The Instigator
Myrant
Con (against)
Winning
29 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Late Term Abortion

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Myrant
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/10/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,413 times Debate No: 18267
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (5)

 

Myrant

Con

I am pro-life. Basically I do not fully understand the motivations of people who are advocates of late term abortion. In some ways I am not really interested in the "when does life begin argument." By suggesting a subject of late term abortion, lets say after 23 weeks, my intent is to take much of that out of the debate. I picked 23 weeks after a cursory legal search because there have been successful births at this point and in some states abortion is allowed up to 24 weeks (perhaps later - cursory search only). The point is - what is the argument for aborting a baby when the child could be born and survive.

My opponent may certainly argue that life has not begun but it seems logical that if the child could be born and survive (granted the percentages are apparently small at 23 weeks) then that negates much of the weight of that argument.

Big topic without doubt. I am interested in learning what arguments will be used and what are the motivations of a committed advocate for abortion. Please feel free to present arguments or simply accept the debate.
Danielle

Pro

Many thanks to my opponent for beginning this debate.

Before we begin, I'd like to make a few clarifications. While I am personally against late-term abortion, if I can defend this concept against Con's arguments then I will have won this debate despite my own beliefs on the matter. I will not be arguing about the morality of delaying an abortion until the last months of pregnancy, but rather whether or not this action can be justified. Primarily my argument will pertain to the function of the law and how it exists to protect rights -- not to dictate moral issues which involve no violation of rights. As such, I assume the concept of rights - how, why and when they exist will come into play in this discussion.

Good luck to Con in what I hope will be a very interesting debate :)
Debate Round No. 1
Myrant

Con

Pro thanks for taking the debate and good luck to you as well. To begin I have a clarification from my side as well. First, late term abortion can be justified: for example, medical emergency such as aggressive cancer diagnosis requiring immediate treatment. That is being forced to choose between the lesser of two evils that reasonable non-absolutist people recognize.

In your clarification, you state that you will not argue the morality of the issue. I argue that you cannot reasonably debate this issue without discussing the morality. A discussion of legal rights, especially with regards to this issue, cannot be neatly separated from morality which leads me into your second point. You state that you will primarily argue that the law exists to protect rights – not to dictate moral issues which involve no violations of rights. This is a moral relativism argument. Again, I will argue, with regards to late term abortion morality plays a central role in the issue especially when viewed through the prism of moral relativism. Finally, I will make a brief argument why late term abortions (with implied reasonable exceptions for medical emergencies) should be illegal based on existing law.

Pro states that she will not argue the morality of delaying a late term abortion. She also implies that the law and rights are separate from morality. This argument fails because many rights are based solely on morality. Morality simply cannot be separated from the issue because we don't want to discuss or acknowledge such things. For example, what if a child, born to poor parents, had a severe mental defect but was otherwise healthy? Why not simply terminate that life? The child will not serve humanity in any way and will in effect be a drain on society during his or her lifetime. The medical costs for this child will come from the state, which is using my monies collected through a tax. This state sponsored funding violates my rights in a materialistic society devoid of a moral code because I am being compelled to pay for something that I had nothing to do with and will provide no benefit to me. In this case, western society does not kill the child simply because it is wrong to kill the child. In a society without a moral code it would certainly not be to our advantage to allow the child to live. The defenseless child in this example has legal rights that society has granted the child based solely on a moral code. This moral code can be based on religion, philosophy, or some generally accepted social standard but it is indeed a moral code and it is present in foundation of law and cannot be separated. Rights are often derived solely from moral standards.

Pro's "rights separate from morals" argument is moral relativism. In moral relativism everyone's personal morality is equally valid. Your viewpoint about any issue is as valid as mine. Ultimately there are: no standards; no norms; no taboos; no good or evil. Using this system and the example child, I can argue that the child's right to exist, in a moral relativism reality, would be less than my right not to be taxed for his support. In following the tenants of moral relativism you ultimately find out that might makes right in this system. In a system where there is no standard of right or wrong - ultimately, strength is right and weakness is wrong. If not wanting to pay for the defenseless child is as valid as the desire to exist that the defenseless child has then might wins and the child's desire to live loses. These same arguments can be extended to a viable but unborn child who actually has the potential to contribute to society. Using the principles of moral relativism (ultimately might makes right) – shouldn't the unborn but viable fetus have greater rights than the born but severely deformed child due to potential? Would my opponent argue that the born but deformed should have not have rights and recommend immediate termination of that life?

Now with respect to the legalities concerning late term abortion, If an argument can be made that a child born with major mental defects has rights (and in western society the child does), then why shouldn't an unborn fetus have rights? My opponent argues that "the law exists to protect rights – not dictate moral issues which involve no violation of rights." The question inevitably becomes, whose rights are we referring to? The mother's or the child's? In the 1973 Roe ruling the Supreme Court ruled that the state had no compelling interest in protecting potential human life until viability, defined at 24 weeks. In the 1992 Casey ruling the court reduced that to 22 weeks. These rulings imply that the state recognizes and confers fetal rights based on potential. Additionally, fetal homicide laws exist – you kill a pregnant Mom and you get charged with two murders.[1] These laws certainly imply that killing a fetus is murder. Based on these rulings and laws I argue that western society does not accept moral relativism and that late term abortions should be illegal.

[1] http://civilliberty.about.com...
Danielle

Pro

Danielle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Myrant

Con

My opponent must be otherwise engaged. Therefore, if my opponent wishes to post an argument for the last round, I will briefly post answers to questions or clarify my position as required in the comments.

My opponent should feel free to do the same if desired.
Danielle

Pro

Danielle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
MyrantDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Not sure what happened, but forfeit none the less.
Vote Placed by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
MyrantDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: f
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
MyrantDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Myrant, congratulations for managing to beat Danielle, one of the toughest debaters on this site. But I won't guarentee that you'll get a victory as easily as this time if Danielle actually participated...
Vote Placed by BangBang-Coconut 5 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
MyrantDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: (Sorry Danielle) I realize there was no actual debate here, but it still feels good to be able to give straight sevens to the side I side with a debate that I so rigorously believe.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
MyrantDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit. And congratulations to Myrant for beating the number 1 debater on the site in his first debate. That doesn't happen often.