The Instigator
ThinkBig
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TN05
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

DDO Olympic Debate: That the Hyde Amendment Ought to be Repealed

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Post Voting Period
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after 4 votes the winner is...
TN05
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/17/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 698 times Debate No: 94789
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

ThinkBig

Pro

This debate is for the DDO Olympic tournament hosted by bsh1. I would like to thank my esteemed opponent for agreeing to debate this topic with me.

Preface

The Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortions except to save the life of the mother, or if the pregnacy arise from incest or rape (though this has not always been the case). [1] Contrary to popular belief, the Hyde Amendment is not a permanent law, but rather it is an amendment that has been added to appropriation bills since 1976.

In that time period, there has been attempts to get the amendment codified into actual law. [2]

In this debate, I will be arguing that the Hyde Amendment ought to be repealed entirely - that is, federal funds should not be prohibited from funding abortions.

Full Topic


Resolved: That the Hyde Amendment should be repealed.


Terms


The burden of proof is shared. I will be arguing that the Hyde Amendment should be repealed - in other words, federal money ought to be able to fund abortions - and my opponent will be arguing that it should not.

Full arguments and rebuttals are expected from both sides.



Rules

1. No forfeits
2. Any citations or foot/endnotes must be individually provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. No "kritiks" of the topic
7. My opponent accepts all definitions and waives his/her right to add resolutional definitions
8. For all undefined terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution and this debate
9. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss


Structure


R1. Acceptance
R2. Pro’s Case, Con’s Case
R3. Pro rebuts Con's case, Con rebut's Pro's case.
R4. Pro defends his case, Con defends his case.
R5. Closing/Summary


Sources
1. https://en.wikipedia.org...;
2. https://www.congress.gov...;
TN05

Con

I accept. Good luck to us both!
Debate Round No. 1
ThinkBig

Pro

Many thanks to my opponent for accepting this debate.

Opening Arguments: The Case Against the Hyde Amendment

C1: The Hyde Amendment harms low-income women

By withholding funds from Medicare, the Hyde Amendment disproportionately harms low-income women. Abortion can cost up to $3,000 out of pocket, which leaves many low-income women without the means to pay for the procedure (1). Stephanie Poggie notes (2):

“Because of the Hyde Amendment, more than a million women have been denied the ability to make their own decisions about bringinga child into the world in the context of their own circumstances andthose of their families.”

"[P]oor and low-income women are harmed, some grievously, by the Hyde Amendment’s discriminatory restrictions prohibiting Medicaid funding for abortion. By restricting these women’s access to abortion, the law violates their fundamental human rights and denies them their reproductive autonomy. Free from these restrictions, women throughout the country would be empowered to make their own decisions regarding what is best for themselves and their families. After 34 years, repealing the Hyde Amendment offers the United States a critical opportunity to restore women’s equality by making a genuine commitment to reproductive health for all women, regardless of economic status."

Although the current Hyde Amendment allows abortion funding for cases of incest, rape, or when the mother's life is at risk, women with cancer or other health issues that are threatened by pregancies are still denied coverage, thus putting many women's health at risk (3).

Indeed, a 2015 report showed that low-income women are more than 5x more likely than their counterparts to seek out an abortion (4). Part of the issue, as the report noted, is that poor women often lack access to contraception. If they did have the same level of access, it would cut the birth rate of those living in poverty to over half. Consequently, abortions would also be significantly reduced.

C2: The Hyde Amendment Harms Society

Research has concstantly shown that unwanted children and children who are born in severe poverty are far more likely to be abused, suffer malnutrition, have limited education, show emotional distrubances, have learning and behavioural problems, and brings about a higher infant mortality rate. (5,6)


I wish I was able to write more, but I have been very busy and do nto want to forfeit. I turn it over to con and look forward to an exellent debate.

Sources
1. http://bit.ly...;
2. http://bit.ly...;
3. http://bit.ly...;
4. http://slate.me...;
5. http://bit.ly...;
6. http://huff.to...;

TN05

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for his opening round.

To start out, let's go over the definition of the Hyde Amendment as shown above: "The Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortions except to save the life of the mother, or if the pregnacy arises from incest or rape (though this has not always been the case). Contrary to popular belief, the Hyde Amendment is not a permanent law, but rather it is an amendment that has been added to appropriation bills since 1976."

What this means is that, for the most part, the federal government is not in the business of funding abortions, unless there is either incest, rape, or to prevent the mother from dying. In this debate, I will demonstrate the Hyde Amendment does not need to be repealed, and in fact comforms both to the desires of pro-lifers, but also pro-choice and Americans at large.

Contention 1 - Public opinion supports the Hyde Amendment
When looking at the issue of abortion, what seems to be a difficult issue is actually easy to explain. Polling has consistently shown both a public skepticism of abortion's morality, but a general acceptance of early-trimester abortions. The issue is divisive - 47% of Americans believe abortion is morally wrong, but 61% support first-trimester abortion.[1] One thing everyone seems to agree on, however, is taxpayer funding of abortion. 68% of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including 51% of pro-choice people; only 29% support taxpayer funded abortion.[2]

Why is this so? Well, it is pretty simple. Obviously pro-life people oppose taxpayer funded abortion. But the pro-choice argument also does. This is because it rests upon a solid moral argument - that people have the right to control their own bodies, and that government should not be involved in such a personal decision. It makes sense, then, that a majority of people who support abortion rights would oppose government funding abortion - if it is none of government's business, government should not be either banning (one extreme) or funding (the other extreme) abortion. If government is sudenly involved in abortion, the entire pro-choice argument collapses and we are left with the fact that government, now involved in abortion, can regulate it. This is something pro-choice Americans do not want, and so since they are consistent in their view on this issue, they oppose all government involvement in abortion - including funding.

Like most abortion laws, there are exceptions. The Hyde Amendment recognizes this. Rape and incest are horrific crimes and even most pro-lifers would agree abortion should be legal in those instances, because the mother did not consent. Similarly, the life of the mother is also a scenario where federal funds can pay for abortion; this is the only instance abortion is actually healthcare, and so it can be covered by federal healthcare funds.

Contention 2 - The Hyde Amendment conforms to the spirit and letter of Roe v. Wade
Perhaps the most controversial court decision of all time, Roe v. Wade is also among the most misunderstood. Roe v. Wade established a general constitutional right to an abortion, prior to fetal viability. This right stems from the idea of a "right to privacy" - that governemnt cannot be involved in such personal matters as abortion.[3] The Hyde Amendment conforms both to the letter and spirit of Roe v. Wade. By ensuring government stays out of the abortion business, it ensures the decision is left to women and women alone. Such a personal decision should not be restricted or funded by government. It is up to the woman to decide, and unless there is an exceptional circumstance, the government will not intervene.

References:
1. http://www.gallup.com...
2. http://thefederalist.com...
3. https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
ThinkBig

Pro

I would like to once again thank bsh1 for hositng the DDOlympic tournaments and for my opponent who has agreed to debate this topic with me.

Re: Public opinion

The first problem with my opponent's first contention is an argumentum ad populum - appeal to the majority. Policies that are bad should be rejected, regardless if they are popular or not.

The second problem with my opponent's argument is that it is not necessarily true. According to a recent poll by the Hart Institute, the poll found that [1]:

1. Eighty-six percent (86%) of voters agree (including 68% who strongly agree) with the statement “however we feel about abortion, politicians should not be allowed to deny a woman’s health coverage because she is poor.” There is broad consensus on this point across age groups (including 90% of voters age 18 to 34 and 84% of voters 65 and over) and partisanship, with 85% of independents and 79% of Republicans in agreement with 92% of Democrats.
2. The belief that a woman’s income should not affect her health coverage persists when the health service in question is abortion. Three in four (74%) voters agree that “as long as abortion is legal, the amount of money a woman has or does not have should not prevent her from being able to have an abortion.” Majorities of Democrats (85%), independents, (75%), and Republicans (62%) agree on this point.
3. Seven in 10 voters agree that “in the long run, it makes good sense that health programs for low-income women cover birth control and abortion—not just childbirth—because when people can plan when to have children, it’s good for them and their families.”

The poll also found that more than half support requiring Medicad tp cover any pregnancy-related care, including abortion.

So in summary, pro's argument is simply an argumentum ad populum - appeal to the people. The policy is bad and should be rejected based upon that alone, not public opinion. To put this rebuttal in syllogism form, we get this:

1. We ought to reject any policy that is significantly harmful.
2. The Hyde Amendment is significantly harmful (as proven in round 2)
3. Therefore, we ought to reject the Hyde Amendment.

Furthermore, my opponent's contention that the public supports the Hyde Amendment is simply wrong.

Re 2: Spirit and Letter of Roe v. Wade

In commenting on the poll that I cited in my rebuttal to con's first contention, Marcella Howell notes (2):

"However anyone feels about abortion, every woman, whether she has private or public insurance, should have access to the full range of quality reproductive health care, including abortion. Certainly a woman’s access to safe and constitutionally-protected health care shouldn’t depend on the personal views of politicians in Congress."

By denying women a full access and full range of coverage, we are denying her the privacy that Roe v. Wade set up. The results can be devastating to women's health, as Planned Parenthood notes (3):

"When a woman cannot afford to end a pregnancy, she may forgo basic necessities, and as a result, may end up shutting off her own heat and electricity to pay for her abortion. She may even resort to self-inducing an abortion or obtaining an unsafe, illegal abortion from an untrained or unlicensed practitioner."

"It is unfair that a woman be denied coverage of abortion simply because she has government-funded health insurance. Each woman – no matter the size of her wallet or what kind of insurance coverage she has – should be able to access the full-range of reproductive health care, including abortion, from a licensed, quality health care provider."


I turn it over to con.
______

1. (http://allaboveall.org...)
2. (http://thehill.com...)
3. (https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org...)
TN05

Con

Thanks to my opponent for his response. Per the rules, I'll be responding to his opening arguments.

My opponent presents two core arguments here: first, that the Hyde Amendment harms low-income women, and second, that it harms society. I will respond to both. My opponent's arguments about the Hyde Amendment harming low income rely on two key ideas: first, that not having access to taxpayer-subsidized abortion is harm, and second, that it restricts their ability to decide whether or not to have a family. Neither of these claims are accurate.

To begin with, he notes the cost of abortion, arguing that low-income women have no means to pay for abortion - which can cost up to $3,000. To begin with, his numbers are way off - it does not cost $3,000 to get an abortion. According to Planned Parenthood, the cost of an abortion varies; pills cost between $300 and $850, while vacuum/suction abortion costs between $300 to $950.[1] Second, my opponent's quote that "more than a million women have been denied the ability to make their own decisions about bringinga child into the world" is ludicrous. Abortion is, in fact, not the only method to avoid pregnancy. By having unprotected sex (which can be prevented by birth control that costs between $0-50 a month[2] or condoms that cost even less), couples subject themselves to the consquences. Why is it the role of government to provide elective abortions as birth control? This is a radical stance; abortion is not birth control and should not be used as such. Women interested in avoiding pregnancy have a vast array of options. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, supported birth control - she found abortion abhorrent.[3] If my opponent is seriously interested in helping low-income women, a better option might be to promote education about birth control and safe sex. My opponent himself even admits this.

As my opponent notes, the Hyde Amendment covers abortion in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. He argues that women with other health conditions aren't covered; even if we assume this is true, why is it necessary to repeal the Hyde Amendment? If this is such a serious issue, it would be easier to push for a broadening of the "life of the mother" definition - keep in mind that the Hyde Amendment is not a single bill, but an amendment put into appropriation bills. This has happened before - the Hyde Amendment initially stopped all abortions, but eventually did allow them in the cases listed above.[4] Such an option, if it is such a major issue, would surely be a valid compromise position.

Second, my opponent provides a very minor argument claiming the Hyde Amendment harms society. He argues that unwanted children are more likely to be prone to issues. This is a silly argument. We cannot, in fact, predict the future. Many of our greatest figures in society arose from broken homes. Is my opponent arguing for mandatory abortion for low-income women? Surely this would be a productive solution to this problem, no? But at some level, this comes off as morally wrong - and it comes off as morally wrong to argue it in this case, either. Roe v. Wade notes abortion as a personal, not cultural, issue. It is the role of the woman to decide, not of society. In turn, such a personal issue cannot receive public funding either way. If abortion is, in fact, an issue of societal importance, then we need to set up regulations to restrict it further.

Also, I find my opponent's "harms" a bit strange. Is it better to have limited education, or to be dead? Is it better to have learning disabilities, or be dead? Is it better to be poor, or be dead? On all these fronts, my opponent seems to say "yes". Similarly, my opponent argues that abortion "lowers the infant mortality rate". Why would you tout that less infants will die, when abortion kills infants? That assumes a lot of things my opponent has not proven, such as whether or not abortion is murder or whether or if it is ethical to kill people on the basis that less people will die? I don't think any of these presumed societal benefits to low-income abortion to be clear-cut, frankly.

I turn it over to my opponent for his rebuttal.

References:
1. http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org...
2. https://www.plannedparenthood.org...
3. http://www.redstate.com...
4. https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
ThinkBig

Pro

Due to work and school, I am forced to waive this round. Since we are supposed to only have 3 rounds of debate, this works out since I would have waived the last round anyways.

Round waived. I hope that my opponent takes the same courtesy and waives as well.
TN05

Con

Per my opponent's request and example, I will waive this round. Best of luck in our closing arguments!
Debate Round No. 4
ThinkBig

Pro

I am conceding this debate as I don't have time. Please vote con.
TN05

Con

Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by ThinkBig 9 months ago
ThinkBig
k.
Posted by bsh1 9 months ago
bsh1
Waiving in the final round is not necessary. It is okay for you to do the 4 rounds of debate this time.
Posted by ThinkBig 9 months ago
ThinkBig
OK, then we should all waive in the 5th round. Is con OK with that?
Posted by bsh1 9 months ago
bsh1
From the DDOlympic event rules: "All group-stage debates must have 3 rounds of debate (an acceptance round is not "debating). You may not have more rounds of debate than that."

I am okay with you guys having 4 rounds of debate, which this debate has, but please try to keep future ones to just three rounds (at least in the group stage) to facilitate the quick progression of the tournament. Thanks!
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by fire_wings 8 months ago
fire_wings
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession. Why am I voting on this, lol
Vote Placed by warren42 8 months ago
warren42
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dsjpk5
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession. This is my 1488th vote, uncoincidentally.
Vote Placed by bsh1 8 months ago
bsh1
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession. This is my 450th vote, coincidentally.