The Instigator
Con (against)
6 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

February Beginners Tournament (Round 1): Abortion should be illegal.

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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/19/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,306 times Debate No: 86871
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)




This is one debate in the first round of the February Beginners Tournament. Pro, Krushia, is arguing in favor of the resolution. Con, myself, against.


In the context of the debate, an abortion is "a surgical or medicinal procedure that terminates a pregnancy by removing the fetus; a therapeutic abortion." [1]


R1: Laying out the terms of the debate, acceptance, and clarification, if necessary.
R2: Pro and Con lay out their arguments in regards to their positions relative to the resolution.
R3: Refutations of opposing cases.
R4: Defenses and conclusions. No new arguments permitted.


1) No insults/trolling.
2) No forfeits



I gracefully accept
Debate Round No. 1


I. Health

a. Abortion saves the lives of women

Before Roe v. Wade, abortions were most commonly done in one of two ways. The first, septic abortion, was the result of women trying to terminate their pregnancy themselves (the methods of which ranged from the infamous coat hangers, to knitting needles, to radiator flush), oftentimes out of financial or domestic desperation, This obviously resulted in severe illness, and far more often than not, the unnecessary death of woman that could have been avoided were it legal. And the second, back-alley abortions were rife with improper medical standards and many of those who carried them out were unqualified to do so. [1]

In 1972, there were 39 fatalities of women as a result of illegal abortions. In 1976, after Roe v. Wade passed, that number decreased to 2. [2] The mortality rate of legally induced abortions is 0.6 per every 100 thousand abortions; the mortality rate for live births is around 14 times higher. [3] In addition, the American Medical Association coupled with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated that “abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed in the United States.” [4]

As you can see, the evidences that illegalized abortion has costed the lives of women is plainly evident. If the SCOTUS ruling was overturned, we would return to this standard, and cause the deaths of dozens more in the process.

b. Improves emotional and mental stability

The raw data from a study conducted between 2008 and 2010 examined the distinctions between those who received an abortion and those who were denied. The latter group stated that they experienced more regret and anger (and less relief and happiness) than those in those in the former group. In addition, 95% of the women felt that the abortion was the right decision. [5]

II. Fetuses

a. Incapability of feeling pain

It's commonly accepted among neuroscientists that the prerequisite for experiencing pain is the cortex, the beginnings of which appear around 23 weeks' gestational age. However, the ability to perceive pain doesn't become present until 29 to 30 weeks. [6] Not only was this affirmed by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 2010; [7] two years later, their statement was endorsed by ACOG. [8]

The vast majority of all abortions occur far before 23 weeks' gestation, much less the 29-30 that would begin the development of pain perception. Of them all, as of 2012, 95% offered abortions at 8 weeks gestation, 72% at 12 weeks, 34% at 20 weeks, and 16% at 24 weeks. [9]

Likewise, 98.6% of women that have abortions occur at or before 20 weeks, and inversely, the extremely meager 1.2% occur during week 21, or later. [10]

b. Personhood

Since the resolution regards whether or not abortion should be legalized, it's only natural to assume the bounds of the law, on if a fetus constitutes a person or not. From Roe v. Wade, the majority Supreme Court justices concluded, that among the few mentions of “person” in the United States constitution (most notably the fourteenth amendment) that the unborn, including fetuses, are not persons. [11]

III. Society

a. Aids against financial burden

A study conducted by the University of California at San Francisco found that those denied abortions later slid into some sort of financial burdens. A year later, 76% were on government assistance and 67% were below the poverty line. The same study found that women denied abortions were more likely to stay in abusive relationships. 7% reported an incident of domestic violence (as opposed to 3% of women who had abortions). [12]

b. Reduction in welfare cost

The Congressional Budget Office evaluated a proposed bill that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and found that the resulting births as a result of the ban would raise the deficit by $75 million by 2018, and $225 million by 2023. [13]

== In Summary ==

A return to illegalization would likewise cause increased fatalities and financial harm, and fetuses are incapable of feeling pain when the vast majority of abortions occur (and legally do not constitute persons).


[4] (pg. 17)
[7] (8)
[9] (3)
[11] (12)



Argument 1: Living Human

The scientific definition of being a living organism is the seven characteristics of life. This list includes:
- Homeostasis
- Metabolism
- Organization
- Growth
- Adaption
- Movement
- Respiration

The placenta, formed at 2 weeks, provides oxygen, nutrients, and the hormones needed for respiration, homeostasis, and metabolism. It adapts the intake of these, and adapts the fetus's internal environment to match changes in stress and growth.

The DNA is human so therefore the fetus is human. Criteria based on functions don't work. examples such as feeling pain, being conscience, being sentient. The flaw in this is that it"s a false cause and correlation. It assumes that since A can do B, that A is A because of the ability to do B.

A comatose patient is human and alive, but can not hold conscience or is not sentient. this is an example of criteria does not work.

argument 2: human rights

(a quote from the fourteenth amendment)
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

All humans have a certain amounts of rights that are not dependent on where they came from and more on there sheer existence. even though an immigrant did not come from the united states does not mean you can kill them or take their property. Fourteenth Amendment says no state may deprive any person of Life, Liberty, or Property. It has already defined Citizen, but once we get here, it neither uses the term "citizen" or "person born or naturalized.

person: noun
:a human being, whether man, woman, or child.
:a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.(1)
:human, individual "sometimes used in combination especially by those who prefer to avoid man in compounds applicable to both sexes(2)

As defined by the Legal Dictionary:
:In general usage, a human being; by statute, however, the term can include firms, labor organizations, partnerships, associations, corporations, legal representatives, trustees, trustees in Bankruptcy, or receivers (3).

born or not born the fetus does not need to be a U.S. citizen and a person is a human.

Argument 3: health of the mother

in the case of the mothers mentality you must weigh out what is most important to human rights whether the mentality of the mother is more important than the babies life. steps for saving the mothers mentality could include adoption for example. Abortions often causes more trauma. after having the abortion more than half of women expressed guilt, with almost half reporting nervous disorders. Over a third experienced sleep disturbances, and one third had regrets about their decision. Over a tenth had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor.

abortion has massively terrible affects on women far worse than any pregnancy.

Debate Round No. 2


I. Living Human

On the contrary, the placenta begins development about a week after fertilization (the fourth week of pregnancy). [1] [2] It's two primary functions, specifically, are nutrition and excretion, which admittedly does admittedly successfully constitute the three characteristics of life provided. However to be considered living, the fetus most exhibit all seven of the traits of life, which Pro has not proven.

Pro states that because a fetus has human DNA, it's human. This is true in the same sense that the deceased or stem cells have human DNA. Should we also start campaigns for those having some innate right to life? I'm not quite sure what Pro's argument about functions being insufficient criteria is trying to prove, and being it's not very in-depth in itself, I don't feel I have enough information to address it.

II. Human Rights

First, the Constitution (including the 14th amendment) is exclusively in regards to the United States, alone, and is certainly not a document that prescribes rights to the entire global population, much less one the attempts to. However, as far as it concerns the domestic rights of its citizens, let's examine the first sentence of the amendment, as provided by Pro:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

Throughout the entirety of development, the fetus is quite obviously not born. The process of naturalization requires the following [3]:

1) That you're 18 years or older.
2) Must be a legal permanent resident.
3) Must have held the status of permanent resident for five years before applying.
4) Must have been physically present for at least half of those five years (30 months) (and are disqualified if you've been outside the U.S. for 6 month continuously.

Since the fetus accomplishes none of this (and hasn't been born), it is not a U.S. citizen. Additionally, even if we were to posit its citizenship, I'd like to focus on the phrase “...subject to the jurisdiction thereof...” Roe v. Wade ruled that within the first trimester, the right to abortion be unrestricted, and as proven in my case, that's when the vast majority are performed. The resolution implies the abortion be entirely outlawed, from the first to the third trimester. Doing so would violate federal jurisdiction, and by extension, the Constitution.

Pro then goes on to advocate the existence of inalienable rights, but provides no reasoning or proof in believing they're real, rather than just some philosophical case study. His only justification is the example that an immigrant is protected from murder and theft as a byproduct on the 14th amendment. However, section I. of the amendment directly concerns the legal protections of citizens of the U.S., and not criminal law as are those examples, especially as it would be by one individual to another and not the doing of the state.

Finally, he cites a few definitions of “person” in an attempt to prove fetuses are as such; however, all of them are layman uses, and they do not prove a fetus is a legal person, especially as the Supreme Court concluded against the notion.

III. Health of the Mother

Medically, the definition of infant (synonymous with baby) is that it requires birth. [4, 5, 6] The use of the word baby to refer to an unborn fetus is layman terminology that does make a substantive argument.

Adoptions generally cost anywhere from a low of $15,000 to a high of $50,000. [7] Abortions can cost up to $1,500, and are often less. [8] Couple that with the fact that a significant portion of women are facing financial hardships to begin with, adoption would only push them further into financial turmoil.

All of Pro's claims that abortion produces negative effects on women not only aren't sourced, but are pretty extensively debunked by the entirety of my health argument, but I would like to address a few of them specifically:

“...after having the abortion more than half of women expressed guilt… and one third had regrets about their decision.”

Those who were denied abortions felt more regret and anger, and the overwhelming majority (95%) that had abortions felt that it was the right decision. [9]




I need no change and feel my argument is solid.
Debate Round No. 3


Well, I think it's safe to say I didn't expect this, and I hope Pro clarifies, as I'm not quite sure was his intention of that statement was. However, since R3 is for refutations on the opposing case (mine), and seeing as he failed to do so, extend arguments.


Krushia forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
>Reported vote: TheChristian// Mod action: Removed<

5 points to Pro (Arguments, Sources), 1 point to Con (Conduct). Reasons for voting decision: Pro cites the constitution, the most reliable source in US law but also forfeits effectively two rounds, surrendering conduct to con.

[*Reason for removal*] (1) The voter doesn't explain arguments. (2) Source points are insufficiently explained. The voter has to do more than simply assert that one source is the most reliable, particularly when both sides are citing numerous sources, in order to explain this point allocation.
Posted by Torton 2 years ago
Balls. I just noticed I bolded "b. Personhood," when it should be italicized.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by fire_wings 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by U.n 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Bob13 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct goes to Con because Pro forfeited round four. Arguments goes to Con because Pro did not even attempt to defend his arguments or refute Con's. He only says "I feel my argument is solid" and concedes.