocket national debt far faster than abortion would in the long term. Economically, all abortion bans would do is harm further the citizens of the nation. This isn't a worry, or anxiety, but scientifically verified fact.

Culling of the elderly

Firstly, my opponent states he is not for the culling of the elderly. This means he should abandon this entire line of reasoning, as now it is just absurd speculation. More importantly, he has explicitly stated that one solution he would use is "state-mandated euthanasia", yet is now explicitly dropping this. This is simply foolish conjecture, with no rational support. I wish my opponent would use an argument which he supported, rather than what may possibly happen in the future but he disagrees with. Further, the debate is still normative. As long as it is a "should" debate, saying this entire discussion is based on a hypothetical, non-existent public, and "regardless of my opinion or my opponent's". This is blatantly conceding that current opinion is certainly against such actions. Proposing a nonexistent group instead requires empirical evidence to be justified.

Abortion ban wouldn't limit abortion

This point is simple: the ban on abortion would not limit the number of abortions taking place[1][2]. The abortion rate would barely change. The only real difference is they would become more dangerous: Abortion bans "just make them dangerous"[2]. This would mean less productive members of society, with no real change to the number of children. Even if I concede my previous point about children being a larger strain on the economy, the fact that abortion bans doesn't limit abortion shows that the impact of this legislation would just be an infringement of liberty.

A liberal democracy

Firstly, the people of today are educated on the issue of abortion, and the majority are still against it, and trends show that number will only increase, as previously stated. Further, we live in liberal democracies, where the rights of the individual is protected, and the right to a child - and right to not have one - is enshrined in our democracies[3]. It is still undemocratic and unjustified to ban abortion.

I await my opponent's final round, and ask him to follow proper debate procedure, and not post new arguments in the final round.

1 -
2 -
3 - Roe v Wade case, and similar.
Debate Round No. 4


Rebuttal #1

Yes, if nothing is done. I never suggested anything to the contrary. The source helps my case. If nothing is done this debt will happen.

State-run Childcare
Many states already have state-run childcare are doing fine. Sweden for example has a childcare center in every neighborhood. France and Holland are among other such nations that have state-run childcare. Indeed, even as governments are forced to make cuts they maintain their childcare programs.

Thus, it would be that much of an economic burden to increase such programs to meet the needs of an expanding population. To the contrary all that really needs to be done is to make sure the population is maintained, that is that it does not shrink, which would cost them for the most part about the same as they are spending now. The only difference is that childcare prices wouldn't go down, since the population wouldn't be shrinking, but that is a good investment for the future. It guarantees that as the older generation grows older there will be a new young generation to enter the workplace and prevent an economic crisis.

Scientifically-Verified Fact?

Con says that an abortion ban would harm citizens further and says this is a scientifically verified fact, but offers no evidence, scientific or otherwise for this statement.

Misinterpretation of My Point On Euthanasia

When I said one solution "we" could use I was referring to "we" as in society as a whole. I wouldn't get behind it, but desperate society in the throws of economic crisis might. This is especially likely given that European countries tend to have a more permissive attitude towards euthanasia. Holland even allows for infant euthanasia in some cases.

While the law has strict standards things could easily loosen up over the decades. Coupled with aging populations and a younger population that isn't being replaced as much this could easily push countries over the edge to mandating euthanasia in some cases for the elderly or disabled even against their will.

Given that this is a possible development we should want to do everything in our power to correct the demographic transition, including the outlawing of abortion.

The Data On Demographic Transition IS Empirical Evidence

Con says "This is blatantly conceding that current opinion is certainly against such actions...requires empirical evidence."

This debate proposes to ban abortion to stop demographic transition in order to spare negative effects to the economy for decades to come. Notice the link above concerning Japan relates to the year 2050. When making public policy it is important to consider what is likely to happen down the road. Empirical evidence for any such consideration is limited.

While the evidence does not explicitly prove that people's opinions will change to allow the culling of the elderly the evidence does show economic decline if as Con admits "nothing is done". With such severe deficits as 750% of GDP it's not beyond reasonable conjecture that people may resort to desperate extremes. The German public opinion was against rounding up Jews and putting them into camps in 1920, but for it in 2 decades. What drove this? Economic catastrophe. The behavior of a populace experiencing things such as poverty and famine that often attend economic catastrophe can be unpredictable. It's best to avoid it, even if it means sacrificing the right to an abortion. It is a small price to pay.

Abortion Bans May Limit Abortion

It depends upon the overall attitude of the public. If a small enough people demand it then it can be significantly difficult for them to find black market sources, leading to abortion prevention. Since most of these countries are democracies the public's opinion will have to change before the law even gets passed. This still won't necessarily be enough. A sea of change in the public opinion that demographic transition is a serious problem and it is important to maintain a stable population is needed. Banning abortion may send a strong message in this regard. The message may also encourage couples to have more babies.

Furthermore there is the issue of enforcement. If penalties are harsh enough we may be able to deter abortion. Women may prefer to go through 9 months of pregnancy and put the baby up for adoption rather than risk arrest and imprisonment. This detail may be experimented with once an abortion ban is passed. If the punishment starts small and has no effect then it clearly needs to be expanded.

Police investigation of abortion on the black market is also important. By busting the illegal abortions 'doctors' police can make illegal abortion more expensive, leading the price to be prohibitive to many women. The justice system can also come down hard on these abortion dealers, deterring others from entering the market, and making the remaining doctors charge more and more. This could lead to a real decline in the supply of abortion, meaning some women might not be able to find anyone to perform an abortion on them.

Some women may try to do the abortion themselves. However, this carries obvious risks and dangers which will scare many women into not even trying this option. If the media can be appealed to to cooperate in emphasizing the harm abortion does to the population and hence the great threat to the economy then the media may take a leading role in highlighting cases where women attempt a self-performed abortion and it ends either in arrest or in injury/death, and may paint the story in such a way as to send the message "don't even try it, if you don't want your baby you can choose adoption."

Some would say this is a good reason for abortion to be legal. However, there is an easy solution for people who don't want to get hurt. Stop breaking the law! If you attempt to do something that is not only illegal but is known to be dangerous it is your own fault. Women who go to often unsafe black market sources for abortions or try to perform their own and wind up injured or dead only have themselves to blame.

Education can also be enlisted. If from a young age people are educated about demographic transition and the associated economic risks they may grow up not only to oppose abortion but also to be enthusiastic about reproducing for the next generation.

Rebuttal to "A Liberal Democracy"

One point Con makes is that the trend is for more people to support legal abortion. However, most people are not well educated on the subject of demographic transition. With more education we can change their minds, and then voters may elect politicians who will ban abortion.

Con says "the right to child - and right to not have one - is enshrined in our democracies". Since what the past quarter of a century? That's not very long. For a long period abortion was illegal in most of these democracies, and still is in some, such as for example Poland and Malta, both of which are liberal democracies. The arguments for this so-called 'right' "the right to privacy" are specious at best. Why doesn't this extend to drug dealing or prostitution if that's done in private? Granted different countries have different laws on these matters, but neither of these things are considered fundamental rights of a liberal democracy. Neither should abortion. A liberal democracy must be empowered to look out for the short and long term well-being of all of its citizens. Preventing an economic catastrophe weighs far more than some ill-supported "right to abort".

This is a law that countries with shrinking populations need if they wish to take a positive step towards doing something to stop massive debt and economic crisis rather than "doing nothing".

I urge voters to VOTE PRO!


The future of Nations

My opponent states correctly that if nothing is done. However, the event of nothing being done means that no changes in the judiciary, executive or legislature happens. The argument assumes there is no change to spending. If my opponent wants to believe that no change in spending has happened since the publishing of his source in 2009, I'd have to point out how UK[1] or American[2] spending has changed.

State-run childcare

My opponent cites incorrectly. The source shows how Sweden gives pay leave for mothers. This is completely different to what my opponent is stating. My opponent is specifically taking children away, and giving them to the state, who will be forced to look after said children. The actual current cost in, say, Sweden, is very high, though. As per my opponents soruce, they have had to "cut parent-leave support...moving children from child care to school a week earlier, and raising the ratio of children to child care workers". The economic cost for Swden is still too much, even at the very tiny level it is there. Yet my opponent's proposal will make things many times worse.

Abortion ban harms citizens

I provided two citations. The fact that my opponent ignores them is not in any way my blame.

Forced Culling is not euthanasia

My opponent seems to claim that the Groningen Protocol is similar to forced culling of the elderly. I wish to reiterate that euthanasia is to relieve that person's suffering and pain. My opponent is doing it as it is economically desirable. It is not similar to the Groningen proposal. The Groningen protocol is for children, not the elderly. The Groningen protocol requires the consent of the family. My opponent is forcing it on people, whether they want it or not. The rest of the argument is from chanceless, random, hopeless events taking place. The hypothetical countries he poses, I will say again, won't exist in the future, nor is there any reason to believe they will exist. Furthermore, I will say again, have no impact on countries currently undergoing demographic transitions.

Data on Demographic transition still doesn't exist

My opponent is proposing a country will reach a higher level of debt. Firstly, this is only if current trends continue, which requires a neverending recession and all governments to be incapable. This is such an extraordinary requirement that it can be dismissed out of hand. Further, economic catastrophe leading to abortion ending still makes no sense: it is linking Indian musicals to French interest rates. Claiming a single event in history being caused by hyperinflation is simply correlation making causation: my opponent could only make this new argument using one citation.

Abortion bans still don't stop abortion

I'll keep this short: this entire point is speculation. No evidence whatsoever. In South America, many punishments include over a dozen years in prison, to life in prison[3]. Abortion rates didn't change[3]. The reset of the speech is reasons why abortion rates may be less. for example, the busting of doctors or the dangers. However, this is true in real countries, not just the made up ones my opponent brings up, and the rates have not changed. The final point about education essentially is forcing a propagandised idea onto people, and expecting people to accept the horrible idea my opponent puts forth. I think we can rule out the idea of a totalitarian state, seeing as, again, they do not exist.

Liberal democracy

All of this point holds no criticism to my argument. He states examples of countries that are classified as liberal democracies but ban abortion: then they are not being liberal democracies.


My opponent, in order to be convincing, has attempted impossible things one after the other. His argument requires the existence of a totalitarian regime, a fictional country, ignoring all cases of countries undergoing demographic transitions, imposing a cull of the elderly, breaking almost every human rights convention and civil law, and, at its most basic, the entire world changing beyond recognition. The motion itself is about countries undergoing demographic transition. As evidence, he states countries which do not exist. The cases rest on misconstruing evidence. In short, it requires warping reality to such a degree that it is unrecognisable. He does not fulfil his burden of proof by showing that all - or even any existent country - that is undergoing demographic transition should ban abortion. For this, I urge a vote CON.

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Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by ldcon 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Yeah...FF harms to no abortion alternatives minimal ban impact = Con
Vote Placed by Axiom 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the FF round.