Legalization of Abortion
Looking forward to a fun and invigorating debate. :)
Thanks to my opponent for accepting. This is my first abortion debate, so this will be an interesting experience.
My case relies on a sole point: life begins at conception. If an unborn child is alive when aborted, the abortion is murder, and murder is illegal. Sources are bolded
"The term conception refers to the union of the male and female pronuclear elements of procreation from which a new living being develops." -Greenhill and Friedman Biological Principles and Modern Practice of Obstetrics W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1974
"A new individual is created when the elements of a potent sperm merge with those of a fertile ovum, or egg." -Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th Edition Article on Pregnancy Chicago, 1974
"It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and the resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to this union that constitutes the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual."
-Bradley M. Patten Foundations of Embryology McGraw-Hill, 1964
"Since the old ethic has not yet been fully displaced it has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra- or extra-uterine until death. The very considerable semantic gymnastics which are required to rationalize abortion as anything but taking a human life would be ludicrous if they were not put forth under socially impeccable auspices."
Editorial -"A New Ethic for Medicine and Society" California Medicine, September 1970
"The over-riding message of all this new research is that the life of a baby begins at conception. Informed care of that child must also begin at conception, or even before, if he or she is to have a good chance for healthy life."
-Chicago Tribune, September 12, 1977 "A new lesson from DNA - life begins at conception" A news article reports on conference of scientists meeting in Montreal which released a wealth of new research in the study of DNA
"A baby begins as a single cell, smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. ... This cell is created by the union of two parent cells: the female egg cell or ovum, and the male sperm cell."
-The First Nine Months Geraldine Lux-Flanagan Simon and Shuster, 1962
"The human genome is a peal, a model of high performance and reliability. Millions of times a year, egg genome meets sperm genome, and the result is a human baby, its parts all in place, its brain a universe of love and meaning."
-New York Times, June 27, 2000 in an article discussing developments of the Human Genome Project
"Modern biology teaches us that ancestors are united to the progeny by a continuous material link, for it is from the fertilization of the female cell (the ovum) and the male cell (the spermatozoon) that a new member of the species will emerge. Life has a very long history, but each individual has a very neat beginning - the moment of its conception."
-French geneticist Dr. Jerome Lejeune "A Very Neat Beginning" Social Science and Modern Society, May/June 1982
All of these can be quotes can be found at https://www.nrlc.org...
Historically, the consensus has been that life begins at conception. It is not up for debate. The science is settled. This is the basis for my first contention.
C1. Abortion is Murder
1. Life begins at conception
2. Life continues while the fetus is in the womb
3. Ending a life is murder
4. Aborting an unborn child is ending a life
Conclusion: Aborting a child is murder.
C2. Debunking the women's "right to choose"
1. No man or woman can legally murder another human being. It is unjustifiable.
2. An unborn child is alive
Conclusion: Much like you cannot kill at dog for peeing on your lawn, you cannot kill a baby for being in your body.
C3. In the case of rape...
Less than 1% of all abortions take place because of rape and/or incest. That's right, of the 1.06 million abortions that took place in 2011, less than 1% were because of rape or incest. It is also worth noting that less than 1% of parents were under the age of 15. Source: http://www.operationrescue.org...
In the case of a mother's life being jeopardized by the fetus, less than 1% of abortions are performed to save the mother's life. http://www.abortionfacts.com... Even 48 years ago, Dr. Alan Guttmacher of Planned Parenthood conceded that-
"Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal illness such as cancer or leukemia, and, if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save, life."
Remember that this is today, in 1967. Medical advancements happen at an exponential rate, so it is a given that Guttmacher's statement is still true, if not true-er, today.
Conclusion (of all the contentions) : Abortion is murder, murder is illegal, and the scapegoat of the <1% of serious cases is ineffective compared to the millions of "convenience abortions" that unjustly kill children.
I await Pro's argument.
I thank CON for his clear and concise arguments. Abortion has always been a touchy topic and I must admit that I’m a little out of my comfort zone here, but nevertheless, I have decided to give the debate my best shot.
So getting to the debate, I would like to commence this round by addressing CON’s argument’s in the previous round so that the continuation is maintained.
In his first argument he says that “Aborting a child is murder.” But the way through which he drew this conclusion is actually, erroneous. The faultiest among the premises that he applied, is the third one, where he claims that ‘Ending a life is murder’. The fallaciousness of this reasoning can be demonstrated by replacing some of the variables in the logic, for example:
1. All living creatures have life.
2. Tape worms are living creatures
He also states the fact that murder is illegal, so accordingly, killing a tapeworm is illegal.
As you can see, taking a life is not the equivalent of murder and there are definitely no reasons as to why it should, as CON claimed, be illegal.
Also something that needs to be made clear here before moving on, is that:
A foetus is not a human being:
A foetus cannot be called a human being. Only after cutting the umbilical cord, does it gain independence and become a human being, until then it is a part of the mother’s body just like other living organs and tissues inside her. Just as how, you cannot call ‘seeds’ as ‘trees’, nor, can you assign them the same value, a foetus is not the equivalent of a human being.
In CON’s second argument he comes to a really weird conclusion. He reasons that:
I do agree with his first two statements but I don’t really follow the conclusion. By following CON’s logic of ‘ not killing any living things inside your body’, we should then all stop taking medicines or cease getting treatment for diseases because the micro-organisms or tissues that come into our bodies, are living things. Anyhow the point is that the conclusion that CON makes is unsound.
For his third argument he states that only a few cases of abortion were reported in which rapes and incest were the reason. But this statistic does very little to help CON as such because, firstly, victims of the above mentioned, very rarely come out in the open and admit their situations and secondly, the place taken into study is America, a nation that is well-developed and modern, there would be drastic contrasts in lesser developed countries not covered by the statistic. The resolution for this debate isn’t region specific, so CON should argue from a general perspective than a specific one.
And with that done, I move on to my own arguments:
Abortion is not done unnecessarily:
I) Women don’t voluntarily get pregnant to get an abortion:
Women don’t get pregnant just to get an abortion. It’s not something that they fancy undergoing. Only unintentional or unplanned cases of pregnancies lead them to opt for abortion. Making abortion illegal would be like punishing them for an accidental mistake they did.
II) Not doing an abortion might spoil their future or destroy their dignity or both
Abortion wouldn’t be chosen by women if they had the option of having a good life ahead after the baby is born. In almost all cases abortion is either done to save a women’s future or dignity. For example, a teenage mother wouldn’t be able to take care of her future and her baby at the same time.
III) Poor parenthood and low quality lives:
Forcing a women to deliver a baby that she doesn’t want, means adding an extra responsibility to her that which she didn’t need or was incapable for. It isn’t irrational to assume that children growing up in such a situation would be under neglect and without care. These children would end up having low quality lives and would be paying for a mistake they never did.
Illegalization of abortions would on the whole lead to negative impacts:
My adversary argues for illegalizing abortions but he fails to present any positive gains on how illegalization would be actually helpful.
So if abortion is made illegal, would all the women who want to get an abortion suddenly change their mind? No, that is not the case. They would still be bound by the circumstances that would want them to get an abortion. An estimate done in the U.S during the 1960s says 200,000 to 1.2 million abortions happened illegally per year.
Another comprehensive global study showed that abortion rates are similar in countries where it is legal and those where it is not, suggesting that outlawing the procedure does little to deter women seeking it.
Dr. Paul Van Look, director of the W.H.O. Department of Reproductive Health and Research, said in a telephone interview. “What we see is that the law does not influence a woman’s decision to have an abortion. If there’s an unplanned pregnancy, it does not matter if the law is restrictive or liberal.”
II) Illegal abortions tend to be dangerous for women:
Illegal abortions are usually performed by people lacking the necessary skills, or in an environment lacking minimal medical standards, or both. These are dangerous to women and can be life-threatening. Legalizing abortions would hence give women the opportunity to come out openly and seek professional help.
Obviously justified cases:
Some cases like where the life of the mother is threatened, cases of rapes, cases when there is a possibility that the baby would be born with dangerous diseases or physical handicaps etc., justify abortions without the need of any arguments. Hence, even if this constitutes only a smaller section of all abortions, it means that my stance has with that already been partially proved.
And with that I conclude this round. I believe I have made my case firm.
Over to you CON
Thanks Pro. I will take this round to defend my points, as well as to respond to those of my opponent.
Defense of "Aborting a child is murder"
I concede that the logic of my R2 argument was flawed, as I did not mention that it relied on the point that a fetus is a human. After a quick Google search, we can see that murder is officially defined as "the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another"
This of course is illegal. "Tapeworms" are not humans, but the fetus is.
Debunking "A foetus is not a human being"
Pro relies on the notion that a fetus is inhuman because it is dependent on another organism. This logic is erroneous, as it suggests that all dependent beings are inhuman. This includes those on life support, people using donated organs and/or pacemakers, and conjoined twins. This point has been proven false by not only me, but by the eight sources I provided in R2 that easily prove that life begins at conception. "Micro-organisms or tissues that come into our bodies," but the fetus is.
Debunking Pros rebuttal to my third argument
"victims of the above mentioned, very rarely come out in the open and admit their situations" unsourced
"the place taken into study is America" North America has the 8th highest abortion rate in the world (http://www.cbsnews.com...), which makes it a pretty good place to study abortion trends.
Rebutting Contention 1
"Making abortion illegal would be like punishing them for an accidental mistake they did." We punish people for non-negligent manslaughter.
"Abortion is stereotypically viewed as a decision that a crazy or dumb teenager recklessly takes. But that is not the case."
This is unsourced and unproven
Rebutting Contention 2
Adoption is an option that you can take instead of aborting a child. Having the child does not mean that you have to keep it.
Rebutting Contention 3
This ties in with contention 2. Delivering the baby is not a lifelong contract to keep it. With the recent legalization of same sex marriage in the US, we can expect a surge in adoption rates. Homosexual couples tend to make better parents http://www.medicaldaily.com...
Look, I've been crunched for time. Vote Pro. I've rebutted what I can right now. I hereby forfeit this debate.
Is a foetus a human being?
CON offers a lot of evidences to show that a foetus is alive but he does absolutely nothing to show that a foetus is a 'human being'. Proving that a foetus is a human being was in fact ultimately crucial to his case since his contention of abortion being murder relied on it, but unfortunately he hasn't taken any strides towards proving it through his arguments. He also ignored my seed and tree anology, I reiterate, are trees and seeds seen as same and do they have the same value? Definetely not. Similarily there are no reasons as to why a foetus must be seen as a human being.
Addendum: Occam's razor
As an extension to the above I will be using Occam's razor to support my stance. Occam's razor principle states that among competing hypotheses that predict equally well, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected, so necessarily COn's argument fails because there is absolutely no way he can show for a fact that a foetus is a human being, he can at best provide only more assumptions.
"victims of the above mentioned, very rarely come out in the open and admit their situations" unsourced
I didn't provide any sources because the fact is impossible to assess on paper(how can you find the number of rape victims who don't come out in the open if they don't come out openly in the first place?). Anyway, the point was more than obvious and rational. In many parts of the world, rape is very rarely reported, due to the extreme social stigma cast on women who have been raped, or the fear of being disowned by their families, or subjected to violence, including honor killings.
Adoption is NOT an Alternative to Abortion
Recent statistics show that approximately 14,000 newborns are adopted annually in the United States through voluntary placements, a number that has remained flat for about 20 years. Meanwhile, in 2011, 1.06 million abortions were performed"the lowest number in decades. As you can see there is a drastic difference between the number of people who chose abortion and the people who adopt children.
Also experts have found that many biological parents who place their children for adoption go through an immense grieving process, one that may last for decades. In one study cited by the Child Welfare Information Gateway, three-quarters of birth mothers still experienced feelings of loss 12 to 20 years after placing their newborns. Abortion on the other hand does not entail such extreme consequences.
Since PRO hasn't touched my arguments about ' negative impacs of making abortion illegal' and 'obviously justified cases' it stands as he conceded them, by default.
And hence we reach the end of this debate. I must thank my adversary for an enjoyable and stimulating debate. If he wishes we could debate again with the same topic.
Nevertheless, the resolution has been upheld and I urge a PRO ballot.
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