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Is Abortion Morally Acceptable?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/20/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,215 times Debate No: 78825
Debate Rounds (5)
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Hi, everyone!

This debate will answer the question of whether or not abortion is morally acceptable during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.

The Burden of Proof is shared; whoever makes the better argument wins.

My opponent will be arguing that abortion is morally unacceptable during at least the first two trimesters of pregnancy, and I will be arguing the counter.

My opponent should post his/her argument in Round 1, and may also post an argument in Round 5 (so you get an extra argument!).

To the voters, please vote for whomever you think made the better argument instead of whose position you agree with.

Thanks, and good luck!


I accept the debate. I will be arguing on the premise that the termination of a fetus is not morally acceptable.

In regards to your previous statement, burden of proof is not shared. Morality is subjective, as not all humans possess moral values and not all human possess the same values that you could consider "moral".

First you would need to define morality.

Morality (n): principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.

Morality in itself means that an organism has to possess the ability to judge from right or wrong, or the self control to act or not act upon any decision concerning moral value. Many make the argument that morality is taught, as humans are not born with an innate conscience that allows them to make these sorts of decisions.

I await your opening argument.
Debate Round No. 1



First of all, I'd like to thank bballcrook21 for accepting this debate. I'm sure it will be interesting!

To clarify, the burden of proof in this debate is, in fact, shared. I must provide evidence that abortion is morally acceptable, while my opponent must provide evidence to the contrary. Also, I'm pretty sure that the creator of a debate is able to choose how the burden of proof is applied (it says this in the rules).

Your definition of morality seems pretty on point; thank you for providing it.

So now, let's go to the arguments!

As my opponent stated earlier, morality is the set of principles that define right from wrong. Generally speaking, an action is considered moral if it increases the well-being of those involved, while an action is considered immoral if increases the suffering (decreases the well-being) of those involved. Assuming that my opponent agrees with this analysis, in order to determine if abortion within the first two trimesters of pregnancy is morally acceptable, we must determine whether or not it produces suffering among those involved.

Of course, in the case of abortion, the two organisms most directly involved are the mother seeking the abortion and the embryo or fetus being aborted.

First, we must determine whether or not the well-being of the mother seeking the abortion increases or decreases due to the procedure. According to (Source 1), the main reasons that a woman chooses to have an abortion are (a) contraceptive failure, (b) inability to support a child, (c) to end an unwanted pregnancy, (d) to prevent the birth of a child with severe medical defects (e) to end a pregnancy caused by rape or incest, and (f) to prevent the health of the mother from becoming endangered.

Clearly, none of the above reasons are morally unacceptable, as they reduce the suffering of the mother involved. While all six main reasons listed do so because the mother does not want to have the child in question, the sixth reason further reduces the suffering of the mother by preventing her health from becoming endangered.

Of course, the organism most affected by an abortion procedure is the embryo or fetus being aborted, so it is vital to determine whether or not the embryo or fetus in question suffers during an abortion in order to determine whether abortion is or is not morally acceptable.

According to (Source 2), (Source 3), and (Source 4), the clear answer to the question of whether an abortion during the first two trimesters makes the embryo or fetus involved suffer is no.

As explained in Source 2, a fetus is physically unable to feel pain until at least the 28th week of pregnancy, after the third trimester begins. Fetuses are unable to feel pain until this time because "they haven't formed the necessary nerve pathways," according to Mark Rosen, an anesthesiologist a the University of California. Until the third trimester begins, says Rosen, "the wiring at the point where you feel pain, such as the skin, doesn't reach the emotional part where you feel pain, in the brain." As explained below, Rosen is referring to thalamocortical connections, which connect pain receptors in areas such as the skin to the brain, where the pain is processed and felt.

Furthermore, according to Source 3, a review published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), "fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester." JAMA's study finds that "the capacity for conscious perception of pain can arise only after thalamocortical pathways begin to function, which may occur in the third trimester around 29 to 30 weeks’ gestational age." In addition, Source 4, a study produced by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), writes that "fetal awareness of noxious stimuli requires functional thalamocortical connections", saying "the capacity for functional pain perception in preterm neonates probably does not exist before 29 or 30 weeks" due to the lack of said connections.

Clearly, although fetuses develop pain receptors much earlier in their development, all three sources agree that fetal pain is virtually nonexistent until the third trimester, when thalamocortical connections (fibers that connect the pain receptors to the brain, where the pain is processed) begin to be produced. As shown, since fetuses are unable to process pain until the third trimester (when thalamocortical connections are produced), abortion procedures occuring before the third trimester begins do not produce any suffering and are, as defined above, hence morally acceptable.

Of course, many anti-abortion advocates ignore the above studies and state firmly that fetal pain may begin before or at only twenty weeks of gestation. However, the ACOG study addresses this claim, stating that "the statement 'substantial medical evidence recognizes that an unborn child is capable of experiencing pain by not later than 20 weeks after fertilization' is not accurate" due to the conclusions of the comprehensive scientific studies conducted by both JAMA and ACOG itself (Source 5).

Overall, I believe I have clearly demonstrated that the practice of abortion is morally acceptable throughout the first two trimesters of pregnancy, as the practice does not cause suffering to any of the organisms involved and is hence not immoral, given the definition of morality that my opponent provided.

Thank you, and best of luck to my opponent.




The question being asked currently refers to abortion being morally permissible.

An argument lacks plausibility when it forgets to take into account the subjective or objective sense of morality. Morality is a subconscious set of laws that govern the decision making of most human beings that possess a sense of morality, which by definition is the ability to decipher from right or wrong. On a subjective sense, morality is not an inherited trait, rather it is taught or learned, and in some cases, enforced.

What you forget the mention is the latter, which is moral interpretation. What you may interpret as moral, or "right" may be interpreted differently by others, who may view it as "wrong". The difference between morality and law is that morality is not enforced. A moral code relies on a strong will, self control, and conscience of the individual possessing such a trait. A murderer, for example, may not possess a moral code, as he/she has taken it upon him/herself to commit an act of murder, thereby violating another person's right to life. This would not be morally permissible, granted you take morality into an objective sense.

Scientifically, it is rather difficult to argue with your sources. It is agreeable and proven that fetuses do not feel pain, emotional or physical, before a given time during the pregnancy.

I link life with freedom. Life's potential increases exponentially, which then has to be met my an exponential increase in freedom. As your age increases, as you mature, you attain more knowledge, more ability, and more rights to use that knowledge and ability.

A fetus is not very different. A fetus is a potential human being.

By terminating a potential human being, you are henceforth denying said human being of its guaranteed right to life and due process. Many, including myself, view this to be murder, as the potential human being has no say in whether it's life ends or is continued.

2 arguments can be made from what I previously stated: the human being could do great evil, and disease harbors the same kind of death as the one previously mentioned.

1. There is a natural cycle of evil and good, with each's characteristics being determined by the absence of the other. The absence of light creates darkness, just as the absence of good creates evil. I have heard many "pro-choice" advocates refer to abortion as a way of terminating "future evil", which to me is sickening. What many forget to notice is that both good and evil is a human trait, which creates the very core of any complex organism. What we perceive as good or evil can be perceived differently by others. The very sense that a fetus being terminated is moral, since it deletes the potential of evil, is a ludicrous argument.

2. Disease is caused by harmful bacteria, most of which can be killed and its effects reversed by the usage of modern medicine. There is no moral aspect in which bacteria decides that it infecting a human being is wrong. The difference is that a human being truly has no say in the effects of disease, but it can be controlled by different means. There is no plausible way that you can contain another human's need to do evil, other than consequences, which only deter few people from committing horrific acts.

You seem to confuse morality with a sense of judgement and a conscience. Morality is enforced by outside powers, such as religion. Morality is a code of laws, which differ from the laws of government. The difference between the two, is that morality ignores necessity, and looks at emotion, which laws, (in most cases) ignore emotion, and look at necessity. It is necessary to protect people from murder and rape, just as it is necessary to protect a fetus from being murdered by its host.

For the most part, abortion is looked down upon by religion and religious people, me being one of them. What most religious people state, is that abortion undoes the work of God, and goes against a fundamental Christian principle that it is not a human's place to take life, which has started to be less cherished.

It is not good to debate from a religious sense, as religion does not and for the most part, should not influence laws. Due to this, my next argument will refer to law, rather than religion.

The Constitution guarantees all human life, including a fetus, the right to life and liberty as well as due process. When the continuation of life is relied on someone other than the human being judged, then that can be deemed as morally unjust and wrong. By definition, abortion is an escaping of a consequence to the previous stupidity of a human being.

Contraception rarely fails, especially as technology advances in the modern world. The main reason why abortion occurs is because of an unwanted pregnancy, which is usually generated by rape, molestation, (in very rare cases) contraceptive failure, and the inability to support a child. Christianity fixes these issues by stating that you should not engage in sexual intercourse until you are properly married to someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with. This takes into account the morbid stupidity of an average human being, in which they will get married at a point where they are young and unable to take care of themselves, let alone a baby.

Rape is the only reason as to why a fetus can be terminated, in my eyes. Some go far as to state that rape should not result in abortion, as the murder of a fetus does not make anything go away.

Instead of abortion, adoption should be the clear alternative. This will not only generate more state jobs, but it will end the practice of aborting human beings for monetary compensation.

"As early as 12 weeks they are, if small, fully formed human beings, they have eyes, fingers, toes, heart and a nervous system. By 8 weeks gestation a fetus can flex their spine, an indication that enough of a nervous system exists to enable it to feel pain. While fetuses of that age lack a fully developed cortex experiments on animals lacking a cortex show that they withdraw from painful stimuli. Dr Nathanson, an early proponent of abortion became a pro-life campaigner after he saw 12 week fetuses shrink from instruments and open their mouths in a scream during an abortion." [1]

Debate Round No. 2


Alright, now on to the rebuttals!

My opponent begins his rebuttal by contending that my argument lacks plausibility because it "forgets to take into account the subjective or objective sense of morality." While my opponent is correct in his analysis of subjective and objective morality systems and their applications, he seems not to understand that the Burden of Proof in this debate is shared and he is hence just as responsible for providing his chosen system of moral decision-making as I am. I alone am not obliged to provide such a system (though I already have) - rather, as the BoP is shared, we must each defend our chosen systems of morality to an equal extent and explain how said systems apply to the question of whether abortion in itself is morally acceptable.

Con then states, correctly, that I view morality as objective - it seems that, due to his later claims that murder inherently violates one's right to life and humans have inherent rights to use their knowledge and abilities, Con believes in an objective sense of morality as well. If, of course, Con wishes to fulfill his share of the Burden of Proof in this debate, he must defend his preferred system of morality's application to whether abortion is morally acceptable and show mine to be invalid - I, of course, must do the same. I have already provided, explained, and defended my objective view of morality - please reference my Round 2 argument for further explanation.

My opponent's first moral argument against the acceptability revolves around the that "life's potential increases exponentially, which then has to be met my an exponential increase in freedom," saying that "a fetus is a potential human being" and that "by terminating a potential human being, you are henceforth denying said human being of its guaranteed right to life and due process."

However, this argument, while seemingly valid, actually contains an intrinsic fault (this is different than each of the two supposed counterarguments that my opponent rebukes in his argument).

In Con's argument, he contends that "by terminating a potential human being, you are henceforth denying said human being of its guaranteed right to life and due process."

What Con seemingly fails to understand in his argument is the scope of what can be considered a "potential human being." While he is correct in asserting that a fetus is a potential human being, he fails to account for the reality that, in fact, all human egg cells and sperm cells are also potential human beings.

Unless my opponent is arguing that it is equally immoral to terminate a living egg cell or sperm cell as it is to terminate an embryo or fetus (I sincerely doubt he is), I'm afraid that his argument is deemed invalid, as arguing that it is morally unacceptable to terminate a potential human being is, by default, arguing that it is immoral for an egg or sperm cell to be terminated. Unless my opponent is contending that it is immoral not to use every single egg and sperm cell found within the human body (this would be the only way to prevent said cells from dying), his argument seems to be at fault.

I also must ask my opponent if his argument that it is immoral to terminate life due to that life's right to freedom applies only to human beings or also to other living creatures. If this argument does only apply to humans, I would appreciate it if he could explain why this is, while if the argument also applies to non-human beings that have the ability to experience freedom, &c., I would appreciate if my opponent could clarify whether or not he supports the termination of the lives of non-human organisms with said abilities in order to harvest, say, food.

I must also take issue with my opponent's above argument in that having the potential to be/do something and actually being/doing something are two entirely different things. According to the moral system I introduced, which revolves around the concept that an action is morally acceptable as long as it does not produce suffering, abortion is acceptable in the first two trimesters of pregnancy as the fetus in question is physically unable to suffer (my opponent has already accepted this analysis, saying "it is agreeable and proven that fetuses do not feel pain, emotional or physical, before a given time during the pregnancy"). Though a fetus does have the potential to suffer later in its development, this is irrelevant, as virtually anything has the potential to do so as well (provided that it, at a point in the future, develops into an emotionally capable organism). Terminating something with the potential to feel emotion and terminating something that can actually feel emotion are two completely different things - once more, virtually anything has the potential to feel emotion provided that it develops into an organism able to do so, meaning that to refrain from terminating anything with the ability to develop into an emotionally capable organism would be essentially impossible.

Of course, my opponent could argue that a fetus is different than other things with the potential to develop into emotionally capable life because a fetus is already in the process of doing so - however, I am yet to see why this factor would be considered relevant to the underlying question at hand.

My opponent next accuses me of seeming to "confuse morality with a sense of judgement and a conscience," saying that "morality is enforced by outside powers, such as religion." However, this is an incorrect analysis, as people (clearly) have differing views of morality, many of which are based off of that person's innate sense of right and wrong and not necessarily influenced by outside forces. Of course, my opponent is still yet to clarify his preferred objective or subjective moral system, which must be defended in order for my opponent to argue against the moral unacceptability of abortion and hence fulfill his share of the Burden of Proof.

While my opponent does acknowledge that part of his moral point of view is based off of religion, he also chooses not to have religion influence his arguments in this debate, a decision which I greatly appreciate (it saves a lot of off-topic debating). However, if my opponent does wish to inject religion into his argument, proper evidence in the validity of the religion of his choice must be provided, of course.

Instead, my opponent cites the Constitution as a source of his argument against abortion. Please note that the Constitution is not an accepted moral guide (if my opponent disagrees with this analysis, I would appreciate if he could give his reasons for doing so).

Next, Con, instead of arguing that abortion is morally unacceptable, directs his argument towards how to prevent unwanted pregnancies. This is irrelevant to the question at hand, as we are discussing whether the act of abortion itself is morally acceptable, not how to prevent abortion.

My opponent next says that "rape is the only reason as to why a fetus can be terminated." However, my opponent provides no reason for having this belief. Personally, I think it's pretty clear that being anti-abortion but pro-abortion in the case of rape is massively hypocritical, as if a fetus is worthy of protection, it should be given protection even if its mother was raped, as an abortion would result in killing the fetus as a punishment for something that it did not do (this would be hypocritical regardless of what the mother wants, as if one were to concede that abortion is inherently immoral, the mothers' opinion on the matter would be irrelevant).

My opponent then provides an argument in favor of adoption, which is very clearly irrelevant to whether abortion is morally acceptable and is instead just another off-topic method of preventing abortions from happening.

Con ends his argument by providing a long quote describing the development of a fetus and how fetuses "open their mouths in a scream during an abortion." This quote has clearly been added as an attempt to pander to the emotions of those reading the debate. How 'cute' a fetus is or whether it can scream is irrelevant to whether abortion should be moral, and is instead a last-ditch effort to turn readers against abortion through emotional exploitation.

In conclusion, I believe that I have successfully rebutted each of my opponent's arguments by explaining how an organism with the potential to feel emotion is different than an organism that can actually feel emotion, as well as addressing each of my opponents' additional claims (he has mostly provided methods to prevent abortion instead of actual arguments against abortion). I have also provided a clear and concise moral system that I will base my arguments off of, while my opponent has failed to do so. Finally, my pro-abortion argument from Round 2 regarding how to determine whether an action is morally acceptable remains intact, as my opponent agrees that it is valid. Due to the reasons presented, my share of the Burden of Proof has clearly been fulfilled as of the now, while my opponent is yet to fulfill his and/or refute mine.

I look forward to the remainder of this debate and wish my opponent the best of luck!


The first thing to recognize is that all who are alive have benefited from not being aborted, assuming that they lead a life that they are proud of and a life that they want to continue. All who make arguments for or against abortion recognize that they have enormously benefited from not being aborted.

For example, if you were to gain some large amount of money, (lets go with $1 million), and then state that we should have a 100% inheritance tax, you would at least need to recognize that you have already inherited that money, and are not going to lose anything due to that tax. Of course, this is not a perfect analogy, but people at least need to continue on the trend of "I am glad I was never aborted". Assuming that you are happy with your current state of being, you at some point have to be happy that your mother never got an abortion.

Not having been aborted is a prerequisite on having any discussion on abortion.

Once again, there is an overlying subjective as well as objective sense of morality. I will argue that killing unless in self defense is not morally acceptable.

Abortion relies on your definition of murder as well as your definition of human. I find that any being carrying the cell structure, body structure, and potential capacity of a human is to be considered one as well. Legally, any human being, born or unborn, deserves its right to life and liberty.

I will begin to state again that your argument is built primarily on assumption. You assume that everyone being's moral code will accept the preemptive murder of a fetus, which is truly not the case.

You also go to state that morality is not enforced by outside sources, which it is. I can clearly agree that not every being has the conscience to enforce their own morals upon themselves, but it is incorrect to state that religion cannot enforce morality. The sense of human moral values came from religion in the first place, and has been enforced by it ever since. The difference is that moral enforcement versus legal enforcement is rather different. To enforce morals, you have to create leverage, in which your action will have a very certain but not immediate consequence. On the other hand, to create legal enforcement your action has to have a minimum and a maximum consequence. Generally speaking, most religions enforce morality by stating that the being will experience a certain fate in the afterlife depending on what moral laws they have broken.

I do believe that life is a very precious and brittle thing, and that it should be protected dearly(I am referring to humans, as I value human lives over the lives of other species).

I previously have stated that one of the few actions that could result in an abortion should be rape, and I stand by that remark. In no way am I stating that an abortion, due to rape, is moral. There is a reason why legality is not affirmed by morality, but self control is. It is immoral to be insulting, but it is not illegal. Objectively, many humans do possess a moral value, and I am sure that all humans possess a minimum in the least. However, this moral value varies. It is incorrect to assume that all human being possess an equal moral compass, just as it is incorrect to assume that all human's moral compass would allow for the abortion of a fetus, no matter the reason.

The mistake that you make is that you assume I am speaking morally, in that specific argument, rather than legally. If you look at legal statements, you will see that there are some things that need to be done that are not moral. Abortion is a necessity. It is necessary to have an abortion for certain reasons, such as health issues of either the mother or the fetus, as well as the reason for the pregnancy.

The issue of abortion hinges on the question of personhood, which is the main issue. Abortion is by definition terminating the life of a being, which is murder. The difference is how you define the fetus. The reason why I accepted this debate is because there is no clear definition of a fetus, other than the scientific definition. There is no all accepted idea that a fetus is or is not a human being. Most, if not all humans have the ability to understand that taking the life of another human being, unless under dire circumstance, is a grievous sin, thus becoming immoral.

Your argument would work if this was based on legality, but this is based on morality. You cannot prove, that there is a objective morality in which abortion is legal. You can prove that there is a subjective morality in which abortion is legal, but not all believe in this, thus the subjectivity. It is rather hard to argue a subjective case, as opinions vary.
Debate Round No. 3



My argument for this round will essentially be a rebuttal of my opponent's reasoning, as none of my original claims seem to have been addressed by Con at all and are hence still valid.

My opponent's first argument in this round is that "the first thing to recognize is that all who are alive have benefited from not being aborted," saying that "all who make arguments for or against abortion recognize that they have enormously benefited from not being aborted." Con asserts that "not having been aborted is a prerequisite on having any discussion on abortion," contending that "assuming that you are happy with your current state of being, you at some point have to be happy that your mother never got an abortion."

As I explained in my argument last round, the same logic can be applied to the fertilization of egg cells. I'm sure that the people who are happy that they weren't aborted are the same people who are happy that their egg cell was fertilized (for one, I feel confident in saying that both Con and I have benefited from having had our egg cells fertilized). The argument that terminating a fetus is preventing a potential life and the argument that failing to fertilize an egg cell is preventing a potential life use the exact same logic - unless my opponent is arguing that it would be morally unacceptable not to force every woman to have every last one of her egg cells fertilized (Source 1), his argument is invalid. A potential being with the potential ability to think and feel is much different than an actual being with an actual ability to think and feel - if this wasn't the case, Con would essentially have to be arguing that all egg cells, sperm cells, and other 'potential' human beings deserve the same rights as actual, already formed human beings. If I'm not mistaken, this is absurd.

Con failed to address my above logic in his last argument, though it was clearly presented in my Round 3 post.

My opponent's second argument in this round seems to be that "killing unless in self defense is not morally acceptable." Presumably, by implying that killing in self defense is morally acceptable, my opponent is defending the practice of abortion if the mother's life is endangered. However, I find this immensely hypocritical, as killing in self defense is extremely different than killing an innocent being in order to save yourself. For example, it would be morally permissible for Person A to kill Person B in self defense if Person B is already trying to kill Person A, but I doubt it would be morally acceptable for Person A to kill Person B if Person B is just an innocent bystander. In the case of abortion in order to save the mother's life, the second situation is the relevant one, as Person A (the mother) is killing 'Person' B (the fetus) even though Person B has done nothing wrong. Once more, I clearly addressed this claim earlier in my third round argument, though my opponent seems to have yet again failed to try to rebuke any of my arguments.

My opponent's next argument revolves around his belief that "any being carrying the cell structure, body structure, and potential capacity of a human is to be considered one as well." However, there are two main problems with this, both of which I have addressed earlier (once more, my opponent seems to not be able to mention or rebuke any of the arguments I have made). First of all, a fetus does not have the complete "cell structure" and "body structure" of a living, breathing human until well into the third trimester of pregnancy (Source 2; please note that I am only arguing in favor of abortion during the first two trimesters, as stated above). Fetal development is constant and gradual - it's not like one day there isn't the cell/body structure of a human being and the next day there is. I would like my opponent to clarify at which specific point he believes a fetus has the cell/body structure necessary to be classified as a human being - certainly, this point can't be conception, as at conception the zygote has no major structural similarities whatsoever to an actual, developed human. My second problem with my opponent's claim is that "any being carrying the... potential capacity of a human is to be considered one as well." As I stated above, this would mean that all egg and sperm cells deserve the same rights and protections as fully-functioning human beings, as egg and sperm cells are, in fact, potential human beings. I surely hope Con isn't arguing that women should be forced to use every single last one of the egg cells that they produce during their life time.

My opponent's next argument contends that "the issue of abortion hinges on the question of personhood," saying that "abortion is by definition terminating the life of a being, which is murder." My opponent also states that "there is no all accepted idea that a fetus is or is not a human being," though insists that "most, if not all humans have the ability to understand that taking the life of another human being, unless under dire circumstance, is a grievous sin, thus becoming immoral." Of course, besides the blatant contradiction created by the latter two statements (my opponent states that there isn't a consensus on whether a fetus is a human being but simoultaneously suggests that taking the life of one is 'a grevious sin'), this argument is still flawed. As my opponent does admit, there isn't a consensus on whether a fetus should be considered to have the rights and protections of a living, breathing human being. Hence, it is up to both Con and I to present and defend our subjective moralities and explain why they are correct in determining whether a fetus does deserve said rights and protections. While I have already presented my argument in this regard (please refer to basically all of my Round 2 argument), Con is yet to do so. He has already stated that "it is not good to debate from a religious sense," though I'm yet to see his argument in defense of his theory that a fetus should be given full rights and protections from conception (once more, my argument regarding this matter is explained in essentially all of my Round 2 post).

My opponent also contends in his argument that I believe that "morality is not enforced by outside sources." As my opponent has stressed again and again, our moralities are subjective, meaning they differ from person to person. While one person's subjective morality might be internal, that of another might be affected by an outside source, such as religion. Frankly, it seems like Con is accusing me of saying things that I'm not. My opponent has stressed on quite a few occassions that this argument is about our subjective moralities, a statement that I agree with. However, he seems to be under the false impression that I have the full Burden of Proof in this debate and am hence compelled to defend my subjective morality while my opponent must merely attack it - this, of course, is untrue. As I established in Round 1, the BoP is shared in this debate, meaning that both of us have equal duties to present our subjective moralities and defend them. My opponent spends a large portion of his argument contending that, regardless of whether abortion should be permissible from a legal perspective, I cannot prove that it should be permissible from a moral perspective. Con states repetitively that I "cannot prove, that there is a objective morality in which abortion is legal," saying that I can only "prove that there is a subjective morality in which abortion is legal." While this is true, my opponent is clearly implying that it is up to me and solely me to provide proof for the validity of my subjective morality - this, of course, is blatantly untrue as per the terms of the BoP established in Round 1 of the debate. My opponent has just as much of an obligation to present and defend his version of subjective morality as I do - contrary to what he seems to be asserting, I am not obliged whatsoever to provide more evidence in favor of my morality than Con is for his.

Overall, I believe I have successfully demonstrated in this round why my opponent's arguments regarding the morality of abortion are invalid. As my opponent is yet to present a rebuttal of my original claims (it seems that he wants to avoid doing so), my original argument in favor of abortion's moral permissibility still stands, while his seems to have been invalidated. Once more, I must stress that the Burden of Proof in this debate is shared, meaning that my opponent is just as responsible for accounting for his subjective morality's validity as I am mine.

Thanks, and good luck! :)





Once again, your argument does not resemble one that can be proven by facts.

There is no large counter argument that can be made that specifically explains whether or not abortion can be morally acceptible.

The debate in question is if abortion IS morally acceptable, which varies from person to person.

You may state that abortion is acceptable and I may state that it is unacceptable. Until you prove that somehow all humans share an objective moral stance on abortion itself, and then define what occurs, then your argument will actually be plausible. On the other hand, your argument can be easily shut down because it is subjective.

Abortion is not acceptable in accordance with my moral stance, but it may be with yours.
Debate Round No. 4


I have actually reiterated four times in this debate that the Burden of Proof is shared, not solely mine. This is in accordance with my statement in the first round that "the Burden of Proof is shared." Please check (Source 1) to verify that the creator of a debate is, in fact, allowed to determine who the Burden of Proof lies upon. According to DDO rules, "before any debating begins, the criteria for who has the burden of proof and how the winner of the debate is determined should be established."

Clearly, however, my opponent fails to understand this. Either Con doesn't read my arguments or he chooses to ignore them, as my opponent has failed to address my repeated assertion that the BoP in this debate is shared, regardless of how many times I have reminded him of it (four, to be exact).

As per the meaning of a shared Burden of Proof, both Con and I must provide evidence for our respective sides of the debate, with the creator of the best argument winning. Yes, as I have repeated on multiple occassions, my moral standpoint IS subjective, but so is that of my opponent. Neither he nor I have an objective morality that we can prove to be true, and due to the shared Burden of Proof, I am NO MORE OBLIGED to provide evidence for my standpoint than he is his. Hence, the winner of this debate should be decided solely based off of who makes the better argument.

My opponent has stated "until [I] prove that somehow all humans share an objective moral stance on abortion itself," I cannot win this debate, also asserting that "[my] argument can be easily shut down because it is subjective." However, as repeated many times, the BoP in this debate is shared, meaning that these two quotes could easily be reversed and applied to my opponent. As per the established terms of the BoP, I do not need to prove my argument any more than Con does, though he clearly does not understand this.

If my opponent wishes to counter this claim and argue that the BoP is not shared, he has broken the rules of this debate established in Round 1 and hence automatically forfeits. You knew what you were signing up for, Con, and you can't change that now.

Overall, I do hope that voters in this debate consider each of our arguments, analyze them thoroughly, and vote based off of whose seem more valid. Note that, at least as of now, I have provided multiple evidences in favor of the logical validity of my morality, rebuked attacks on said evidences made by Con, and shown Con's evidences to be invalid.

Thank you, and good luck! :)




I agree upon the idea that the BoP is shared.

The difference is that the proof you need is much more different than the proof I need. You have just agreed upon my main argument, in which I state that morality is subjective.

It is highly agreeable that most human actions are driven by moral values, as it is rather difficult for most humans to go against their moral compass, as they will then feel guilt.

Here is a Gallup poll that was done on the topic of abortion, and there is a graph there that talks about the morality of abortion.

Here you state that morality is objective, or at least some sense of morality is objective. Here is a poll that shows people viewing abortion as either moral or immoral.

In this previous debate, you have realized that this debate is highly subjective, and you cannot win subjectiveness with objective arguments. You have then decided to turn the debate in your favor by dismissing the subjective sense of morality and focusing on the non-existent objective sense, which you are still arguing for. Your argument can be as long as it possibly could, but it is WRONG. No matter how you look at it, or what you argue, it is all your opinion. For your argument to be plausible, it needs to be based off of facts. At the end of the day, you can argue, but all I need to state is that I believe it is not acceptable under my moral compass.

Your argument is invalid. Once again, do not argue subjective with objective, it will never work.
Debate Round No. 5
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by barrelcactus 1 year ago
I agree that abortion should be legal.
Debater supporting abortion: WORK ON YOUR DEBATING SKILLS.

Why ?
We are overpopulated. Right now we have 7.2 billion people on Earth.
In 1900 is was 1.6 billion.
We will run out of food and water if this number increases. We need population growth control.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
>Reported vote: Balacafa// Mod action: Removed<

1 points to Pro (Conduct). Reasons for voting decision: I understand that both sides made mistakes in there arguments and there was a bit of confusion with the BoP so I'm going to ignore this issue. Aside from this I found arguments to be equal and equally refuted by both sides. What made me give conduct to pro was the fact that con's attitude towards the debate seemed to be lacking conduct. We can use this example: "Your argument can be as long as it possibly could, but it is WRONG." This lacks conduct and is insulting Pro therefore conduct goes to Pro.

[*Reason for removal*] This voter seems to view an attack on an opposing argument as a personal attack, but it's entirely unclear how calling an argument wrong is lacking in conduct or insulting. There may be other examples, but if this is the basis for the conduct point (as it appears to be), then it's mistaking the target of the statement, and is therefore not valid as a reason for allocating the conduct point.
Posted by canis 2 years ago
In effect it would be rape of women who wants abortion....when made iligal.
Posted by Greg4586 2 years ago
Canis, I am 100% pro choice, but that is one of the dumbest things I have read in a long time. Being pro-life has nothing to do with wanting to control women. This is a point brought up a lot and it's simply just wrong.

The pro life movement is mostly made up of people who believe abortion is wrong and should be illegal. It has nothing to do with wanting to control women's bodies and it is nothing remotely close to "pro institutionalized rape of women"

Also your spelling and grammar is horrible.
Posted by canis 2 years ago
Those who want to make abortion illigal. Are in effekt pro institutionalized rape of women, (taking control of her body).
Posted by lol101 2 years ago
@Greg True, but since it's such a big topic, you can expect that people will debate it. People have the freedom to choose.
Posted by BMSxRIO 2 years ago

No you cannot provide any sufficient kind of doctoral or universally agreed upon rules for morality that can apply to every instance.

When you hurt someone else's feelings is that moral?
Morality has nothing to do with it, this is "empathy" being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes. Emphatically, one wouldn't do this because it would hurt themselves an it's bad for the other individual because nobody likes having their feelings hurt.

Does doing community service make you a morally justified person to some extent?
No, that's benefit, that's not morality. You do something for someone else or something else because you have a goal, you want to feel good, or you'll get something out of it. Like working on a school or local park, it's a service that will be beneficial and can help people. That's not morality.

It's bad to do something to yourself that is detrimental to yourself and it's bad to do something that can be detrimental to somebody else. This is basic morality, to a degree because again morality isn't universal and is totally subjective.

That martians thing was totally irrelevant to the whole argument by the way, next time you might want to retort with something that is on par. Granted, there is generally one truth to everything but again, that truth can be distorted. What is accepted might not be truth, and what is truth is subject to change.

If truth is subject to change, morality is subject to change.
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
if the system is
Posted by Greg4586 2 years ago
IK a lot of people may feel strongly about this topic, but come on. There are probably over a thousand abortion debates, and most of them are practically the same thing and don't go anywhere. At this point it's just simply redundant.
Posted by 21MolonLabe 2 years ago

I would have to disagree with you on the idea that morality is subjective.

Since you are speaking about the Bible, I will assume that you are talking about Cultural Relativism. People have different beliefs all of the time. Let's say that Person X believes that there is life on Mars and Person Y does not. Both cannot be right. Two beliefs, but only one is true. The same could be said for Cultural Relativism. Different cultures believe different things, but the fact that they have these beliefs does not result in truth. There can only be one truth.
No votes have been placed for this debate.