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

In some cases, abortion can be ruled as a justifiable homicide.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/25/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 613 times Debate No: 76966
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




First, let me specify that I oppose elective abortion, but I support it for the following reasons: The health of the mother is adversly effected by pregnancy, the child will suffer anyway,, the mother is a mental patient who is traumatized by (pregnancy would make me suicidal),, and so on. If the mother is raped, abortion can be justified if the pregnancy causes her to relive that trauma. I am a modeerate when it comes to abortion.


Thank you to PRO for instating this debate and I look forward to an interesting and fruitful discussion! I ask that a good way of words be maintained and that no arguments should be presented in the final round. Allow me to define the burden of proof for both sides of the house today:


PRO needs to justify that abortion can be ruled as both justifiable in some cases and that abortion is homicide by nature
CON needs to justify at least one of the following: that abortion is unjustified in all cases or that abortion is not homicide by nature


Seeing that PRO has not defined any terms, I shall proceed to do so:

Justice: The proper administration of the law [1]
Abortion: The deliberate termination of pregnancy [2]
Murder: The unlawful premediated killing of one human being by another [3]


P1) Abortion is not homicide

As is clearly defined in the definition above, murder is the killing of one person by another. The key word here is the term 'human', which may seem like a hazy term with no clear thresholds in the context of a debate concerning unborn babies. Thus, I shall take the liberty to define what a human is.

It is recognised in many countries, especially those that draft laws regulating or opposing abortion, that the organism inside the womb becomes a human (the beginning of life) when it is medically determined that the fetus can survive outside the womb [4]. Exactly when a fetus achieves this stage can vary, but laws peg to the 24-28 week mark and , during which the fetus has about a 40%-80% chance of survival outside of the womb [5]. In other words, and for the purpose of this debate, it is illegal to abort after 28 weeks of gestation as the fetus is considered a human from that point onwards.

Thus, we arrive at the conclusion that in principle, abortion in its own right is not a form of homicide.

However, the practical facet of abortions is not accounted for. Hence, we look at three possible categories of abortion under the context of the aforementioned law:

1. Abortion is carried out before 28 weeks of gestation

This is not homicide and hence disproves the motion.

2. Abortion is carried out after 28 weeks of gestation, but is done so for reasons other than to protect the health/survival of the mother or to relieve the mother of psychological trauma.

While this is clearly homicide, this is not justifiable as both sides of the house today acknowledge that aborting for reasons other than to protect the mother psychologically and physically in critical scenarios is unjustified. Moreover, it is hardly a justified act if said act is infringing the law.

3. Abortion is carried out after 28 weeks of gestation, but is done so to protect the health/survival of the mother or to relieve the mother of psychological trauma.

Once again, this is classified as homicide, and can be deemed as unjustified since it is a breach of the 28-week law.

Please note that while it is established that both sides of the house today agree on the fact that aborting for reasons other than to save the mother's life or to alleviate her psychological trauma (i.e. rape, incest), this does not necessarily mean that both sides of the house today agree that using abortion to achieve this is necessarily justified. In response to this, I will prove that abortion is not the only way to safeguard the physical and psychological interests of the mother.


In conclusion, I have defined the terms and demonstrated that abortion is either not homicie, or is homicide but not justifiable, disproving both burdens of proof of PRO, and have upheld my burden to prove that abortion is not homicide in its very nature. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from PRO!


Debate Round No. 1


I have PTSD that would be triggered by pregnancy. Are you really saying that I should be forced to give birth? What if the mother has an ectopic pregnancy which is usually fatal? These are all examples of how self defensde is a right. I agree that elective abortion should be banned, but I have no problem with abortion for the health of the mother.


cathaystewie forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


I shuld get the vote because the opposition forfeited.


I would like to start off by apologising for forfeiting due to other recent commitments. I would also like to remind PRO that my forfeiture does not warrant him/her as other factors ought to be accounted for when voting. PRO has not responded to my previous characterisation of the problem that legally justified abortion is not homicide, thus I assume this point falls to me. Though I have already fulfilled my BOP through doing so, I will extend my case under the premise that abortion is in fact classified as homicide for whatever reason for the sake of this debate.

I would also like to amend one of my definitions, in which I wrongly defined the term 'murder' instead of homicide'. Here is the revised definition:

Homicide: The killing of one person by another. [1]

As one can see, the definition still concerns that of a human and thus my previous characterisation that abortion is not a form of homicide still stands.

I will first rebut the exceptional cases that raised by PRO in their previous arguments

Ectopic pregnancy

Despite the ugly truth that ectopic pregnancies are often lethal for both the mother and the child in the latter stages of pregnancy, there is one thing that PRO has overlooked in their forceful attempt to appeal to our sympathies - that the medical procedures performed to combat ectopic pregnancy are not abortion.

If PRO were to call my earlier definition of abortion, he/she would realise that abortion is the DELIBERATE termination of pregnancy. In other words, any course of action taken in the name of abortion has the sole aim to end the life of the fetus/baby inside of the womb. There are two main medical procedures that are normally undertaken under legal terms:

1. Laparoscopic surgery - involves small incisions to facilitate removal of infected tissue (not urgent)
2. Organ removal surgery - extracting the fallopian tubes and ovaries (dire)

In both cases, the intention is to save the life of the mother and the fetus/baby, not death. Death may very well be a byproduct of these procedures, or may simply be the last in a series of symptoms indicating the mother's deteriorating health. Either way, it is never a direct result of the procedure and thus said procedure is not an abortion, given that the treatment is carried out in accordance to standard regulations. In other words, ectopic pregnancies are NOT relevant to this debate.

PTSD caused by rape/incest

There are two approaches to alleviating the trauma one experiences from being raped or after engaging in incest without terminating the life of the fetus:

1. Counselling and psychological therapy, and in rare cases
2. Artificially inducing labour followed by intensive care for the premature infant to minimise duration of pregnancy

Counselling is not only free of any medical complications, it is also the most effective approach by far, as it deals with the root of the issue that is the rape/incestuous act. Professor Stephen Krason at Franciscan University sings its praises [2]:

"when given the proper support, most pregnant rape victims progressively change their attitudes about their unborn child from something repulsive to someone who is innocent and uniquely worthwhile."

To make matters even clearer, it has been medically substantiated that abortion may actually exacerbate the problem of PTSD rather than a method that seeks to heal it. A study revealed that 44% out of the hundreds of women surveyed reported abnormal levels of nervousness, and 60% have actually contemplated suicide [3].

In order for abortion to be rendered legitimate on both a moral and functional basis (even if the BOP only states that he do so for some cases), PRO must prove that abortion is the only effective and feasible option to achieve the goal of safeguarding the mother's interest. In this case, I have brought to the table alternatives that are capable of doing so WITHOUT the expense of the baby, while proving that abortion is actually more harmful than beneficial in terms of psychological wellbeing.

I will now address the principle side of this debate and talk about why it is unfair on the fetus/baby assuming that we disregard my argument that abortion is not homicide and that the fetus/baby is qualitatively identical to that of a human being.

The baby is not the aggressor

In all cases of abortion, whether it be selective or in exceptional cases, the baby is never the cause of the ordeal because it cannot be held accountable for its own conception. If PRO is to characterise the baby as a human, why is it, then, morally permissible for the law to discriminate against the baby because of its circumstance of conception and ability to make decisions, especially when everyone is supposedly "equal in front of the law"? Why should the mother's life be prioritised over the life of the baby both in cases where the presence of the baby does and does not threaten the survival of the mother if one is to argue that the baby is a legitimate human?

Simply put, I do not have the right to kill someone because they resembled the assassin who shot my grandfather. The person has no authority over his appearance in relation to the assassin, nor does he/she have control over the fact that said I am deeply disturbed by the prospect of said assassin. Similarly, a baby/fetus should not be subjected to death for the action of his/her parents, nor should it or anyone, for that matter, be killed to alleviate the suffering of another person.

The baby did not choose its parents

Once again, we are sticking with the principle that all humans should receive equally moral treatment given that the fetus is now considered a human. It is hardly fair and equal that some fetuses are graced with the opportunity of life while some are abruptly killed over contexts and circumstances that they had no control over. The fetus is not given the choice of whether it wants to be born into a victim of PTSD or born into a mother as an ectopic pregnancy or born into a successful and normal pregnancy. Hence, in the name of equality, it is never moral to kill fetuses who happened to be born into less-than-ideal situations.

I understand that there are instances such as miscarriages and unsuccessful deliveries where the baby dies inadvertently. These can be equated to people who die in life through means of natural disasters or tragic accidents whereby they made no contributions to the fruition of these events. These cases should not be taken into consideration for this discussion as the matter being debated here is equality under the premise that the life of the fetus is free of these unexpected situations.

Broaden the context

All exceptional cases that often raised in defense for the moral legitimacy of abortion (i.e. mother is a drug addict, mother cannot financially support baby) INCLUDING the two raised by PRO are not logically sound for the simple fact that no one makes such arguments about children after birth. If one is to characterise a fetus as a human and advocate for the mother's right to kill said baby for various reasons, then surely the mother is justified in killing a child just because the child reminds the mother of the time she was raped or because the child is depleting the mother of her monetary supply.

Only we don't hear about abortion advocates or anyone rooting for the right of the mother to kill the child in these instances. This is a lack of consistency in when a human is eligible to his/her right to life and thus warrants a logical fallacy in any attempt to morally justify abortion.


I have proven to you that PRO's exceptional cases are not ethically sound, and have demonstrated that even if my argument that abortion is not homicide does not stand, abortion in general is still not morally permissible. Thank you.

Debate Round No. 3


All the counseling in the world does not change the fact that pregnancy can be traumatic for a rape victim. I was raped and I have a medical condition that causes me to relive it. Are you saying that I should be forced to give birth? What if a woman has an ectopic pregnancy?


Thank you to the PRO side for his/her response.

PRO has evidently not read the section in my previous argument where I addressed the matter of ectopic pregnancy. I very clearly stated that, in correlation with the definition of 'abortion', any medical course of action with the aim of resolving ectopic pregnancies should not be classified as an act of abortion because the death of the baby/fetus is not a desired effect nor direct result but rather an accidental byproduct. PRO has also not responded to all three of my principle arguments on abortion under the premise that the fetus is qualitatively equivalent to a human, thus the principle arguments fall to my side of the house.

On the issue of counseling and PTSD, I was the only side of the house to actually prove the aspect of efficacy. I have proven to you the effectiveness of counseling through my quote of Professor Krason and simultaneously and statistically demonstrated that PRO's model of abortion to combat PTSD actually aggravates the problem instead of solving it.

And this is assuming that the aspect of effectiveness even matters in the first place. PRO must uphold the fact that abortion is the only way to achieve the purpose it was designed to serve, and that it is more morally permissible than other alternatives. I have brought to the table two alternatives, and I believe it is undisputed when I say that said two alternatives of counseling and labour induction are easily more morally permissible simply because they do not necessitate the death of the fetus/baby.

PRO keeps on raising hypothetical and hollow questions such as "What if..." and "Are you saying that...?" What is absent from PRO's arguments is his substantiation for these claims that he makes. It is not upon my side of the house to refute his points (even though I have done so) unless PRO demonstrates it to be logically sound first. Raising exceptional cases where the morally legitimate nature of killing the fetus is more controversial does not equate to that being justified.

As CON, I am burdened with the responsibility to prove at least one of the following things:

1. That abortion is not morally permissible in all cases
2. That abortion is not homicide

I have fulfilled the second entry in Round 1 by saying that abortion is not homicide because the fetus at hand is not a human. I have fulfilled the first entry in the remaining rounds by rebutting examples raised by PRO of which he believes justifies that abortion is sometimes morally permissible, and arguing that abortion is never morally permissible through three principle arguments.

I have also argued on both sides of the debate: when the fetus at hand is not considered a human, and when it is considered a human.

PRO has to prove both of the following:

1. Abortion is homicide by nature
2. Abortion is sometimes morally permissible

PRO has not responded to all three of my principle arguments on abortion under the premise that the fetus is qualitatively equivalent to a human, nor has he been able to sufficiently substantiate his two exceptional cases or reply to my contentions against them. Hence, he does not fulfill his BOP.

Because I was the only interactive side of the house that has provided ample reasoning and supporting analysis for my arguments and the only side of the house that has fulfilled its BOP, I should be the one to take this debate. Vote CON!

Thank you to PRO for such an interesting debate and all audience members and voters for your time.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Preston 2 years ago
Pro -
Con - Arguments

I give Con arguments because of the following:
BOP: Pro does not prove the resolution is correct, I see no attempt to support the resolution or even an attempt to prove anything. Con however takes on their own BOP, which is unnecessary but works for them because their opponent is unable to make proper refutations to them. Cont thus shows that the nature of abortion is not homicide in nature.

Overall a good debate on cons part, Pro you have work to do, and things to learn. Stick around the site and improve ;)
Posted by cathaystewie 2 years ago
Apologies, just a quick correction to this sentence in my Round 3 argument

"There are two main medical procedures that are normally undertaken FOR ECTOPIC PREGNANCY under legal terms"

I don't know why these errors always make their way into my arguments undetected XD
Posted by YeshuaIsTheOneTrueGod 2 years ago
Thank you for debating me.
Posted by cathaystewie 2 years ago
I do apologise for my forfeiture as I have been busy of late and do not had the time to post my argument onto here. PRO, please feel free to go ahead and continue with your arguments. Sorry if this comes as an inconvenience to you.
Posted by YeshuaIsTheOneTrueGod 2 years ago
This has nothing to do with liberal orconservative, and this website is actually libertarian, not liberal. I am an independent moderate, not a liberal or conservative.
Posted by Daktoria 2 years ago
I'd debate this except DDO is a liberal website which basically means you're asking to get voted against just because people here are pro-choice.

If you want to discuss this in private, I'll do so, but you can't honestly expect people to have a public debate with you about this here.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bballcrook21 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: This vote is a no brainier. Just by glancing over, you can notice how much bigger and more detailed Con's argument is. His argument is a rebuttal of many general arguments for abortion, and he states arguments of his own belief. Writing goes to Con since he had much more advanced vocabulary and better spelling. Argument goes to Con as his argument was much more extensive, has sources, and was very well organized and thought our. Pro's argument was more a very bad interrogation, as it was just a series of questions for the most part. Sources go to con as he is the only one that used sources.