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

Is abortion wrong in cases of rape?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/29/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,096 times Debate No: 26698
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)




Since this is my first debate on this site, I'll just set up some basic definitions/rules.

Rape: the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force orduress to have sexual intercourse.
Abortion: any of various surgical methods for terminating apregnancy, especially during the
first six months.


Back up all of your statistical claims with sources, or it shall be invalid.

No new arguments in the last round. It should only be for summation.

Avoid personal attacks. This is included, but not limited to: Sex/Gender, Religion.

A forfeit is considered a loss.

No more than 10-12 lines per paragraph. (i.e. no walls of text)


I thank con for this debate.

This is my first debate on the site as well. In reality I'm pro-life, however for the sake of debate I accepted your challenge and will be debating to the best of my ability.

Considering that you didn't put up any arguments in the first round to make it fair I won't either; as I assume that this is the round for acceptance.

I accept the terms and rules set out and look forward to debating. :)
Debate Round No. 1


I'd first like to propose my contentions for this debate:

1.) The rearing of the child will cause hardship for the mother.
Raising a child is a hard business. We all have heard of the cases of babies constantly crying. But raising a child brings more than stress.

Raising children costs money. A lot of it. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the cost of raising a child for their first 17 years has increased over time, and is at $235,000 as of 2011 (1). For most people, anything costing this much would cause a significant change in their lives, even without the hassle of raising a child as well.

44% of the victims are under the age of 17 (2). If they were to get pregnant, how would this affect them? All of these victims lie under the custody of their parents. Therefore, if they were to have children, this would cause hardship for the victim's entire family. All over something that they could not control.

Also, the victims would still be in secondary school by this age. Raising a child and managing school would become significantly more difficult for the mother. One study shows that girls who have a child in their teenage years complete secondary school 10-12% as much as girls who don't have kids (3).

2.) The child will face negative consequences.
A child deserves to be raised in an environment of well-being. A mother who is not ready for children will ultimately harm the child, in that the child will not be raised in a home with the proper needs taken care of. The 44% of victims who were considered underage mentioned in my previous contention probably can't comfortably hand over $235,000 to care for their child. Overall, most people wouldn't be able to fork over that kind of money, no matter what the age.

Adding to this, many negative psychological effects come out of teen pregnancy. Children of teenage mothers are more likely to be born premature or underweight, leading to many other lifelong issues (4). Another study shows that adolescent mothers are less likely to provide proper affectionate communication to their children such as touching, smiling, and verbal communication (5).

Also, it is shown that children of adolescent mothers do poorly academically. The children are held back a grade or score lower on standardized tests more often than children of non-adolescent parents (6). Children of adolescent parents are also three times as likely to serve time in prison (7).

So, statistically, this does show that allowing these adolescents to have abortions would cause test scores to rise over time, and also would free up room in jails.

3.) The child will serve as a reminder of the rape.
Rape is a traumatic event. Many women who are raped are traumatized by the event (8). Having the child will not help these women. The child will always be a product of the crime. Women would rather forget the event than having to tend to it. This does not help the severe psychological effects of the crime.

As a result, the raising of the child might face neglect from the mother.

I thank Pro for choosing to debate. Good luck!

2. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sex Offenses and Offenders. 1997.
3. Hofferth, Sandra L., Reid, Lori, Mott and Frank L. (2001)."The Effects of Early Childbearing On Schooling over Time".
4. "Statistics on Teen Pregnancy". National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
5. American Academy of Pediatrics. Committee on Adolescence and Committee on Early Childhood and Adoption, and Dependent Care (2001). "American Academy of Pediatrics: Care of adolescent parents and their children". Pediatrics107 (2): 429– PMID11158485.
6. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. (2002). Not Just Another Single Issue: Teen Pregnancy Prevention's Link to Other Critical Social Issues PDF (147 KB). Retrieved May 27, 2006.
7. Maynard, Rebecca A. (Ed.). (1996).Kids Having Kids.Retrieved May 27, 2006.
8. Richard A. Bryant, Tanya Sackville, Suzanne T. Dang, Michelle Moulds, and Rachel Guthrie (1999). "Treating Acute Stress Disorder: An Evaluation of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Supportive Counseling Techniques". Am J Psychiatry156 (11): 1780–6. PMID10553743.


I'd like to thank con once again for this debate.

Firstly I will say that I think that rape is an atrocious act with many negative consequences. I think rape should be condemned, punished, and prevented. However I do not accept that despite rape occurring that it should be deemed okay or right for an unborn baby to be killed.

1. Abortion is Murder

Abortion is the termination of the fetus. To establish that abortion is murder I will have to prove to you that the fetus is a human, as that would make abortion the equivalent of murder: the termination or killing of a person.

So to prove that to you I will look at this scientifically both genetically and biologically.


According to genetics we can test a women and we can test her fetus and we know that the fetus is genetically differentiated from the mother, meaning that the fetus isn’t the mother or the father but is rather a unique organism.


Now when we look at biology, we see that we are taught to look at an organism not from a freeze-frame stand point but rather holistically. For example if we look at a caterpillar and a butterfly they are not seen as extraordinarily different but rather they are a part of a life cycle of one organism. Therefore that means that when we look at a fetus and an adult biologically we see that there is no inherent difference, as the fetus is seen as just another development stage in human life. Therefore biologically a fetus is a human.

Not only does science point towards a fetus being human, but also various abortion rights advocates. One of these is Peter Slipper who states:

“One point on which I agree with opponents of abortion is that, from the point of view of ethics …., there is no sharp distinction between the fetus and the newborn baby,” [1]

What this means is that scientifically and also even noted by some abortion rights advocates, the fetus is a human. Therefore abortion, the termination of a fetus is the equivalent of the termination of a human. Therefore abortion is murder.

2. The value of life overrides rape

In this point I will establish that since abortion is murder, and the value of life is taken so highly therefore it overrides any consequences of rape.

The value of life is very high in our society. This may be shown through the excruciating effort that doctors go into to save a person’s life or the money that families will keep on putting in so that their loved ones can stay alive.

One way you can measure how valuable life is by observing the sentences given for murder.

In California second degree murder can receive from 15 years in jail to life. Meanwhile first degree murder can receive from 25 years in jail to life. [2]

Most states in America have similar if not harder punishments for murder. What this shows is that murder shouldn’t be taken lightly even in hard circumstances.

Looking at it legally the value of life is taken so highly that in a court of law while the hard circumstances of rape may lessen the sentence if anything, because everyone deserves a life the sentence would not be eliminated but instead the murderer would be found guilty. What this tells us is that despite hard circumstances due to rape, it doesn’t ethically warrant the murder of an innocent unborn baby.

Another way of looking at it is if the woman who was raped decided to carry her child to term. However, when the child is 4 years old she decides that the little boy’s presence in her life too much of a burden. He looks too much like his biological father. Should that mother have the right to kill him?

Abortion is just the same, as established a foetus is a human being and we should not take this lightly.

Now I will go onto rebut the arguments made by con.

1) The rearing of the child will cause hardship for the mother

Con claimed that the rearing of the child will cause hardship for the mother.

There are a number of problems with that:

1) While rearing a child after rape is no doubt hard. We must remember what abortion is. As I explained in my first point abortion is murder. That means that although circumstances may be extremely hard it is still wrong to murder.

2) Con has completely forgotten about adoption. Although as noted in Con’s

Point bearing a child usually means that girls have to go away from their education for a while, and it also raises the issue of costs. There is the possibility of adoption, as it turns out there are 1.5 million American families wanting to adopt a child [4], so the idea that it isn’t a viable alternative to give a healthy life to the child as well as solving the hardship for the mother is untrue.

2) The child will face negative consequences

The first problem with this argument is we should ask what is best for the child, and the simple answer is not being murdered.

I just wanted to say that I am so pleased to read your stance on abortion in the case of rape. My mother was a 14-year-old girl who was raped, and she tried to have an abortion. The only reason I am alive today is because the doctor miscalculated her due date and thought she was too far in the pregnancy to have the abortion, when in reality he was a month off (this actually happened twice). It pains me every time I hear even die hard pro-lifers say "except in the case of rape." I know it is traumatizing for a girl or woman that is raped to have to carry a child, but it is no more traumatizing than someone who gets shot during a violent attack and has to deal with those wounds. Counseling and therapy can help heal the trauma, but the trauma will be there whether she has the abortion or not, and the abortion could even make it worse. It has caused me so much anxiety over the years to think that many pro-lifers would have approved of my mother's abortion. By the way, she gave me up for adoption, and my adoptive parents were never able to have children. Thank you so much for this wonderful view against abortion even in the case of rape.

What this tells us is that the child would actually prefer to be alive than be aborted.

Also con as noted in an earlier rebuttal has forgotten about the possibility of adoption. Adoption is an option which means that the girl can continue with her education meanwhile the child is raised in a supportive family with all needs provided for. As well as that there are 1.5 million families in America who want to adopt a child. [4]

3) The child will serve as a reminder of the rape

Con claimed that the child will serve as a reminder of the rape. The fundamental problem with this is that con has forgotten that should the woman choose to have an abortion while they may not have the child to serve as a possible reminder of the rape, other things may serve as a reminder of the rape instead, and as well as that they also have in the back of their minds to haunt them that they aborted a child. Therefore while the child may not serve as a reminder of the rape, there are still other thoughts that would haunt the woman, as well as the fact that she chose an abortion.

To add to this we must also remember considering that abortion is murder therefore would you prefer a murder to happen or have a child that might serve as a reminder of the rape.

Furthermore if having the child as a reminder of the rape is so distressing there’s also the option of adoption. After all 1.5 million American families want to adopt a child. [4]

2]"CA Codes (pen:187-199)". 1997-01-01. Retrieved 2012-10-31

Debate Round No. 2


I will now refute my opponent's contentions, and support my own.

Abortion is Murder:
According to Merriam-Webster, murder is defined as:

"the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought"

From the same source, a person is defined as:

"human, individual —sometimes used in combination especially by those who prefer to avoid man in compounds applicable to both sexes"

For this argument to be true, we have to be certain what a "human" is.

My opponent brings up the case that because a fetus is different genetically, it is a unique organism. This does not prove the point that a fetus is a HUMAN. Since viruses have different DNA and we want to get rid of them, doesn't that apply similarly to a fetus?

Obviously that's not the case, but it's a hole in my opponent's case. Genetics can not prove that a fetus is human.

My opponent states essentially that an organism is the same throughout the duration of its entire life. Therefore, a fetus is classified as a human. However, we cannot claim that any preborn fetus is the same as a human. In fact, despite your quote, there are major differences.

According to Mayo Clinic, a fetus does not even form a heart until 6 weeks into the pregnancy, and same for the brain (1).

The fetus is the size of the tip of a pen by then. We remove living cells that large from our body without even realizing it sometimes.

The fetus does not even grow larger than an inch until 10 weeks. By then, the woman is definitely aware that she is pregnant, and shall have it removed in that proximity of time.

(Note, I'm not saying abortion past the 2nd or 3rd Trimester is morally right.)

Finally, the fetus depends off of the mother. The fetus could not live on its own anyway. Legally, the woman has complete rights to the fetus until it can live off of its own.

The mother would live for another 6 months, constantly reminded by all of the hardships of pregnancy, of the rape.

Value of life overrides rape.

As mentioned before, my opponent bases his argument off of the assumption that a fetus is considered a human. As shown, a fetus does not legally count as a human until viability. Therefore, it does not count as a "life".

Now defending my contentions.
1a.) As proved before, abortion is not murder, as the fetus is not a human.
1b.) My oppentiont brings up a good point regarding adoption. However, there's a difference between "looking for" and "doing". In 2008, 135,813 children were adopted (2). So the ratio of kids adopted/families seeking adoption is about .09, or 9%. This shows that adoption doesn't necessarily mean a child will find another home. Plus, foster homes are often on the news, because of abuse/death to children they take in.

2a.) As much as I am sorry for your condition, I'm not going to change my views. Thanks for the story.

Also, of course people would rather be alive. However, again, the child is not legally a person, and doesn't qualify to be "murdered".

3a.) You mention that other things besides the child would serve as a reminder of the rape, so an aborted child doesn't solve the issue. That may be true, but you're forgetting how much time and energy it is to raise a child. A woman will be involved in that baby's life almost 24/7 for the first year. Post traumatic events will not be as serious as the physical reminder of the baby.


P.S. I'm sorry to say that I will not be able to present my case tomorrow due to personal reasons. I will say that I'm not forfeiting the debate, however.


In this round I will refute the claims my opponent has made, as well as supporting my own.

Abortion is Murder
My opponent states (just as I did) that: “For this argument to be true, we have to be certain what a "human" is.” In this issue the fundamental difference was whether the fetus was deemed to be a human.

Con starts by attacking me that just because the fetus is a unique organism, doesn’t mean that it is a human. I’d like to remind con that I never stated that genetically the fetus is a human. However what I did state was a unique organism, with all that implies. The fundamental test in proving whether the fetus is a human is looking at it biologically.

When it came to my opponent’s response, he totally misrepresented me by stating: “My opponent states essentially that an organism is the same throughout the duration of its entire life.” What I was simply stating is while the characteristics between a fetus and a full grown human being are certainly different, biologically we are taught to look at organisms holistically, therefore viewing it as the same organism just at a different developmental stage. There I used the example of the caterpillar and butterfly, to prove that in biology it points to looking at organisms holistically. Con failed to really challenge this scientific concept this proved that whether there was a fetus or a full-grown adult, biologically both were human.

Con decided ignore this vital scientific proof that the fetus was a human. Instead my opponent decided to determine “human status” based on characteristics; pointing out the size of the fetus, whether it was growing, as well as when it formed a heart and a brain. The trouble with this perspective is that it fails to recognise the proper scientific perspective of what a human is as noted above. Not only that but even if we were going to make certain characteristics define someone as a human, it was still however discriminatory and unfair, therefore showing the scientific definition should be kept.

If we were to base human status on the size of a human, or the rate of growth of a human, then in the real world that’d be deemed discriminatory. For example in America we don’t say because you’re a small size and you’re hardly even growing then you’re not deemed a human, instead we don’t limit the status of a human to the characteristics they have, but we base it on science. If we were to limit “human status” to whether you had formed a heart and a brain or not then that’d also be deemed discriminatory. So for example if we were to say that all people without two arms are not a human, then that’d be utterly unfair, as human status shouldn’t be based on their characteristics or body parts but whether they’re deemed scientifically to be a person. So since I have established that fetus’ are in fact scientifically a person, therefore the termination of a fetus is the killing of a human which is murder. That means that abortion is actually murder.

Dependence from the mother
The last ditch attempt from con to establish that the fetus didn’t deserve the right to life, was by saying that because the foetus depended off the mother and could not live off its own. Therefore legally, the woman has complete rights to the fetus until it can live off its own. The problem with this is that we should actually look at it from a proper legal stand point, not one that has made the false assumption that all humans being supported don’t have the right to life. Legally if a human being is on life support for example dialysis machine or something else, they are not considered to have lost their human rights. So therefore we see someone who is not able to support themselves as being a human who is subject to all the human rights subjected to an ordinary citizen, most notably the right to life. Therefore despite the mother supporting the foetus, because the foetus is a human (as established earlier), it is therefore subject to all the human rights, meaning that it has a right to live.

Value of life overrides rape

Con attacked this argument, where he said that: “my opponent bases his argument off of the assumption that a fetus is considered a human. As shown, a fetus does not legally count as a human until viability. Therefore, it does not count as a "life".”

My opponent’s right to say that I base my argument off the fact that a fetus is considered a human. In fact it’d be very hard to justify that abortion is wrong without establishing that the fetus is a human. Although the fact is, scientifically the fetus is a human, while my opponent may not like this idea that is just what biology tells us. Therefore since the fetus is a human, therefore abortion is murder (as established previously). Now when you take a look at this from a legal perspective, while in a court of law, the fact that you were raped may lessen the sentence (at most) due to the trauma of rape. However legally murder is not excusable and you would still receive a punishment. Because you’d receive a punishment that signifies that abortion is still wrong and unjust even in cases of rape.


One of the issues is adoption. Earlier I raised the issue that should it just be too hard for the mother in the case of rape there’s always the option of adoption, which 1.5 million American families are wanting to do.[1]

While my opponent did make the worthy point that “doing” is different from “looking for”. My response would be that what’s probably occurring is that the regulations are too strict on possible foster parents, as well as that the bureaucracy may be inefficient resulting in less adoptions being able to occur. However even if the status quo stayed the same, there still would be enough adoption places in 2008 in the US, for all the children that could’ve been born from a rape victim. For example in the worst case scenario where only 9% of families wanting adoption actually receive the kid, there’d still be 135,813 children (as noted by con) who would be adopted. In the same year 90,000 rapes occurred.[2] Meanwhile when we add the pregnancy rate for the rapes, which state for one respectable study to be 5% we calculate that only 4,500 rape pregnancies occurred.[3] This means that rape victims could have easily adopted their children off should they have conceived them, therefore the negative effects of rape can also be reduced or eliminated for the child and woman, if the rape victim wishes to send her child up for adoption.

Reminder of the rape
One of the issues raised is the reminder of the rape. While con accepts that it may be true that other things may serve as a reminder of the rape, con states: “Post traumatic events will not be as serious as the physical reminder of the baby.” While con may be right to an extent, if the mother has a different attitude, the baby may not be a physical reminder, but rather a memory of overcoming hardship with bravery and courage, turning what is seen as a reminder of the rape into a reminder of bravery. Furthermore even if that was not the case the mother can always put the baby up for adoption (where there are plenty of spots). And also even if adoption didn’t occur, it still doesn’t justify the murder of an innocent unborn baby.

[2] "Exclusive: Rape in America: Justice Denied". CBS News. 9 November 2009
[3] “Where Akin got the idea that rape victims rarely get pregnant.” Seattle times. 20 August 2012

N.B: One of the things that con stated was in relation to that story about the person whose mother was raped and was about to have an abortion, but didn’t. When editing I accidentally took out the sentence without realizing it, explaining that this was an email that a pro-life website once got.[4] The person in the story wasn’t actually myself :/. Oops..
Debate Round No. 3


I have some free time, so I'll post my conclusion now.

My opponent believes that even though a fetus is in the mother's womb, has no basic life functions besides a basic cluster of cells that pulse which will eventually form the heart, and is completely dependent on the mother for life, it is still considered a human with basic human rights.

He also brings up the point that in biology, everyone is taught to look at organisms holistically. He never provided a source for this claim. Also, even if they are considered the same "species", they are completely different. Is that to say a caterpillar can fly like a butterfly can? I know for a fact that caterpillars can't fly. Same goes for a human. An adult can think and live for themselves. A fetus cannot do that properly. A fetus is still a cluster of cells still rapidly developing and will eventually be forming basic life functions. Therefore, it's not considered (both legally and scientifically) to be an independent human.

My opponent claims that people on life support and physical deformations should also be catagorized into the same group. However, neither have complete reliance on a human being. If that machine could comprehend the situation and wanted to kill the human, it sure could. A mother is a person. She has her own rights legally and to her own body. She should be able to make this decision if she chooses to.

Value of life
My opponent keeps basing his arguments off of the fact that a fetus IS a human. This is a fualty foundation to construct arguments on, as it is shown both scientifically and legally that a fetus is not a human. Therefore, it's not considered to be murder.

As for adoption, my opponent does not refute my statement. He first blames regulations for the low number of kids being adopted, which is completely off topic. He then states that all the kids that were produced from a rape would still be less than the total number which are adopted. He seems to think that these "rape kids" are put on a priority basis. Many families choose to adopt kids internationally, rather than domestically. Therefore, my point still stands that these kids are going to stay in foster homes, etc.

Reminder of rape
My oppenent rebuts with an illogical statement with no scientific evidence. It's obvious that his point can be ignored.

Because of these reasons, I urge you to vote con.


It’s good to see that con was able to post his conclusion. :) Now I will address the issues of this debate.


When it came to the fundamental question of whether the fetus was scientifically proved to be human, my opponent just decided say that because the fetus doesn’t have a heart and is supportive from the mother that that was enough said and therefore the fetus wasn’t a human.

Yet my opponent clearly failed to see that scientifically, just because the fetus doesn’t have a heart yet doesn’t mean it isn’t a human being. Instead it is seen merely as the same species just at a different stage of development. So for example con states: “Also, even if they are considered the same "species", they are completely different. Is that to say a caterpillar can fly like a butterfly can? I know for a fact that caterpillars can't fly. Same goes for a human. An adult can think and live for themselves. A fetus cannot do that properly.”

The problem with this view is that you are basing the “human status” on characteristics not science. So for example my opponent states that a caterpillar is completely different from a butterfly as it can’t fly. He then says “the same goes for a human”, the problem is that is you could say that babies in the first few months aren’t humans because they don’t smile, can barely think, can’t support themselves, and can’t talk. Well that’s just absurd as a born baby is a human, and therefore just because certain developmental stages are different, doesn’t mean that we make one stage not be deemed as being human.

My opponent made a last ditch attempt to try and prove that the fetus wasn’t a human by saying where’s your source? While I hadn’t expected needing a source for basic scientific reasoning, I will show you where I heard such clear scientific reasoning. [1]

There’s also a perhaps more concise, clear scientific reasoning that explains despite the developmental stage, a zygote is still considered a human as it meets the basic definition of being a human organism. It states:
Finally, is the human zygote merely a new kind of cell or is it a human organism; that is, a human being? Scientists define an organism as a complex structure of interdependent elements constituted to carry on the activities of life by separately-functioning but mutually dependant organs.[2] The human zygote meets this definition with ease. Once formed, it initiates a complex sequence of events to ready it for continued development and growth:
The zygote acts immediately and decisively to initiate a program of development that will, if uninterrupted by accident, disease, or external intervention, proceed seamlessly through formation of the definitive body, birth, childhood, adolescence, maturity, and aging, ending with death. This coordinated behaviour is the very hallmark of an organism.[3] By contrast, while a mere collection of human cells may carry on the activities of cellular life, it will not exhibit coordinated interactions directed towards a higher level of organization. Thus, the scientific evidence is quite plain: at the moment of fusion of human sperm and egg, a new entity comes into existence which is distinctly human, alive, and an individual organism - a living, and fully human, being. [4]
The fact is that when you look at the science, we see that the fetus is a human organism and therefore since it isn’t a human, it doesn’t deserve to be murdered.

Dependence from the mother

My opponent thinks that just because the mother is pregnant and has the reliance on the fetus therefore she has the legal rights to terminate it. To start off with, in this debate my opponent didn’t cite why the mother had special legal rights to murder a human just because she’s supporting it. While I pointed out the legal precedent of people on life support still being required all the human rights, my opponent stated that because the fetus was always relying on the mother therefore she could terminate it. Yet my opponent tactically forgets that many people actually a supported either by doctors, or mothers sometimes with even more work than a mother will have to put into carrying a baby, yet the human who is being supported is still legally entitled to their human rights.

Furthermore even if this was an infringement on woman’s rights then we’d have to ethically and legally balance up between murder and infringing woman’s rights. And what we see legally and ethically is that murder overrides the infringement of woman’s rights. Therefore since abortion is murder ethically we are obliged to see the murder as unjust no matter what the excuse.

Value of life overrides rape

When it comes to this issue my opponent keeps on establishing that abortion isn’t murder so therefore we needn’t worry about it. However as already proven scientifically abortion is murder and therefore in the case of rape murder overrides it. Therefore abortion is still wrong even in cases of rape.

When it came to adoption, my opponent wasn’t able to successfully show that in actual fact there are adoption places for children who have been conceived from victims of rape.

Con first starts attacking me by stating that when I blamed regulations etc. on adoption that it was off topic. All I was implying was that if we were to choose the moral decision and not allow abortion in cases of rape then it’d make sense for children services to be improved, so therefore the children born of the rape victims wouldn’t be negatively affected. However as I already noted if the status quo didn’t change then there’d still be plenty of spaces for the children of rape victims, after all by my calculations if all of them were adopted off they’d only be in 3.31% of families (based off previous statistics referred to earlier in the debate). Con then attacked the fact that there wouldn’t be adoption places for the children conceived from rape victims, as American families usually adopt overseas and I’m assuming these children would be put on high priority. Considering the excruciating problems outlined for children in cases of rape, I’d find it extremely unlikely for these children not to be put on high priority and furthermore as noted they’d be calculated to take up only 3.31% of adoption places. So therefore we cannot murder as well as minimising the negative effects on the mother and children due to rape.

Reminder of rape
My opponent claims that what I stated in regards to this is illogical and unscientific. Well I’d say that it’s a pretty obvious logical psychological principle, if the mother chooses to connect the child with positive traits (i.e. the mother’s achievement in persisting and bearing the child) then the reminder of the rape is minimised or eliminated. While con claims what I said is unscientific, he also didn’t note any scientific evidence for his claim that the child would be a reminder of rape. So therefore it stands that by the mother having a different frame of mind on what the child means, then a reminder of the rape is minimised or eliminated.
Because I was able to prove that abortion is actually murder, and therefore in despite of rape it is still wrong, as well as proving that the negative effects of rape could be minimised by adoption or a positive frame of mind from the mother. Therefore proposition is affirmed: abortion is wrong.

So Please Vote Pro!

[2] MedlinePlus/Merriam-Webster Online, s.v. "Organism,"
[3] Maureen L. Condic, "When Does Human Life Begin? A Scientific Perspective," The Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person, Westchester Institute White Paper Series 1, no. 1 (October 2008): 7.
[4] See Judith G. Hall, "Twinning," The Lancet, 362 (August 20, 2003): 735-43. See also, National Institutes of Health, Stem Cell Information Glossary, s.v. "Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)," accessed March 15, 2011.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
RFD part 6:

So, who won?

- The kid could be a reminder of the rape, but neither side did much with this.

- Childrearing does involve hardship. Secondguy couldn't refute this.

- Fosterkids can have it hard. Secondguy couldn't refute this.

- Abortion is not murder. Firstguy made this clear. All of Secondguy's arguments depended on this issue. For instance, he says that it is worse to commit murder than to give up your child for adoption. But---since abortion isn't murder---that doesn't mean it is worse to have an abortion than to give up your child for adoption.

Persuasion points go to Firstguy.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
RFD part 5:


Both sides were horrible.

Did they mean to discuss fetuses? Really? As a tactical matter, Firstguy should be talking about zygotes, or at least embryos. He's not defending second and third trimester abortions anyway, so screw fetuses. And Secondguy seems to think that all products of conception are called fetuses, but when he quotes someone saying that aborting a fetus is the same as killing a newborn, he is probably engaged in misrepresentation when he tries to parlay that into a condemnation of all abortion.

And how about the test of what is murder? Did they want to discuss whether the zygote is a person, whether it's human, whether it's a human, or what? Here's how an argument goes:

P1: All men are mortal.
P2: Socrates is a man.
C: Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

Note the recurring terms. It wouldn't work if you tried it this way:

P1: All men are mortal.
P2: Socrates is a human.
C: Therefore, a naked ape with Socrates's unique DNA is mortal.

That doesn't begin to work. Figure out your terminology; nail it down. Be clear and consistent.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
RFD part 4:

Issue 4: Abortion is murder.

Secondguy says abortion is murder, which is patently false. If it were murder, Secondguy would have cited the relevant murder statute. Firstguy points out that it is false, wins this issue.

But even if it were true, what would that have to do with morality? This debate is supposed to be about whether abortion is wrong, not whether it is legal. Secondguy did well not to expand the childrearing issue to discuss the inconveniences of pregnancy; Firstguy likewise did well not to expand the abortion-is-murder issue to discuss whether abortion should be murder. It sucks for readers hoping for a substantive discussion, but it was undeniably good tactics.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
RFD part 3:

Issue 2: It's tough being the unwanted child of a teen mother who is not financially or emotionally equipped to rear a child.

(Note on nomenclature: When I was a kid, you raised vegetables, and reared children. That was proper English then. People don't seem to talk that way anymore, so it's fun for me to see Firstguy revive this usage. I wouldn't introduce the term "childrearing" myself, though, for fear people would think I was intending a joke about priests.)

Secondguy claims that fosterkids live in tall clover. Patently absurd. And Firstguy refuted it.

Issue 3: The kid will be a reminder of the rape.

So what? She won't remember the rape if she doesn't have the kid? I think Firstguy left out an important part of this argument. I imagine that being raised by a mother who gets angry when she looks at you is part of the problem, but Firstguy didn't say so.

Secondguy's response is no better. If mom gets her mind right, she won't be bothered by the memory. That makes as much sense as saying that if Secondguy gets his mind right, he won't be bothered by all the abortions going on. According to that logic, nothing does any harm ever, because if people were more resilient, they wouldn't be distressed.

Secondguy goes so far as to say that if the victim gets her mind right, the damage can be eliminated. No harm done. Rape turns out to be okay after all.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
RFD part 2:

Issue 1: Childrearing involves hardship.

Firstguy would say that we shouldn't make people go thru childrearing if they don't want to. In a free country, that ought to be your own choice. (Yes, that sentence clarifies the issue better than Firstguy managed.) Secondguy says you can adopt the baby out, thus eliminating the problem. The child will be raised in a loving environment, with all its needs tended to.

It infuriates me that Secondguy acts like the problem begins at birth, as if there is no hardship during pregnancy. But Firstguy let him get away with it. Secondguy is responding to the specific issue that Firstguy raised. It would be a tactical error for Secondguy to enlarge the topic to include areas not covered by Firstguy. So, Secondguy, well played.

However, Firstguy points out that fosterkids aren't guaranteed adoption, and don't acctually have plush lives. Secondguy's responses to this point are confused and ineffectual. Plus, Firstguy is clearly correct.

Secondguy also argues that abortion is murder. That argument is relevant here, but will be treated separately.

Obiter Dicta: Firstguy didn't raise this issue, but I'm going to. But I want to be clear that I'm not favoring Firstguy for an argument he didn't raise. It does not accrue to his favor that he failed to use an important argument that was available to him. Secondguy claims that the woman isn't oppressed by being forced into childrearing. He says she can avoid childrearing by putting the kid out for adoption. That's an unwarranted assumption. Just because you didn't want to have a kid, that doesn't mean you can surrender a kid that you have already had. I want to do an analogy: Suppose the rapist argues that rape doesn't do any damage because the woman can always have an abortion. That makes as much sense as Secondguy's argument.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
RFD, part one:

Firstguy is Con. He initiated and argued first, but still calls himself Con. This causes needless confusion. If he's going to argue first, he should phrase the resolution ("Resolved, Abortion Is Not Morally Wrong") so that he can be Pro. Since I'll get confused and make mistakes if I try to call them "Pro" and "Con," I'll call the initiator "Firstguy," and the responder "Secondguy."
Shouting Fonts: Secondguy should not use shouting fonts. Doing so offends needlessly, and probably tends to prejudice people against your case.
S&G: While the above issues are not worth points, Secondguy's problems with expressing himself is worth the spelling and grammar point. It's often hard to figure out what he intends to convey. Some examples:
""... we see that the fetus is a human organism and therefore since it isn"t a human, it doesn"t deserve to be murdered." He probably means it is a human.
""Value of life overrides rape." What's he trying to say here?
""When it came to adoption, my opponent wasn"t able to successfully show that in actual fact there are adoption places for children who have been conceived from victims of rape." Say what?
""So therefore we cannot murder as well as minimising the negative effects on the mother and children due to rape." Very confused.
These are just examples of why it was a headache to try to wade thru Secondguy's posts.
S&G point to Firstguy.
Posted by danaT 5 years ago
I believe abortion is wrong all together (that's just my opinion) but you always have to put it down to what the mother wants especially in a situation like this- She might be in too much pain to even think about having a child, she could be mentally/physically unfit to raise a child, financial struggle,maybe shes just not ready and think thats the best option,she could be to young...The list goes on
Posted by pete 5 years ago
Forget what I was saying in my 3rd sentence, I was getting confused on which side I was on. I understand now that I'm arguing that abortion is wrong in cases of rape.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by wiploc 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.