The Instigator
kingcripple
Pro (for)
Winning
2 Points
The Contender
sillydebater
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

Outside of endangerment of the mother's life abortion is completely immoral

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
kingcripple
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/16/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 513 times Debate No: 75381
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

kingcripple

Pro

I will let my opponent make his arguments in the first round. Second through fourth rounds are rebutts and cross exams. Fifth round is for closing arguments only. Opponent has BOP.
sillydebater

Con

Thanks to kingcripple for the topic, I'm looking forward to this.

Outside of endangerment of the mother's life abortion is completely immoral - Arguments against

There are certainly cases, in my belief, where abortion is immoral. However, these are not strictly limited to the endangerment of the mother's life. I will lay out two other situations where abortion is moral.

1) In cases of severe genetic or developmental deformities, to save the child from suffering
If it is determined that the child would only live a short time, and would experience severe pain and suffering outside the womb, then it is humane to abort the fetus before its full term to save it from this suffering. If we can know with reasonable certainty that the child's quality of life would be short and horrible, then I see no moral reason not to save it from that fate.

2) In cases of rape
One can make an argument that someone choosing to having sex is morally obliged to carry, support and care for any child that results from that act. After all, the people involved knew of the potential consequences beforehand. This argument does not apply for those who did not make the choice, however, and instead had the sex act forced upon them. By carrying the child of their rapist, a woman not only is traumatized in the act itself, but every single day for the subsequent 40 weeks. In compassion for the mother, it is moral to abort the child and end her suffering.


Debate Round No. 1
kingcripple

Pro

There are a few glaring problems with my opp's arguments

1. In cases of severe genetic or developmental deformaties

First my opp does not provide what qualifies as "severe genetic or developmental deformities". True to his credit, he mentions determination that the child would only live a short time. How short? A week? A month? A year? 6 years? A child could live a pretty good life in just a few years. Yes, there is pain involved (i can attest to that, more on that in a bit), but not every moment is pain (as I can attest)

Why or how can I attest to this? I was born with Spina Bifida. That is a neurological birth defect that causes me pain. My parents didn't abort me. I can walk. Doctors didn't think I would be able to walk, and at 27 I started doing MMA. I am now 29. I am by all intents and purposes a productive memeber of society, as are several other people with Spina Bifida, even the ones who do not walk (google Gabriel Gigout).[1] Doctors did not know I was going to be disabled until I was born. We have enough technology now to determine things and even in some cases fix them before birth now. There is no reason why someone should abort a baby due to a deformation.

2 In casesof rape

This is a favorite of mine. In order to defend this position further, my opp would have to answer the following questions

1. Is it the unborn baby's fault the woman got raped?

2. Would aborting the baby change history and totally erase the rape in every way shape and form?

3. Does the unborn baby deserve a chance to live and beloved and cared for, regardless of how it was concieved?

If my opp answers yes to question three, my point is proven. If he answers no, he is tasked with defending his position as to why not.

In order to properly defend his position on rape, he would have to answer all three questions. Avoiding answering even one of the above questions should destroy his rape contention and thus, point goes to me.

I am not justifying rape or trying to be insensitive to rape victims, but these questions are common sense moral questions that deserve answers. Even when I debate my liberal friends about abortion, they shut off when I ask those questions

I eagerly await my opp's rebuttals

1. http://www.gabegigout.com...
sillydebater

Con

Before going into my argument, I want to commend you, kingcripple. It sounds like you have had a life much more difficult than most, but through your own hard work and perseverance, you have not let it hold you back. It's inspirational and humbling to those of us, like myself, who take something like walking for granted.

On to the points:

1. In cases of severe genetic of developmental deformities, to save the child from suffering

I agree with kingcripple, I should have been more precise in my meaning. The type of situation I am talking about is an instance where the child would live at most a few days, and in those days would be in a state of constant suffering. For example, a family acquaintance of mine learned that the fetus in her womb had organs that were growing on the outside of its body. The prognosis for the child, should it survive an excruciatingly painful childbirth, would be a few hours, perhaps a day of life at most, during which the child would be in constant pain. The mother elected to spare her child that suffering, and had an abortion. I cannot, in good conscience, say her decision was wrong.


2. In cases of rape

My opponents questions are valid, and I will answer each:

Is it the unborn baby's fault the woman got raped?

Absolutely not. The sole blame lies with the rapist. The unborn child is simply another victim of the rape.


Would aborting the baby change history and totally erase the rape in every way shape and form?


No it wouldn't. The mother would still carry the trauma of the rape, and she would have to heal from that trauma over time (hopefully with the help and support of loving people and professional assistance).

That said, aborting the child allows for the trauma to end and for the healing to begin. If the raped woman is forced to carry the child to term, then every symptom will remind her of the rape. Every bout of morning sickness, every doctors' checkup, every ultrasound and every sleepless night will be a new reminder of the horrible abuse she suffered. For many women, this would result in being retraumatized again and again, on a daily basis for months and months. Healing can't begin because the trauma hasn't ended.

Even after the baby is born, the trauma still hasn't ended. The mother is forced to make a horrific decision, to either keep the child who looks like her rapist, or to give away her child and never see him/her again. And now the woman is forever linked to the rapist, as he is the father of the child. He can even legally intrude into her life, with custody or legal matters involving the child. Once the child is born, it is impossible for the woman to ever be truly free from her attacker.

So, no, aborting the baby doesn't change the fact that the rape happened. However, forcing a woman to carry that child to term has the potential to traumatize her on a scale much greater than the actual rape itself.


Does the unborn baby deserve a chance to live and beloved and cared for, regardless of how it was conceived?

Yes, the baby does deserve a chance to live. However, we have to be careful here. It's easy to talk about the baby as the only victim. There are in fact two victims, and both their rights have to be considered.

The baby deserves a chance to live. The woman deserves to be able to end the trauma of the rape, and not continue to be tortured by it day after day. These are mutually exclusive, so one side has to lose out. I argue that in this instance, it's most moral to make the choice that causes the least suffering.

With that in mind, I assert that it is more humane to abort a fetus who has yet to develop any kind of brain, who has no awareness of its surroundings and has yet to gain consciousness, than it is to continue to traumatize a fully conscious, aware and already victimized human. The baby will not suffer. Forcing the mother to carry the child would cause great suffering.

Note: For the sake of this argument, I'm specifically referring to an abortion within the first month or so after the rape occurred.


3. In the cases where the birth of the child would cause immense suffering or death to others

I'm adding a third scenario in which abortion would be moral. This one is not very applicable in the present day, but applies more when we are looking back through history at choices made in the past.

Before modern-day science, many cultures used astrology, auspicious dates, reading of bones or tea leaves, or other methods to try and understand the world around them. To them, this was as real and accepted as science is to us today. There were some situations in which, through the trusted method of divination, it was determined that if a particular child were allowed to be born, it would bring death, destruction or great suffering on a community. If a parent completely believed these predictions were true, then I cannot fault them for deciding to abort a child in order to save those around them. The parent can't be held accountable for what we know now is faulty science, and should actually be commended for making a huge sacrifice for what they truly believed to be the greater good. The act was moral, in the context in which the act was made.
Debate Round No. 2
kingcripple

Pro

Thank you to my opp for the compliments

I suppose under those circumstances in which my opp gave, That might be acceptable regarding deformities, however would my opp concur that these days most things detected in the womb, could be fixed.

My opp also answered as I thought he would to all three of my questions. We agree that the abortion does not change the fact the rape happened. We agree the baby deserves a chance to live and be loved and cared for. And we agree the unborn baby is not at fault for the woman's rape. So why does my opp proceed to make rebuttals for that which we agree on. Is adoption not an option? Think about it: the mother carries the baby for nine months. I have no idea how quick nine months goes by for ANY pregnant woman, let alone a rape victim, but it certainly is not forever. An innocent baby gets a chance at life. A couple who cannot bare children can then get the baby they've always wanted. And the rape victim can then begin her healing. Perhaps even while pregnant.

What the rape victim has is called PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder[1]. There is a form of therapy called Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy specifically designed for PSTD patients [2] which has helped war veterans[3]. The mother can get involved in this type of therapy and be healed. If she does it while pregnant, then perhaps she will decide to keep the baby. If not, then all three parties in the above paragraph win with the adoption. Would my opp say that adoption definitely sounds like a better option?

As for the third reason my opp gave, I do not really understand how that pertains to the debate. What it sounds like to me is superstition and paranoia. I don't even know how to respond. It just is not applicable.

1. http://www.mayoclinic.org...

2. http://tfcbt.musc.edu...

3. http://www.cbtforsoldiers.org...
sillydebater

Con

I'll keep these separated by argument, for clarity's sake.

1. In cases of severe genetic of developmental deformities, to save the child from suffering

You state that under the circumstances I presented, abortion 'might' be acceptable. If there are any factors in this situation that you still have concern about, I would love to discuss them. There's a difference between saying something might be acceptable, and something is acceptable, and I'm interested to know what your reservations are.


2. In cases of rape

You asked why I make rebuttals for points we agree upon. The reason is because it seems like we don't agree, and the responses to your questions you wrote have ignored the points I made about them in the previous round. Namely:

a) Abortion does not change the fact that the rape happened, however not having the abortion continues to traumatize the rape victim daily, for months or years, potentially harming the woman exponentially more than the rape act itself.

b) The baby deserves a chance to live and be loved and cared for. At the same time, the woman has deserves the chance to be freed from being retraumatized daily. These are incompatible, so the most moral choice is the one that causes the least suffering. Aborting a child before it develops a nervous system, brain and cognitive functions results in no suffering whatsoever. Forcing the mother to carry the child results in extreme suffering and potentially life-long scarring. The choice is clear.

We don't seem to agree on these points, and that is the reason why I make my rebuttals.

I agree with my opp that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a great and proven method of dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and is often used with both war veterans and rape victims to help them heal from the trauma they've experienced. That said, it's important to note that it is used with war veterans, after they have returned from the field. It cannot be successfully used to help those who are still being traumatized. To suggest that CBT would help a woman forced to carry her rapist's child is equivalent to saying CBT would help a soldier who is still being held as a prisoner of war and tortured every day. To heal, you must first have to have the freedom to separate yourself from the trauma.

As for adoption, I would definitely say that forcing a woman to carry their rapist's child to term, and then having it adopted is not the better option. I've already spoken at length about how the trauma of being forced to carry the child could harm the rape victim many times more than the rape itself.

But even after the child is born, the rapist could then step in to legally block the adoption. This would drag the victim into court to face her attacker again, and he could legally contact and intrude into her life for years following, as court battles and appeals go on and on. If she loses the battle and he gets custody, then for the rest of her life, her rapist could intrude into her life at his whim. Even worse, she might be forced to pay child support for the next couple decades.

Put yourself in her shoes for just a minute. A man violently forces sex upon you without your will. You are then forced to suffer physically, mentally and financially as you struggle through pregnancy with the child you never asked for. You are then forced into a lengthy and expensive court battle to try and get the child into adoption. Finally, you are forced to pay money to your rapist for the next 18 years, all because he raped you. The lack of control and hopelessness of ever having freedom would (and does) force many to suicide.

For a rape victims to heal, they need to know they are safe, that they finally have some control over their life after having all control violently taken from them. As long as the aftermath of the rape removes some control from their life, it is impossible for them to heal. And they deserve the right to heal, just as much as the baby deserves the right to life.


3. In the cases where the birth of the child would cause immense suffering or death to others

This scenario pertains the the debate as it is another example of a situation in which abortion is moral. What we call 'superstition' and 'paranoia' today, was once considered undeniable fact. In those societies, in those times, if a parent truly believed that the birth of their child would bring suffering or death to others, then I assert that it was moral for them to abort the child.

Although it is hard to come up with an example of this in the present day, there is one scenario I can think of that would qualify under this banner. If a mother's children or loved ones were being held hostage, and the hostage taker threatened to kill them all unless she aborted the baby she was carrying, then I do not believe it would be wrong of her to abort her child to save those she loved. It's an extreme example, however since the argument we are debating states, in no unclear terms, "Outside of endangerment of the mother's life abortion is completely immoral", any other moral example, even an extreme one, would counter the original argument.
Debate Round No. 3
kingcripple

Pro

The questions I posed regarding rape, my opp does seem to have the initial same answer as me:

Is it the unborn baby's fault the woman got raped?

My opp's answer: Absolutely not

My answer: Absolutely not

We do agree on this 100%. The question now becomes, if it is not the unborn baby's fault the woman got raped, why make it suffer? If my opp wishes to claim that said unborn baby is not an actual human I would as what is it and is it living? how does he know, if he answers no?

Would aborting the baby change history and totally erase the rape in every way, shape and form?

My opp's answer: No it wouldn't

My answer: No it wouldn't

The only difference in my answer and my opp's answer is my answer is a resounding "no" and my opp's answer is "no but..."

Does the unborn baby deserve a chance to live and be loved and cared for, regardless of how it was conceived?

My opp's answer: Yes, the baby deserves a chance to live

My Answer: Yes the baby deserves a chance to live

Again, the answers are virtually the same except my answer is "yes" and his answer is "yes but..."

We essentially agree in theory, however, my opp proceeds to create cop outs rather than conceed.

On the subject of adoption, My opp does not seem to understand things.

But even after the child is born, the rapist could then step in to legally block the adoption.

Not exactly. There are many variables that come into play here. Was the rape reported? If not, then one of two things is true, either the victim was afraid to report it, which is totally understandable, or it wasn't actually rape. For the sake of the debate, let's go with the former. If the rape was reported, was the guy caught and locked up? Most likely yes. This could be more traumatizing than carrying the baby to term. But the guy is now locked up. When he gets out, the birth would have likely happened already and the adoption papers signed. Regardless of whether that has happened though, I am going to ask my opp a VERY important question. What judge/jury in their right mind would really let a sex offender have access to a child that they allegedly took part in creating? Very important, serious question that needs an answer

Finally look at this paragraph from my opp:

Put yourself in her shoes for just a minute. A man violently forces sex upon you without your will. You are then forced to suffer physically, mentally and financially as you struggle through pregnancy with the child you never asked for. You are then forced into a lengthy and expensive court battle to try and get the child into adoption. Finally, you are forced to pay money to your rapist for the next 18 years, all because he raped you. The lack of control and hopelessness of ever having freedom would (and does) force many to suicide.

This is clearly the logical fallacy argumentum ad passiones. Facts must be used, not silly emotional appeals.
sillydebater

Con

I have presented three cases in which I argue that abortion outside the endangerment of the mother's life would be moral. My opponent seems to be focusing entirely on the case of rape. Thus, in regards to the other two cases, namely:

In cases of severe genetic or developmental deformities, to save the child from suffering
Example: A child who is developing in the womb with organs on the outside of its body, and its prognosis were it to live would be an excruciating child birth followed by no more than a day or two of life consisting of constant pain and suffering.

In the cases where the birth of the child would cause immense suffering or death to others
Example: An aggressor is holding the mother's other children or loved ones hostage, and will kill them unless the mother aborts the child.

I am presuming there is no argument in these cases against an abortion being moral. If there is, I invite my opponent to outline opposition in the final round.

---

I would like to now focus attention onto my opponent's arguments against the third case I presented: In cases of rape.

My opponent has adamantly held to the following argument:

Premise 1: The unborn child is not at fault for the rape
Premise 2: An abortion does not change history and cause the rape to have not occurred
Premise 3: An unborn child morally deserves the chance to live
Conclusion: In cases of rape, aborting an unborn child is completely immoral

This argument is not valid, as the conclusion does not logically follow from the truth of the premises. I invite my opponent to fill in the argument with additional premises in order to make the argument valid.

---

Throughout this discussion, I have presented other premises that are relevant to the conversation. Unfortunately, my opponent has continued to dodge arguing these premises, instead brushing them off as 'cop outs'. To successfully rebut my argument, my opponent will have to actually address my argument. Specifically:

Premise 1: An unborn child morally deserves the chance to live

Premise 2a: A rape victim morally deserves to be freed of being retraumatized by the rape
Premise 2b: Being forced to carry the rapist's child results in daily retraumatizing the rape victim
therefore
Premise 2: A rape victim morally deserves not to be forced to carry the rapist's child

Premise 3a: The only way for the unborn child to live is for the mother to carry the child to term
Premise 3b: For a rape victim to not be forced to carry the rapist's child, she must have the choice to abort the child
therefore
Premise 3: Premise 1 and Premise 2 are incompatible, and it is impossible for both moral requirements to be met

Premise 4: In the case of conflicting moral requirements, the moral choice is the one which results in the least human suffering

Premise 5: Aborting a child before it has developed a nervous system, a brain, any consciousness or means of experiencing existence results in no human suffering

Premise 6: Forcing a mother to carry the rapist's child can result in daily and extreme human suffering

Therefore, from P3, P4, P5 and P6,
Conclusion: The moral choice is to allow the mother the option of aborting the child while still undeveloped, which would result in zero suffering by the child, and would prevent great suffering by the mother

This argument is valid, as the conclusion logically follows from the premises. I argue it is also sound. For my opponent to successfully argue against this, it would require showing that the argument I've given is not sound. This is my proof of the morality of abortion in the case of rape. If my opponent continues to avoid addressing my argument, that should indicate that my opponent has no contention with it.

---

My opponent seems to have a misunderstanding of how often rapists actually stand trial.

Using UK statistics:

There are an estimated 78,000 rapes in the UK every year. *
Of these, only 21% are reported
Only 18% of reported rapes, or less that 4% of total rapes, make it to trial

* Note, we are talking actual rapes. These are not false reports or cases where "it wasn't actually rape".
There is a good infographic of this at: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net...

My opponent asked the question "What judge/jury in their right mind would really let a sex offender have access to a child that they allegedly took part in creating?"

This question is valid in less than 4 out of 100 cases of rape. In the other 96 out of 100 cases, it is irrelevant.

Over 96% of the time, the rapist is a free, active member of society, with all rights to block an adoption, or intrude on his victim's life.

---

In regards to my statement:

"Put yourself in her shoes for just a minute. A man violently forces sex upon you without your will. You are then forced to suffer physically, mentally and financially as you struggle through pregnancy with the child you never asked for. You are then forced into a lengthy and expensive court battle to try and get the child into adoption. Finally, you are forced to pay money to your rapist for the next 18 years, all because he raped you. The lack of control and hopelessness of ever having freedom would (and does) force many to suicide."

This paragraph was given in support of Premise 6 above. I give an example of the suffering that can occur if a woman is forced to carry the rapist's child. In comparison, a child aborted before it gains any nervous system, brain, or means of experience would not suffer at all.

My opponent asks "If it is not the unborn baby's fault the woman got raped, why make it suffer?" However, aborting the child at such an early stage does not cause any suffering. I would turn the question around to my opponent: If the child will experience no suffering due to an early abortion, why make the rape victim suffer?

Debate Round No. 4
kingcripple

Pro

kingcripple forfeited this round.
sillydebater

Con

I have laid out three cases in which abortion would be moral without the mother's life being threatened:

1) In cases of severe genetic or developmental deformities, to save the child from suffering
Example: A child who is developing in the womb with organs on the outside of its body, and its prognosis were it to live would be an excruciating child birth followed by no more than a day or two of life consisting of constant pain and suffering.

- My opponent has accepted this with hesitation, saying it "might be acceptable". My opponent has not explained what reasoning is behind the hesitation.

2) In the cases where the birth of the child would cause immense suffering or death to others
Example: An aggressor is holding the mother's other children or loved ones hostage, and will kill them unless the mother aborts the child.

- My opponent has not argued against this at all during this debate.

3) In cases of rape

My opponent has spent the majority of his time arguing against this case. Unfortunately, my opponent has blatantly refused to discuss the arguments I have presented, instead dismissing them as 'cop outs'. In specific, the argument my opponent has refused to debate is:

Premise 1: An unborn child morally deserves the chance to live

Premise 2a: A rape victim morally deserves to be freed of being retraumatized by the rape
Premise 2b: Being forced to carry the rapist's child results in daily retraumatizing the rape victim
therefore
Premise 2: A rape victim morally deserves not to be forced to carry the rapist's child

Premise 3a: The only way for the unborn child to live is for the mother to carry the child to term
Premise 3b: For a rape victim to not be forced to carry the rapist's child, she must have the choice to abort the child
therefore
Premise 3: Premise 1 and Premise 2 are incompatible, and it is impossible for both moral requirements to be met

Premise 4: In the case of conflicting moral requirements, the moral choice is the one which results in the least human suffering

Premise 5: Aborting a child before it has developed a nervous system, a brain, any consciousness or means of experiencing existence results in no human suffering

Premise 6: Forcing a mother to carry the rapist's child can result in daily and extreme human suffering

Therefore, from P3, P4, P5 and P6,
Conclusion: The moral choice is to allow the mother the option of aborting the child while still undeveloped, which would result in zero suffering by the child, and would prevent great suffering by the mother

I assert my argument is sound, and my opponent has given no arguments against it.

---

In Closing

As the statement being debated is "Outside of endangerment of the mother's life abortion is completely immoral" even just one of these cases being moral is enough to prove Con's position. I am confident that I have successfully shown Con's position. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
kingcripplesillydebaterTied
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Total points awarded:21 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff a round. Only Pro used sources.