The Instigator
ark97pink
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TruthHurts
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points

Does rape justify having an abortion?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
TruthHurts
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/14/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 769 times Debate No: 58953
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

ark97pink

Con

Please keep the first round solely for acceptance. I have taken the stance that being a victim of rape does not justify having an abortion. I am writing an opinion paper on this topic for a entrance exam for school and I am interested in learning the other side to this argument. I am sure this debate will greatly benefit my paper and I appreciate your time.
TruthHurts

Pro

Hello! Thank you for this interesting topic, and I look forward to reading your arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
ark97pink

Con

Okay this is legit my first debate ever so sorry if I sound like an idiot :) But thanks for responding so quickly.

Being a victim of rape does not justify having an abortion because having an abortion adds to the physical and emotional pain already underwent by the victim. Rape is definitely a horrible crime and can cause physical and emotional pain to its victims. Abortion can also cause emotional pain with risk of physical as well, not to mention it kills the innocent child. From my point of view fighting the terrible injustice of rape with another emotionally challenging injustice cannot possibly fix the situation. I know that a common argument for abortion after rape is that seeing the child will remind the woman of being raped but I do not see how adding more emotional stress would help the poor woman overcome the struggles she is facing. I believe that counseling for her emotional stress and putting her child up for adoption would better help the woman.

Thank you again and I look forward to seeing how you look at this issue.
TruthHurts

Pro

I will begin with a constructive, and I will then move to rebutting Con's case.

Constructive

I. Abortion should be universally allowed before the point of viability.

If I win this argument, then being a rape victim would justify an abortion because any unwanted pregnancy would be sufficient justification for an abortion. Note I am arguing for the permissibility of abortions before the point of viability of around 20-24 weeks, as defined in Roe v. Wade.

Abortion should be permissible because a fetus is not a human being, and is not, therefore, subject to the same rights claims as human beings.

The reason this is the case can be seen in the definition of a person as a subject of rights and duties, as human. To be human, one has to have cognitive abilities, that is, sentience [1] [2]. This ability to have sentience, to reason, is the result of evolution, which caused humans to develop a frontal cortex to allow for sentience, reason, thoughts, emotions, etc. A fetus, before the point of viability (which is the current standard), does not have this.

At 3 weeks fetal development, for example, a fetus barely has arms or legs, and certainly does not have a developed brain [3]. The absence of this cognitive ability is clearly acceptable grounds for termination, as a human being has not formed yet. We see this standard come into play when we allow for the unplugging of braindead patients on life support. They have lost all cognitive ability, their brain is not functioning, and, as a result, they lose derivative right to life claims. Thus, they can be unplugged, terminating their existence, though, by that time, they are already dead.

If we similarly apply this standard, we can clearly see that a fetus does not have the same rights claims that human beings do because they lack sentience and cognitive abilities that rights are designed to protect in the first place. Thus, since I have demonstrated that a fetus is not a person, abortion, at least before the point of viability, where fetuses have a greater degree of cognitive abilities, is permissible.

II. Rape alone is sufficient justification for abortion.

A rape is not a consensual act. Any result from the rape, to the woman, is, therefore, against her consent and is coercive. People, generally, should not be subject to actions that are against their consent, insofar as they abrogate a person's right to autonomy.

A fetus that results from a rape, then, is not the product of the woman's consent, and acts as an intruder, much as a burglar in one's house is. An abortion is removing the fetus from the body, just as calling the police would ensure the removal of the burglar. Death of the fetus is, simply, a side-effect of this consequence, just as removal of a burglar could result in the death of the burglar, if he had no shelter, food, water, etc.

This does not mean that the woman is morally responsible for this death, however, because the woman never consented to having the child in the first place.

Rebuttal

Abortion causes pain to the woman.

Con claims that abortion causes unnecessary emotional stress to the victim. Three responses:

1) Over 90% of women feel relieved after an abortion, and over 80% felt that it was the right decision for them, even with some negative emotions involved [4]. Therefore, it appears that abortion, rather than being an emotional stress, is actually an emotional relief.

2) Abortion is a safe procedure. Less than .5% of women have serious complications from an abortion [6], which is very low for a medical procedure. Compare this to the 94.1% complication rate from pregnancy, including an over 15% serious complication rate [7]. Pregnancy is the riskier path, medically.

3) Forcing a woman to give birth to a baby resulting from rape would cause more emotional harm. Rape, as both sides can agree on, causes huge emotional harms, including PTSD, depression, etc. [5]. Forcing a woman to bear a nine month pregnancy, and give birth to (and possibly raise) a child from rape reminds the woman, as Con alludes to, of the rape and the resultant trauma. Since the results of the rape are so detrimental, extended exposure to the rape's physical consequences could result in even worse emotional results, perhaps even higher rates of suicide than already exist [5].

Abortion is the killing of an "innocent child."

Con has not substantiated this argument; rather, it is a mere assertion. We see no reason to believe that a fetus is equivalent to a human being. I have, in my constructive, argued to the contrary. Con will have to do better to substantiate this argument before I further respond to it.

Sources

1. http://www.sciencedaily.com.........
2. http://science.howstuffworks.com.........
3. http://americanpregnancy.org.........
4. http://thinkprogress.org...
5. http://ptsd.about.com...
6. https://www.prochoice.org...
7. http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
ark97pink

Con

ark97pink forfeited this round.
TruthHurts

Pro

Extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
ark97pink

Con

I am so sorry I just got my wisdom teeth removed and I've been in a lot of pain and i sorta forgot to come back and finish my argument. Anyways, I would perfer not to focus on whether or not the fetus is a child or not because I feel that even if the fetus is not a child it does not prove that rape justifies abortion. I really want to hear more about your thoughts on whether or not it benefits the woman to have an abortion after rape. I'm sorry that I brought up that I believe the fetus is a child because I feel that I have unintentionally swayed the topic.
Potential side effects of a nine month pregnancy include:
1. Morning sickness
2. Frequent urination
3. Vaginal discharge
4. Gas and bloating
5. Bleeding gums
6. Constipation
7. Excessive salivation
8. Haemorrhoid's
9. Itchy skin
10. Nosebleeds
11. Swollen extremities (edema)
12. Yeast infections
http://www.babycenter.com...
Potential side effects from an abortion include:
Regret
Anger
Guilty feelings
Shame
Sense of loneliness or isolation
Loss of self confidence
Insomnia or nightmares
Relationship issues
Suicidal thoughts and feelings
Eating disorders
Depression
Anxiety
"Emotional and psychological effects are more common than physical side effects and can range from mild regret to more serious complications like depression."
http://americanpregnancy.org...
The potential side effects from a pregnancy are temporary and only last during the pregnancy whereas the potential side effects of an abortion, if occurring, last longer. I understand that it is a low chance that abortion side effects could occur, but if they do they would worsen the emotional stress caused by rape and I still do not understand how abortion could help a woman who was a victim of rape. Personally, being a woman myself, I would much rather undergo a pregnancy and labor then take my chances at depression. I would also like to hear more about this statement: "This does not mean that the woman is morally responsible for this death, however, because the woman never consented to having the child in the first place."
I would really like to hear more about this statement below because it would be the most beneficial to me when writing about this topic.

("A fetus that results from a rape, then, is not the product of the woman's consent, and acts as an intruder, much as a burglar in one's house is. An abortion is removing the fetus from the body, just as calling the police would ensure the removal of the burglar. Death of the fetus is, simply, a side-effect of this consequence, just as removal of a burglar could result in the death of the burglar, if he had no shelter, food, water, etc.")

Your analogy is irrelevant being as a burglar enters the house of his own choosing, whereas a fetus has no say in the matter.
I had planned to research and write more. I am so sorry I'm so preoccupied. My argument is no where near the point where I wanted it to be but I'm posting it because I'm very interested in hearing more about your side of this.
TruthHurts

Pro

No problem, Con. Hope you are feeling better.

Firstly, extend my arguments. Regardless of what Con would prefer, if I can show that a fetus, before the point of viability, is not a human being, then I show that abortion, overall, is justified. This means that rape is a justification for abortion. Con must refute this point, like it or not.

Now, to Con's consequence-related argument. It appears that Con completely ignored my evidence that, from a medical perspective, pregnancy causes a much greater percentage of SERIOUS consequences, compared to abortion.

Con has also ignored the actual evidence, which states that the vast, vast majority of women feel relieved from an abortion, and feel that the abortion was a correct decision for them.

Con has also ignored that giving birth to a child conceived through rape simply extends the pain of the victim.

Con also seems to think that pregnancy does not have any emotional consequences. Unfortunately, this is not the case. For one example, postpartum depression, which extends into the long-term after a woman has given birth, occurs in around 10% of all of women who have given birth [1], including a much higher incidence for those who have given birth after rape [2].

Compare this to the a recent meta-analysis which shows that an abortion does not, actually, lead to higher rates of depression [3]. Again, both mentally and physically, pregnancy is the riskier option, especially with women who have been raped, who are likely facing mental distress from being raped in the first place. This means that it is better for the mental health of these women to have an abortion, should they wish to.

With regards to my analogy, my opponent claims that the burglar's choice of house makes the analogy faulty. It is not clear why this is the case. The mother consents to the fetus, in a case of rape, no more than a homeowner consents to burglary. Removal of both offenders seems morally acceptable, regardless of the possible consequences to the offender. Whose consent matters is the victim, not the perpetrator.

I hope that Con feels better, and I look forward to her future arguments.


Sources:

1. http://www.apa.org...
2. http://www.pandys.org...
3. http://healthland.time.com...
Debate Round No. 4
ark97pink

Con

ark97pink forfeited this round.
TruthHurts

Pro

Extend, vote Pro!
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Chuz-Life 2 years ago
Chuz-Life
I hope Ark97pink returns to finish this debate. I tend to lean in favor of the 'rape exception' but I don't like it and I would like to see more and better arguments against it.
Posted by Preston 2 years ago
Preston
same
Posted by Sfaulkner 2 years ago
Sfaulkner
I think it does.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
ark97pinkTruthHurtsTied
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Total points awarded:02 
Reasons for voting decision: Ff. Pro used an emoticon.
Vote Placed by LDPOFODebATeR0328 2 years ago
LDPOFODebATeR0328
ark97pinkTruthHurtsTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.