The Instigator
wrichcirw
Pro (for)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
iamnotwhoiam
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points

If of childbearing age, women should be sterilized before assuming the office of POTUS

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
iamnotwhoiam
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/1/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,381 times Debate No: 27675
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (18)
Votes (6)

 

wrichcirw

Pro

Hello. I just joined this forum yesterday and have engaged in as many debates as possible since then. Apologies in advance as I learn the various structures and formats that go into a "formal debate".

I will suspect that this topic may be controversial, and have extended the voting period to one month to allow for greater participation. I welcome a vigorous debate on this topic.

POTUS = President of the United States

NOTES: There will be several spoilers for the movie "The Contender" below.

I've recently watched the movie "The Contender". [1] While I have mixed feelings about the movie and sincerely think the Joan Allen character is undeserving of the Vice Presidency (due to the fact that she willingly and with full knowledge conspired to destroy the marriage of her best friend and subsequently took her friend's husband as her own), I am very much for the concept of having a woman serve in high office. However, there was one argument that was brought up in the senate confirmation hearings in the movie that I could not shake. Here is the argument in question (apologies, the source of the script was terrible - I have inserted the names of the speakers): [2]

Laine Hanson - HANSON
Shelly Runyon - RUNYON
Reginald Webster - WEBSTER

SYNOPSIS - Mrs. Laine Hanson is in front of a confirmation hearing in order to assume the office of Vice President of the United States. The office was abruptly vacated upon the sudden death of the former Vice President. Mr. Shelly Hanson is the chairman of the confirmation board - he has reservations about allowing a woman to potentially become the POTUS. Mr. Reginald Webster is a junior congressman noted for his naivety and ambition, who made an implicit deal with Mr. Hanson to contest Mrs. Hanson's confirmation in exchange for acceptance into Mr. Hanson's committee. Mr. Webster and Mrs. Hanson are Democrats, and Mr. Runyon is a Republican.

RUNYON- Madam Senator. Tell us a little bit about your family. You have a son.

HANSON - Mm-hmm. Yes, I have one six-year-old boy, Timothy.

RUNYON - That's a very nice age. Now, I see here that when you... had Timothy, you were absent from your duty...for a few months' maternity leave.

HANSON - It's the right of every mother to be able to take maternity--

RUNYON - Paid maternity leave.

HANSON - Yes. I don't believe we should penalize our citizens for having children.

RUNYON - I think I'm on safe ground saying that valuing motherhood is quite nonpartisan.

- [Gallery Chuckling]

RUNYON - Um, were you to get pregnant again...do you plan to take maternity leave?

HANSON - Um, I've not given that any consideration.

RUNYON - No? Are you still able to bear children?

HANSON - Yes, I am-- I believe, yes, I am.

RUNYON - Yet you have not given this matter any consideration. Perhaps that means-- No, strike that. Madam Senator...let us assume you ascended to the presidency... and you were to have a child during your term. Would you cede your duties to your vice president and for how long?

WEBSTER - Mr. Chairman, would the chair expect to have the designate assure this committee... that she would have her tubes tied before she assume office?

WEBSTER - Mr. Chairman, I humbly request a point of order.

RUNYON - You will be afforded one.

WEBSTER - With all due respect--

RUNYON - You will be afforded one when I am finished.

HANSON - The truth is that while we have not put a seal on the concept of having another child...my husband and I practice birth control.

RUNYON - Mm-hmm. Okay, I would now like to...enter the arena of loyalty.

[end of relevant portion of the script]

This line of questioning caught Mrs. Hanson off guard - the matter was settled when she asserted that she practiced birth control, and Mr. Runyon did not pursue the matter further.

I found the line of questioning to be unsatisfying and unsettling. In prior scenes of the movie, several characters mentioned that Margaret Thatcher was an excellent example of an effective woman serving high office - however, Margaret Thatcher was 54 years old when she assumed the position of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and to my knowledge was beyond the age of child bearing. [3] This is not the case for Laine Hanson; per the above script, she is clearly capable of having children.

Is it a matter of national security to know whether or not the POTUS plans to have more children? Is it a matter of national security to know whether or not the POTUS will take maternity leave during her term(s) in office? I believe the answer is yes. Mrs. Hanson assures us that she practices birth control and has not given the matter of having more children any consideration. I believe neither of these answers are adequate for the position being considered.

For a man, these are not questions worthy of consideration - if he impregnates his wife, he is still fully capable of carrying out the same level and manner of responsibilities before the pregnancy, during the pregnancy, and several months after delivery of the child. However, for a woman, a pregnancy severely diminishes her capacity for mobility, and all but incapacitates her during the critical stage of birthing. Furthermore, it is accepted practice in the US that a woman be allowed to take unpaid maternity leave for 12 weeks after the birth of a child (I know, abysmal compared to world standards). [4] Therefore, I conclude a woman is severely incapacitated when bringing a life into this world, and that this incapacitation is highly undesirable for the position of POTUS.

It is not enough that a woman pledges that she practice birth control while in the office of the POTUS. It is an unreasonable invasion of privacy to demand that she remain celibate during her term, and it is similarly not enough that a woman pledge to such a demand if offered. Therefore, I conclude that the only possible method of assuring that such a VOLUNTARY INCAPACITATION as childbearing not occur while a woman of childbearing age is in the position of the POTUS is to demand that she sterilize herself before (or in the case of assuming the office due to invocation of the 25th amendment [5] and/or the the Presidential Succession Act [6] shortly after assuming the offices of Vice President or POTUS, i.e. whenever feasible) assuming office.

I believe this is an unique issue. Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi was 67 years old before becoming Speaker of the House (and third in line to the Presidency). [9] Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to be nominated for the positions of either Vice President or POTUS, was 49 years old when nominated, and I will assume she was beyond child-bearing age. [7] Hillary Clinton will be 69 years old if she chooses to run for POTUS in 2016, well beyond childbearing age. [8] Sarah Palin was 44 years old when nominated. [10] Mrs. Palin in many ways that are irrelevant to the topic at hand was dangerously close to incapacitating the country, in my opinion. Were she able to resolve questions surrounding her competency, I would have considered her situation to be a lightning rod for this specific issue. Unfortunately this never became an issue, as her perceived competency was seriously undermined shortly after her nomination.

I welcome anyone willing to engage in this topic in good faith and look forward to an invigorating debate. Thanks.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...(2000_film)
[2] http://www.script-o-rama.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[7] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[9] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[10] http://en.wikipedia.org...
iamnotwhoiam

Con

Thank you to my opponent for the opportunity to engage with some issues.


A. The law forbids discrimination on basis of sex.

A woman would have the same right of any natural born citizen to run for the office of President, without the additional stipulation of an invasive and irreversible medical procedure.

It is indefensible under law to deprive women of the opportunity to apply for sensitive state jobs without prejudice.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 makes it illegal to discriminate "on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions."


B. Assumption that woman would be primary carer for the child is not warranted.

If she is not primary carer, then a pregnant POTUS need take no more time off work than if any President had a minor medical issue. She could work right up until the last few days of labour.


C. The resolution is unworkable: If pregnancy, then other issues that could incapacitate a President.

You could just as well argue that a POTUS with a history of heart disease in his family is endangering national security. Or a candidate that is particularly old. The selection of a President could become highly discriminatory.


D. You cannot deny an unsterilized woman the office of POTUS on a hypothetical.

Hypothetically, a male POTUS may get testicular cancer. Should we then pre-empt the possibility by insisting only on eunuchs in the White House?


E. The electorate has a right to choose the candidate they see fit.

If in fact the electorate voted a pregnant woman into the White House that would be their democratic right.


F. Presidents can resign.

This would be a less drastic, more sensible resolution to a POTUS becoming pregnant, if she decided also to be primary carer. America survived the resignation of Nixon.


G. Finding the best person for the job.

The battle to make employment truly meritocratic, through civil rights, is an ongoing one and has been long and hard fought. To affirm the resolution would be to take a backwards step.


The resolution can only be negated.



Sources

1. http://www.eeoc.gov...


Debate Round No. 1
wrichcirw

Pro

First of all, thank you iamnotwhoiam for volunteering to engage in this debate. I am glad that your points are of substance, and I will address them in the order presented.

Before I do, I would like to focus on one particular phrase from my original argument:

VOLUNTARY [1]
INCAPACITATION [2]

VOLUNTARY INCAPACITATION - proceeding from the will or from ONE'S OWN CHOICE OR CONSENT to deprive of strength or ability; disable.

This phrase will be central to my rebuttal.

A. The law may forbid discriminate on basis on sex, but de facto discrimination and segregation occurs every time a man or woman enters a public restroom. Such segregation based on sex/gender is a welcome form of discrimination based on sex.

It is indefensible to say that in both de jurs and de facto applications, a law forbidding discrimination based on sex is actually followed.

A1. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 has never been applied to a woman holding the office of POTUS. While the POTUS is not above the law, he or she is certainly subject to executive privilege, which in many cases provide exceptions to the POTUS in regards to lawful behavior.

The POTUS is an exceptional position in the USA. It is entirely reasonable to expect a person in such a position to be subject to exceptional stipulations IN THE INTEREST OF NATIONAL SECURITY. Given that any VOLUNTARY INCAPACITATION is detrimental to national security, the possibility of such VOLUNTARY INCAPACITATIONS needs to be eliminated whenever possible, to include the possibility of childbearing in women while in the office of POTUS.

POTUS is subject to several forms of protocol deemed necessary for national security. Maintaining as high a state of readiness as possible is easily one of these necessities. It comes with the job.

B. Your assumption regarding primary care-giving is unfounded and irrelevant to the debate. The real discussion is in short term disabilities resulting from pregnancy: [3]

"Short-term disability is meant to cover your salary " or a portion of it " during the time that you're UNABLE to do your job due to illness, injury, or childbirth." (emphasis mine)

"Six weeks is the standard amount of time covered for pregnancy."

Six weeks of VOLUNTARY INCAPACITATION for the POTUS is unacceptable under any circumstances. These six weeks of VOLUNTARY INCAPACITATION are unavoidable once the choice to bear a child has been made. This poses an unacceptable national security risk. Transfer of power to the Vice President under such a circumstance of VOLUNTARY INCAPACITATION would denigrate the office of POTUS. A resignation would be more appropriate (I address this point later).

C. A history of heart disease is an INvoluntary incapacitation. Old age is an INvoluntary incapacitation. In such cases, transfer of power to the Vice President is constitutional and warranted. There are legal precedents for cases of INvolunatary incapacitations. There are no legal precedents for VOLUNTARY INCAPACITATIONS for the office of POTUS outside of Watergate.

D. Testicular cancer is an INvoluntary incapacitation. A man does not have the ability to choose whether or not he will become subject to testicular cancer. Similarly a woman does not have the ability to choose whether or not she will become subject to breast cancer. Breast cancer is also an INvoluntary incapacitation.

E. What if the electorate saw fit to elect someone under the age of 35 into the White House? This is an impossibility because of laws that prevent such an occurrence. The electorate does NOT have the democratic right to elect such a person to the office of POTUS.

Regardless, the legality of the issue is not relevant to the argument, as laws are living documents that can be rendered constitutional or unconstitutional during its lifespan. Rather, the argument is normative in nature - SHOULD such a proposal be made law?

F. Again, resignation is a choice, one that the POTUS can easily not make. Could America have survived if Nixon did NOT resign? THAT is the real question.

Resignation due to an unplanned pregnancy should NOT be an issue that a POTUS should have to deal with. In both cases (Watergate and an unplanned pregnancy) all actions concerned were VOLUNTARY in nature. Nixon was nearly crucified by Congress due to Watergate. What manner of terrorism would the US be subject if it was made public knowledge that the POTUS was going to VOLUNTARILY INCAPACITATE HERSELF FOR AT LEAST SIX WEEKS due to childbearing? What other kinds of national security risk would we as a country face?

G. I fully agree that employment should be truly meritocratic. Currently, there are standards such as physical fitness levels that clearly discriminate between sex and gender. Such discrimination, while warranted because of biological differences between the sexes, does place women at a disadvantageous position for certain forms of employment. Meritocratic behavior in this sense is clearly discriminatory based on sex and gender. This discrimination does not preclude a woman from seeking such employment, but it can certainly prove to be a hindrance. Again, such discrimination is codified in nearly every work environment that requires certain physical fitness standards.

For the POTUS, physical fitness is less of a concern than readiness. Childbearing is an anathema to readiness and indeed does pose a national security risk if allowed to occur. Discriminating between A) a man, or a woman not of childbearing age, and B) a woman capable of childbearing is completely warranted by the needs of national security.

CONCLUSION

I believe in equal opportunity and equal pay in cases where all other aspects of two candidates are the same except for their gender. However, the readiness of a childbearing POTUS is clearly not equal to that of a non-childbearing POTUS, and I find just reason to discriminate based on this one factor. This factor does NOT discriminate based on gender, it is only coincidental that childbearing is a gender-specific event.

With a woman's right to choose comes responsibilities unique to a woman's anatomy and biology. Discrimination based on such considerations is warranted in exceptional situations, where the feasibility of finding an adequate replacement for extended periods of time is highly dubious. While we do have succession plans in the cases of voluntary and INvoluntary incapacitations for the POTUS, voluntary incapacitations of any sort are highly irresponsible and denigrate the office of the presidency. Given the national security risks associated with any sort of incapacitations of the POTUS, I believe the citizenry have a right to codify this as a requirement for assuming the office of POTUS. If outright sterilization is an issue, then a pledge signed under oath to forego childbearing while in office would accomplish the same purpose. It would be de facto sterilization of a woman capable of childbearing while in office.

NOTE - This argument does NOT discriminate based on gender, as a man would be equally weighted to a woman who was incapable of childbearing. It DOES discriminated based on READINESS, in that a woman capable of bearing a child, who does indeed bear a child, lowers the readiness level of the highest office in the land to an unacceptable degree.

I would also imagine that any woman that underwent sterilization solely to assume the office of the POTUS would enjoy higher ratings, as such a sacrifice for the sake of her country would be noted and highly publicized. She would probably enjoy a positive bias based on this one factor, all else being equal vis a vis a male candidate, or vis a vis a female candidate not capable of childbearing.

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[3] http://www.babycenter.com...
iamnotwhoiam

Con

My opponent has conceded the debate:

"If outright sterilization is an issue, then a pledge signed under oath to forego childbearing while in office would accomplish the same purpose."

The resolution is negated. All that remains is to vote CON.
Debate Round No. 2
wrichcirw

Pro

I disagree. Following my quoted statement, I wrote:

"It would be de facto sterilization of a woman capable of childbearing while in office."

You have wasted a round and I have negated most, if not all, of your points prior. Also, none of your arguments even begin to cite any differences between outright sterilization and de facto sterilization. Most of your arguments merely dwelt on gender bias, which I have successfully negated as a valid argument.

Sterilization has yet to be defined:
http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...

1. the complete elimination or destruction of all living microorganisms.
2. any procedure by which an individual is made incapable of reproduction.

A legal procedure forbidding childbearing is indeed a procedure by which an individual is made legally incapably of reproduction.

As of this point in the debate you concede to all of my arguments in round #2, unless you decide to offer a rebuttal to them.
iamnotwhoiam

Con

I will leave it to the voters as to whether my opponent is attempting to equivocate on the meaning of "sterilization". I maintain that my opponent has affirmed that sterilization of a female POTUS is unnecessary, as a pledge will achieve the same purpose.

For the sake of completeness, I will briefly cover my opponents points in round 2.

It is inconceivable that the POTUS would voluntarily become pregnant with the intention of raising children during her term of office. I suggest to voters that any argument based on voluntary incapacitation be discounted on the grounds that it is not a realistic scenario.

Besides, my opponent maintains that the issue is "readiness" of the President. So it does not matter whether incapacitation is voluntary or involuntary.

A. The argument that discrimination in the workplace is justified by toilet ettiquette is a novel one. I move we close the lid and flush it. I suggest my opponent may be aware that toilet ettiquette is NOT discrimination. That women and men use different toilets does not justify discrimination in the workplace.

My opponent suggests that discrimination law should not apply to POTUS. However, discrimination law exists to protect everyone from sexual discrimination. Sterilization is not a reasonable request, for it is a permanent and drastic correction for a problem that does not exist at time of employment. Such a measure would constitute unlawful discrimination against women. The assertion that civil rights should not apply to the President is an interesting one, but fails due to the fact that POTUS is a citizen, not to mention that the office is an example. What a poor example to set if the highest office were to discriminate against women.

"the legality of the issue is not relevant to the argument"

I agree in as far as my opponent has already conceded the debate. If they had not done so, I submit they would need to find a reason why a civil rights law should be wiped off the books.


B. My opponent assumes that POTUS would take six weeks maternity leave. This assumption is unwarranted.

E. "What if the electorate saw fit to elect someone under the age of 35 into the White House? This is an impossibility because of laws that prevent such an occurrence. The electorate does NOT have the democratic right to elect such a person to the office of POTUS."

Granted and irrelevant. The electorate might still see fit to elect a pregnant woman to the White House.


F. "Again, resignation is a choice, one that the POTUS can easily not make. Could America have survived if Nixon did NOT resign? THAT is the real question."

My opponent wishes to make extreme provisions in case the President acts unrealistically unreasonably.


Since the resolution has already been negated by my opponent, all that remains is to vote CON.


Debate Round No. 3
wrichcirw

Pro

1) My opponent stated that he or she "will leave it to the voters as to whether [PRO] is attempting to equivocate on the meaning of "sterilization"."

There is no equivocation. I made it clear in round two that my statement amounted to a de facto sterilization. I made it clear how sterilization was defined, and how my statements are valid given the argument at hand. The purpose of sterilization is to prevent a readiness issue that would come about due to child bearing. I have been exceptionally clear in this regard.

A pledge forbidding child bearing accomplishes this purpose, especially if the price of breaking such a pledge is a forced resignation. My opponent sought an easy way out due to his inability to address my arguments in round #2, and it backfired on him.

2) My opponent stated that "It is inconceivable that the POTUS would voluntarily become pregnant with the intention of raising children during her term of office."

It is also inconceivable that a man murder his brother, or that someone would go into a crowded theater and indiscriminately kill moviegoers after turning his own room into a gigantic IED. We have laws that seek to prevent this kind of behavior from occurring.

Personally, I believe it it less inconceivable that someone of childbearing age would experience an unexpected pregnancy. In the office of the POTUS, if such a pregnancy resulted in a child birth, the time lost due to recovering from such a VOLUNTARY INCAPACITATION would be unacceptable due to national security concerns. The ramifications to national security would be far more than if a man murdered his brother, or if another Aurora theater incident occurred. Such events simply cannot be allowed to occur on a voluntary basis, hence my advocating for the PRO position in this argument, to include potential legislation to this effect.

2) My opponent stated that "The argument that discrimination in the workplace is justified by toilet ettiquette is a novel one. "

Apparently he or she thinks that public restrooms are all same sex restrooms, that there are no men's restrooms, or no women's restrooms. Apparently he or she is unaware of this kind of segregation based on gender/sex, apparently he or she is unaware what a PUBLIC restroom is. I move we "close the lid and flush" this argument and move on, until my opponent discovers a public restroom in his life journeys.

3) My opponent quoted me thus: "the legality of the issue is not relevant to the argument".

He then responded that "I agree in as far as my opponent has already conceded the debate. If they had not done so, I submit they would need to find a reason why a civil rights law should be wiped off the books."

My opponent has taken my argument completely out of context here. The legality of whether or not the electorate can vote for someone under 35 years of age or over 35 years of age is as significant as to the legality whether or not the electorate can vote a pregnant woman into office. The fact is that the law discriminates here based on age, and again it is a welcome discrimination. This is why "the legality of the issue is not relevant to the argument", as one can raise the unconstitutionality of such a provision on the basis of age discrimination, yet no one has. One can also raise the constitutionality of a provision forbidding child bearing in the Oval Office citing readiness issues, yet no one has.

This is not a civil rights issue but a readiness issue. The opponent continually attempts to frame the discussion in a civil rights point of view, when I have already refuted his arguments to this point, to which he or she offers no counterargument. The issue at hand is readiness. A woman who cannot bear a child is the same as a man who cannot bear a child. There is no gender discrimination in this statement.

4) My opponent states that I presumed "that POTUS would take six weeks maternity leave." Again, this is factually incorrect, I said that "The real discussion is in short term disabilities resulting from pregnancy" during which [the [woman is] UNABLE to do [her] job due to illness, injury, or childbirth."

My opponent offers no counterpoint to this statement, he merely misquotes me and then states that "This assumption is unwarranted." This statement is so weak it deserves no counterargument. My point about readiness issues stemming from a prolonged VOLUNTARY INCAPACITATION stemming from "short term disabilities resulting from pregnancy" stands as it is until my opponent attempts an earnest rebuttal.

5) Regarding the issue of POTUS resignation, my opponent states that "[PRO] wishes to make extreme provisions in case the President acts unrealistically unreasonably."

CON seems to be unaware that pregnancy and child birthing are indeed very realistic possibilities for a woman of child-bearing age. That CON agrees that a proper course of action for a pregnant woman in the White House is to offer her resignation is a very strong advocacy that he concede his argument and proclaim me the winner:

CON: "Presidents can resign. This would be a less drastic, more sensible resolution to a POTUS becoming pregnant..."

Granted, my opponent has not spent much time thinking out a cohesive counterargument against my round #2 statements. My opponent's argument still seems to lie in the supposition that I have conceded this debate, which I have not. I find it unfortunate that my opponent spends more time attempting to win a debate based on a flawed interpretation of a technicality than actually arguing the points in earnest. I sincerely hope CON spends a bit more time fleshing out a cohesive counterargument to what I presented in round #2.
iamnotwhoiam

Con


A pledge not to have children is not sterilization. It is not "de facto sterilization", because the woman is not sterile.

"It is also inconceivable that a man murder his brother, or that someone would go into a crowded theater and indiscriminately kill moviegoers after turning his own room into a gigantic IED. We have laws that seek to prevent this kind of behavior from occurring."

There are no laws that require a medical procedure to prevent the remote possibility a sane man may murder his brother or shoot up a cinema in the future.

"The opponent continually attempts to frame the discussion in a civil rights point of view, when I have already refuted his arguments to this point, to which he or she offers no counterargument."

My opponent has plainly not refuted my contention that carrying out the resolution would constitute a civil rights issue. The assertion that it is a "readiness" issue does not stop it also being a civil rights issue.

"My point about readiness issues stemming from a prolonged VOLUNTARY INCAPACITATION stemming from "short term disabilities resulting from pregnancy" stands as it is until my opponent attempts an earnest rebuttal."

Already rebutted the relevance of "voluntary incapacitation". Short term disabilities resulting from pregnancy amount to no more than a few days to give birth and recover. The length of a minor illness.

"That CON agrees that a proper course of action for a pregnant woman in the White House is to offer her resignation..."

No.CON agrees that a possible course of action for a woman who wishes to raise children is to offer her resignation.

If my opponent does not understand that he cannot change the terms of the resolution to fit a wonky new conception of a pledge as "de facto sterilization", I'm sure the voters will. The resolution is negated.

Debate Round No. 4
wrichcirw

Pro

1) CON will win or lose this debate based on an ad hoc attempt to win by technical default.

A pledge forbidding child bearing does indeed render an individual "incapable of reproduction", unless they want to lose their job. This is de facto sterilization.

STERILE:
"incapable of producing offspring; not producing offspring."
http://dictionary.reference.com...

The purpose of this sterilization is to ensure that readiness issues that would arise from child bearing do not interfere with the office of POTUS. The opponent has agreed on numerous occasions that such interference is cause for resignation, i.e., the intention of child bearing indeed disqualifies a candidate from seeking the office of POTUS. Rather than deal with a messy situation while a pro-life pregnant woman is in office, I propose that we prevent such an occurrence through sterilization. If a medical procedure is deemed too intrusive, than a legal one will do.


2) My opponent states that "There are no laws that require a medical procedure to prevent the remote possibility a sane man may murder his brother or shoot up a cinema in the future."

There are numerous laws that seek to deter murderous behavior, to include the death penalty.

In this vein, my argument infers a proposal that would seek to deter disruptive behavior that would lower the readiness level of the POTUS. Are the chances that a POTUS capable of childbearing would actually bear a child high? No, such a career-driven woman more than likely would not be interested in having children while in the Oval Office. But, I would think it is much higher than the chance that "a sane man may murder his brother or shoot up a cinema in the future." Yet, we have laws for the latter, and not for the former, even though an incapacitated POTUS is much more detrimental to national security than a street felony.


3. My opponent states that "[PRO] has plainly not refuted my contention that carrying out the resolution would constitute a civil rights issue. The assertion that it is a "readiness" issue does not stop it also being a civil rights issue."

CON has continually ignored arguments that prove that there are deep flaws in civil rights legislation that sanction discriminatory practices, such as segregated restrooms and physical fitness standards. CON has also continually ignored the argument that "A woman who cannot bear a child is the same as a man who cannot bear a child. There is no gender discrimination in this statement."

There are no civil rights issues here. The issue is in regards to readiness concerns stemming from a VOLUNTARY INCAPACITATION. If a man could bear a child, then I would also advocate that the man remain sterile throughout his term(s) as POTUS. The disruption from child bearing is simply too much for an office like the POTUS.

My opponent has yet to address any readiness issues coming from an unexpected desire from a female POTUS to birth a child while in office. Instead, he claims such a situation is preposterous and would result in a forced resignation by the female POTUS. Although he does not seek a legal solution, his argument is clear - a woman intent on bearing a child while in office is undeserving of the Presidency. In this much both of us are in agreement, and my solution is to preclude such a possibility. My opponent's solution is to force a resignation from the female POTUS.

4) My opponent states that "short term disabilities resulting from pregnancy amount to no more than a few days to give birth and recover. The length of a minor illness." He offers no evidence, no citations, nothing, to prove his point. I have offered evidence from "The #1 pregnancy and parenting web and mobile destination worldwide" [1] that cites:

"Short-term disability is meant to cover your salary " or a portion of it " during the time that you're UNABLE to do your job due to illness, injury, or childbirth." (emphasis mine)

"Six weeks is the standard amount of time covered for pregnancy." [2]

We are not talking about "a couple days at most", we are talking about six weeks during which the mother is unable to do her job. I would like to note to all voters out there that I have cited this source repeatedly now because of my opponent's inability to refer to my sources nor cite his own.


5) CON has stated that "CON agrees that a possible course of action for a woman who wishes to raise children is to offer her resignation." CON has also stated that "Presidents can resign. This would be a less drastic, more sensible resolution to a POTUS becoming pregnant..." CON is thereby inferring that not only is pregnancy a condition for a POTUS to resign, but also that the mere intention of raising children is a cause for resignation. CON is thereby precluding the possibility that a working mother occupy the White House. This preposterous claim is far more radical than my own argument.

I DISAGREE that "a possible course of action for a woman who wishes to raise children is to offer her resignation." Only in the case where childbearing is imminent, where birth control has failed, where the mother adopted a pro-life position that precluded abortion, and was dead-set in having a baby while occupying the White House, would I advocate resignation. This forced resignation would be required due to the six weeks of voluntary incapacitation that the woman VOLUNTARILY agreed to commit in order to birth a child. Such an act while in the Oval Office is irresponsible to say the least, and would compromise national security. Such an act is easily within the real of possibility for any woman under 40 years of age, much more than the possibility of another Aurora shooting. We have laws that seek to protect us from violent behavior, should we not also have laws that seek to strengthen national security?


CLOSING ARGUMENTS

My argument is clear - a woman in the Presidency cannot be allowed to bear a child while in office, as such an event will become a national security issue due to substantial time off taken from work. The POTUS is exceptional in this regard, indeed there is precedence for this exceptional status in executive privilege. We simply cannot allow for a voluntary six week absence by the POTUS to interfere with national affairs. Such an event would demonstrate irresponsibility to the highest degree and denigrate the office of POTUS. I have advocated sterilization, i.e. "any procedure by which an individual is made incapable of reproduction", [3] and believe a legal procedure that would force a resignation from a POTUS intent on bearing a child would suffice, if a medical procedure was deemed too intrusive.

Such a position does not intrude on a woman's civil rights. "A woman who cannot bear a child is the same as a man who cannot bear a child. There is no gender discrimination in this statement." It is not the gender of the POTUS which is at issue, but readiness concerns stemming from childbearing. It is only coincidental that childbearing is unique to womanhood, and only during a certain age bracket. If men were capable of childbearing, then men would also be required to adhere to such a proposal.

My opponent agrees that childbearing in the Oval office is unacceptable:

"CON agrees that a possible course of action for a woman who wishes to raise children is to offer her resignation."
"CON: "Presidents can resign. This would be a less drastic, more sensible resolution to a POTUS becoming pregnant..."


He agrees to the outcome of my proposed sterilization, yet continues to argue about semantics without offering any sources or citations. It is possible to interpret his own position as much more radical than my own.

I thank iamnotwhoiam for participating in this debate. I also thank all the voters for participating in what I hope has been an interesting discussion on a somewhat unconventional topic.


[1] http://www.babycenter.com...
[2] http://www.babycenter.com...
[3] http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...
iamnotwhoiam

Con

I do not agree that this is a controversial issue. I thank opponent for his efforts.

I will close with a summary of my case.


The law forbids discrimination on basis of sex.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 clearly makes it illegal to discriminate "on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions."

My opponent would have this legislation reversed, for the sole purpose of allowing sterilization of the POTUS. The highest office in America sets an example. What a terrible civil rights example to set of reversing a law for the purpose of discriminating against a female President.

Segregated restrooms, which are a matter of ettiquette, do not expose flaws in civil rights legislation. My opponent is confused as to what discrimination is. Neither women nor men are discriminated against in the case of restrooms: Facilities are provided for each, and they have equal opportunity to relieve themselves. Even IF restrooms were a case of discrimination, it would not mean that all other discrimination were negated! Civil rights are not moot because toilets are segregated by gender. My opponent has a ridiculous and unfortunate view of civil rights, which I can only hope to correct.

To have a child is not a criminal act, although my confused opponent compares it to one.


Since my opponent claims the issue is "readiness", whether the POTUS is voluntarily incapacitated or not is irrelevant.

All that matters is the outcome, not the intention.


So, the resolution is unworkable: If pregnancy, then other issues that could incapacitate a President.

You could just as well argue that a POTUS with a history of heart disease in his family is endangering national security. Or a candidate that is particularly old. The selection of a President could become highly discriminatory.


Also, you cannot deny an unsterilized woman the office of POTUS on a hypothetical.

Hypothetically, a male POTUS may get testicular cancer. Should we then pre-empt the possibility by insisting only on eunuchs in the White House?


The electorate has a right to choose the candidate they see fit, and are fully capable of assessing the capabilities and readiness of a woman of childbearing age for office.

In the unlikely event that a female POTUS actually does get pregnant and and wishes to be the primary care giver, ie raise children, then resignation is a less drastic option than sterilization. I think I should get the conduct points for this debate because my opponent actually goes as far as to quote mine me on this!

Another option is that the Vice President could do the job the Vice President is designated to do and manage the ship while the mother is convalescing.


The battle to make employment truly meritocratic, through civil rights, is an ongoing one and has been long and hard fought.

To affirm the resolution would be to take a backwards step.


My opponent has already conceded the debate.

"If outright sterilization is an issue, then a pledge signed under oath to forego childbearing while in office would accomplish the same purpose."

Sterilize:

to destroy the ability of (a person or animal) to reproduce by removing the sex organs or inhibiting their functions.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

A POTUS who signs a pledge has not had the ability to reproduce destroyed; the functions of their sex organs have not been inhibited even temporarily, let alone permanently. They are not incapable of reproduction, they have simply pledged not to reproduce.


Thank you to the voters for reading this debate. Vote CON.

Debate Round No. 5
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
That wasn't a definition. How did that paragraph define sterilization in any way? It just repeated the resolution.

I also make it clear that CHILDBEARING is the issue. Not sexual intercourse, not sex, not gender, but CHILDBEARING.
Posted by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
I quote your first round definition of sterilization.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
5 comments down what?
Posted by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
5 comments down vvvvv
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
Also, there was no change in the definition. I challenge you to find where I ever equivocated on the definition. THERE IS NO EQUIVOCATION.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
@bodhivaka,

Agree this resolution could have been better worded. Also agree that the celibacy comment left little room for other solutions. However, celibacy does not preclude childbirth - there is in vitro fertilization for example. The entire purpose of the resolution is to prevent childbirth. It is childbirth that results in the VOLUNTARY INCAPACITATION, not sex. De facto sterilization thus prevents childbirth, which is "enough" because it prevents the 6 week VOLUNTARY INCAPACITATION.

Regardless, I respect your vote because I can see how I left very little maneuvering room.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
@One_Winged_Rook

That's a very interesting perspective.

I would say that precluding a woman of childbearing age from office is much more of a civil rights issue than at least giving such a woman a chance by signing off her fertility rights while in office.

I think toolpot462 hit it square on - "a woman POTUS should not be allowed to undergo childbirth, and that such discrimination is only as reasonable as that of physical fitness."

I had a position but not a core argument - this debate helped me to grasp at the central issue.
Posted by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
Reasons for voting the way I did: This debate went from being really good to being really bad in a hurry....

First off it took me forever to understand what pro was positng in round 1, he could have just explained that he will argue that a woman president should be sterilized and dove right into the arguments and it wouldnt have changed a thing..... Con pointed out that the president having a child wouldnt be the end of the world and pro struggled to get around that one since the US has an elaborate system in place to keep the position of the presidency in order should the president become unable to carry out the position for any reason. After that the arguments turned into just opinion slinging of what they think would happen if the president did become president.

However Con did bring up that forced sterilization is an unreasonable request to make of the president, and that is where I believe con won the debate...... I give arguments to the con, but pro did use a ton of sources though so I give source points to pro, and con did try to pull a fast one by claiming that the pro conceded when he didnt, so i gave conduct to the pro. Grammar was tied in my opinion.

Not a very good debate, could have been a lot better, but the uniqueness of the resolution makes this debate truly unique and an interesting conversation piece so I give it 2 out of 4 stars
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
A proposal could be worded as such:

As POTUS, a woman will be incapable of bearing a child. If she intends to bear a child, she will be forced to resign, and will no longer be POTUS.

Such a proposal embodies a legal procedure that renders the POTUS, an individual, incapable of bearing a child. If this individual does decide to bear a child, this individual will no longer be POTUS. Even if this individual does end up bearing the child, the POTUS will not. Why? Because the POTUS is incapable of bearing a child. This is de facto sterilization.
Posted by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
"It is not enough that a woman pledges that she practice birth control while in the office of the POTUS. It is an unreasonable invasion of privacy to demand that she remain celibate during her term, and it is similarly not enough that a woman pledge to such a demand if offered. Therefore, I conclude that the only possible method of assuring that such a VOLUNTARY INCAPACITATION as childbearing not occur while a woman of childbearing age is in the position of the POTUS is to demand that she sterilize herself"

Your words.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Bodhivaka 4 years ago
Bodhivaka
wrichcirwiamnotwhoiamTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro explicitly stated in the first round that it was not enough for a woman to simply pledge to use birth control or commit to celibacy; therefore, I find it quite evident that the resolution demanded a medical procedure which would sterilize the woman; therefore, in my opinion, when pro conceded to the argument that an actual medical procedure was unnecessary, he effectively negated the resolution. Pro's attempt to change the definition of "sterilization" so as to refer to a legal procedure seems to be nothing more than a last-resort semantic trick, and an unconvincing one at that.
Vote Placed by One_Winged_Rook 4 years ago
One_Winged_Rook
wrichcirwiamnotwhoiamTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I think Con wins on the Civil Rights issue, although I do agree with Pro on many points. I think Pro could have won if he wasn't arguing for a law or definite requirement for it, and more just a "we as people should not vote for a woman who could have a child in office"... i think that is a more reasonable argument that he could have defended better with pretty much the same arguments. I don't think you could make a precedent like that without sliding down a slippery slope.... as I think that'd be a violation of our interpretation of the constitution. However, we as people can do whatever we want with our votes and vote based on any grounds we want
Vote Placed by martianshark 4 years ago
martianshark
wrichcirwiamnotwhoiamTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con made several convincing and important points, especially in the first round, and I'm just not convinced that a woman should be forced to be sterilized.
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
wrichcirwiamnotwhoiamTied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: see comments section
Vote Placed by rross 4 years ago
rross
wrichcirwiamnotwhoiamTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Wrichcirw is clearly a suberb and confident debater, but from my perspective this is a very difficult position to defend and I found his arguments ultimately unconvincing. I thought both sides were excellent but that Con's sterilization argument was weak. However, I liked his first round a lot.
Vote Placed by toolpot462 4 years ago
toolpot462
wrichcirwiamnotwhoiamTied
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Reasons for voting decision: At first I assumed Pro's argument would be unreasonably discriminatory, and I was impressed not only by the clarity of his arguments, but by the unbiased nature of his approach. Both Con and Pro had me going back and forth with a lot of their arguments, but I found Pro to have a more convincing case. I agree that a woman POTUS should not be allowed to undergo childbirth, and that such discrimination is only as reasonable as that of physical fitness.