The Instigator
Chuz-Life
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
creedhunt
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Pregnancy Begins at Conception - not Implantation. ACOG is wrong.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Chuz-Life
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/20/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,799 times Debate No: 59221
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (111)
Votes (1)

 

Chuz-Life

Pro

** For the purpose of screening candidates, this deabate should be near impossible for you to accept. However, if you are interested in accepting the role of defending ACOG's position in this debate, please make yourself known in the comments section. **

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has issued the following statement in response to recent 'personhood' measures by some States in the U.S. http://www.acog.org...

"ACOG firmly believes that science must be at the core of public health policies and medical decision-making that affect the health and life of women."

On the above, we agree.

However, ACOG continues with; "Although the individual wording in these proposed measures varies from state to state, they all attempt to give full legal rights to a fertilized egg by defining "personhood" from the moment of fertilization, before conception (ie, pregnancy/ implantation) has occurred."

For the record, This debate is NOT about personhood or when personhood begins. This debate is oriented around ACOG's claim in that statement - that pregnancy doesn't begin until 'implantation'.




Debate Structure

1. Five Rounds.
Round 1 is for acceptance and opening commentsb.
Round 2-4: Arguments and rebuttalsc.
Round 5: Final rebuttals and clarifications only. No new arguments.

2. 9,000 Character Limit

3. Burden of proof (BOP) is SHARED. Pro's BOP is to prove that pregnancy begins at CONCEPTION (prior to implantation) and Con's BOP is to prove that pregnancy does not begin until IMPLANTATION.

4. This debate is in the Science category. Scientific arguments and facts are required. Pro will argue against ACOG's position that says pregnancy doesn't begin until implantation. Pro will be arguing that pregnancy begins BEFORE implantation. Con is expected to defend ACOG's statement (quoted above) and also the claim that 'pregnancy begins at implantation.' Con will be arguing that pregnancy does not begin until implantation or until sometime after implantation.

Definitions:

Implantation: The process of attachment of the embryo to the maternal uterine wall.

All other definitions, terms and conclusions are open for Pro & Con to submit and then to debate according to the rules above.
creedhunt

Con

I accept.

I'd like to note that here I am defending the validity of ACOG'S statement. ACOG does believe that pregnancy begins at conception, however, the issue at hand is when that occurs. It is not my position that fertilization cannot be considered the start of pregnancy, as that is not ACOG'S claim. I will attempt to prove that implantation can and should be considered when pregnancy starts. ACOG's description communicates the process of conception clearly and accurately. If my opponent has an issue with this, I apologize and I am willing to negotiate what is and is not required for this burden (any supposed assumptions I have made here are based on a conversation in the comment section, along with an analysis of ACOG'S statement that will be partially included within my arguments).

I would also like to suggest that Merriam-Webster's definition of conception be seen as acceptable:

1 a (1) : the process of becoming pregnant involving fertilization or implantation or both

I look forward to debating you, Pro.
Debate Round No. 1
Chuz-Life

Pro

Thanks first to my opponent for accepting this debate challenge. Creedhunt, you have offered several interesting points and perspectives in the comments section and I hope we can delve further into all of them here.

My opponent is correct when he says that Con is expected to defend the validity of ACOG's statement.

Con's analysis of ACOG's statement is however not entirely accurate in my opinion. When ACOG claims that pregnancy does not begin until "implantation" - they make no exceptions. According to their statement , it is ACOG's view that ALL pregnancies begin at implantation and not before implantation.

Is that the view that my opponent is willing to defend?

Secondly, my opponent offered this comment as clarification of his views;

"I will attempt to prove that implantation can and should be considered when pregnancy starts."

Con my be surprised to see that I can agree that implantation is the start of some pregnancies in some cases; like when a couple uses In Vitro Fertilization to get pregnant. In that (IVF) process [1], the donor's egg is fertilized outside of the woman's body, Conception takes place in a petri dish and then later (after a few day's growth) they embryonic child is implanted into the woman's uterus.

Like I said, in those cases, Con and I might actually agree that those pregnancies begin at "implantation." I could argue that it actually begins sooner - being that the pregnancy could not take place were it not for the success of the steps that preceded implantation but I digress. From the woman's biological perspective in a process such as IVF, she would not be biologically 'pregnant' until the embryo is transferred into her body.

ACOG's claim goes beyond that.

Let's note how even the IVF process (above) is entirely consistent with the Merriam-Webster's definition of 'conception' just provided by Con in R1.

"1 a (1) : the process of becoming pregnant involving fertilization or implantation or both" [2]

I would like to bring Con's attention to the words "or" now bolded and underlined in the definition he provided.

Doesn't the use of the word 'OR' in that definition mean that pregnancy can begin at Fertilization, OR implantation OR both? As that is the case, Con has already poked the first hole in ACOG's position with the definition he himself provided.

ACOG's declaration does not allow for pregnancies to begin at any point other than 'implantation.'

Moving along. While I find definitions useful in debates and discussions, I have to point out that the definition Con has provided is not entirely accurate either. Not all fertilizations / conceptions will result in a pregnancy. Certainly conceptions which take place in a petri dish do not always result in a pregnancy. Correct?

Therefore there is more to the definition and meaning of the word "Conception" than what my opponent Con provided for us to consider in R1.

Remember, it is ACOG's position that a pregnancy does not begin until implantation takes place. It is Con's role in this debate to defend that position. So, the key element in this debate is 'when and how do pregnancies actually begin?' Does pregnancy begin before the implantation of the early embryo into the wall of the uterus? Or does pregnancy only begin after implantation has taken place - as ACOG claims?

In preparation for this debate, I read further into some of ACOG's other writings on the subject and I found an interesting and related article here. [3] "How your baby grows during pregnancy"

In the very first section entitled "How does pregnancy begin?" the article says;

"Fertilization is the first step in a complex series of events that leads to a pregnancy" and it goes on to say; "during the next few days (following fertilization) the fused egg and sperm move through the fallopian tube to the lining of the uterus."



According to this source [4], it can take 5-8 days for a newly conceived child in the zygote stage of their life to finally attach themselves to the lining of their mother's uterus. That means that by the time implantation takes place, the mother has already been carrying her newly conceived young for nearly a week or more.

I will have to expound on this information in my next round. Right now I must leave for another commitment.

Thanks to all who read this. I look forward to reading Con's counter arguments.


SOURCES

[1] IVF - http://americanpregnancy.org...

[2] Conception - http://www.merriam-webster.com...

[3] How your baby grows - http://www.acog.org...

[4] Stages of fetal development - http://www.merckmanuals.com...

creedhunt

Con

Thanks, Chuz-life, for a refreshingly civil take on this conflict of opinion. I am going to start by addressing my opponent's case, and then move onto constructing my own arguments.

I would like to clarify what I meant when I said that ACOG'S position is not that fertilization cannot be considered the start of pregnancy, as it has caused a bit of confusion.

ACOG is indeed suggesting that all pregnancies start at implantation (not including molar and ectopic pregnancies, but I will address this later). My opponent is correct in saying that is the position I am defending.

However, ACOG is not suggesting that one could not define pregnancy as "containing a developing embryo, fetus, or unborn offspring within the body" and then technically consider someone who has swallowed a petri dish pregnant (a far fetched and disturbing example, but it gets the point across). ACOG is instead suggesting that by defining pregnancy in an acceptable way (that communicates ideas in a more accurate and culturally - perceptive fashion than alternative definitions), implantation is always the start of pregnancy.

The definition of conception that I suggested as being acceptable merely says that it can be considered to be implantation, rather than fertilization.
When ACOG says "fertilization, before conception (i.e, pregnancy/ implantation)", the need to clarify comes from this "or". Conception can refer to fertilization, implantation, or both. ACOG is referring to implantation, and that is valid.

Pro has presented no proof as to why the definition I presented is faulty. According to the definition, conception can only occur if a pregnancy does. In the scenario my opponent presents, the fertilization could not be considered conception.

ACOG does not claim that pregnancy starts after implantation. ACOG claims that pregnancy starts at implantation. I thought that had been established, so I'm confused as to why Pro suggests otherwise.

Finally, I have to say that the amount of time a fertilized egg spends in the uterus before implantation is irrelevant. The difference between pregnancy and a lack of pregnancy is physical, not temporal. I accept and understand that a fertilized egg is present in the uterus before implantation occurs. I'm suggesting that a fertilized egg could hypothetically sit in a uterus for years before the woman of whom the uterus belongs should be considered pregnant.

I will now move on to constructing my own case.

Let's look at a variety of definitions.

For pregnancy:

The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female [1]

containing a developing embryo, fetus, or unborn offspring within the body [2]

The period from conception to birth. [3]

the condition of a woman or female animal that is going to have a baby or babies. [4]

For gestation:

The process or period of developing inside the womb between conception and birth.[5]

the time between conception and birth, during which the embryo or fetus is developing in the uterus[6]

By looking at those without any analysis, we can see that it would be acceptable to say that implantation is the start of pregnancy. Conception can refer to implantation, and conception is the start of pregnancy. Right there, we can see that the claim that ACOG presents shouldn't be considered invalid.

However, there is more to consider.

The embryo only starts to develop once implanted [7]. This means that a key element of defining pregnancy only applies to implantation.

Also, a little under two thirds of fertilized eggs never end up being implanted [8], so a vast majority of what we refer to when we say pregnancy only applies to fertilized eggs. If we assume Pro's position is true, then a pregnant woman will probably not give birth to a child, directly opposing a definition, as well as connotation.

The connotative side of this is very important. If alternative interpretations of pregnancy are accepted, then pregnancy could be said to occur:

If a live baby, fetus, embryo, or anyone under twelve years of age is placed inside any part of a woman.

If a fertilized egg has been placed anywhere at all.

Those scenarios are technically pregnancy according to some definitions, but the ideas we have of pregnancy apply best to ACOG's.

Thanks for reading, I hope to present a more detailed and generally superior case next round.

Sources:

[1]bodyhttp://www.medicinenet.com...

[2]http://i.word.com...

[3]http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Chuz-Life

Pro

Con posted; "Thanks, Chuz-life, for a refreshingly civil take on this conflict of opinion."

You're welcome, CreedHunt and thank you for the same.

I am a bit confused about Con's comment about swallowing a petri dish. I have re-read the comment several times now and I think I know what my opponent was TRYING to say but I would rather not make any assumptions at this point. Con starts off clearly stating that "ACOG is not suggesting that one could not define pregnancy as "containing a developing embryo, fetus, or unborn offspring within the body."

Aren't they?

I can not agree with my opponent when he says that ACOG is trying to define pregnancy in a "more accurate" way - when ACOG has the definition so narrowly focused that my opponent has to anticipate the exceptions like 'ectopic pregnancies.[1]' Interesting enough, I found that link just to provide a source for what 'ectopic pregnancies' are and it begins with; "Pregnancy begins with a fertilized egg." Again, I'll note that not all fertilizations 'take' (succeed) and that would mean that not all fertilized eggs result in a pregnancy. Still, it was a nice find to support my claims.

To Con's comment that the (Merriam Webster's) definition of conception that he shared "merely says that it (pregnancy) can be considered to be implantation, rather than fertilization..." Pro has already agreed that implantation CAN begin a pregnancy. As it does when the IVF procedure is used.

Does Con agree that the definition he provided indicates that pregnancies can also begin PRIOR to implantation? If so, then Con must agree that ACOG's claim that suggests pregnancy can ONLY begin at and by implantation - is wrong.

Per my opponent's claim that "CConception can refer to fertilization, implantation, or both;" We already agree on that. However, when my opponent says that "ACOG is referring to implantation, and that is valid" I have to remind my opponent that this debate is not about the fact that some pregnancies (like those from IVF) can and do begin at implantation. It's about the other circumstances and definitions as well.

Con insisted that I "Pro has presented no proof as to why the definition I presented is faulty." That is because I do not think that it is faulty. I thought that I made it clear that the definition Con provided actually supports my claim that ACOG has it wrong. Perhaps my opponent was confused by my use of the definition he provided to raise the point that not every fertilized egg results in a conception. Sometimes it just doesn't take. Where my opponent says that "According to the definition, conception can only occur if a pregnancy does..." I believe my opponent is mistaken.

Conception in some animals (fish for example) [2] takes place outside the female's body. The female lays her eggs in a nest of sorts, the male fertilizes them with his sperm and if he succeeds, conception takes place in the ones that 'take.'

With (most?) Fish, there is no pregnancy - yet their young are conceived in much the same way the young of other animals are. With the successful union of a single sperm cell and an egg of the same species. As shown earlier with IVF process - Conception can and regularly does take place outside the woman's body.

I digress. This debate is about ACOG's position on when and how a 'pregnancy' - and not the biological details of conception.

Thanks to Con for outlining his own case in R2. I have reviewed your definitions and I visited the sources. BTW, Your 3rd link does not take me to anything but a search engine / log in page.

Con's links [1] [2] & [3] from Round Two again support my view more than his. They all show that pregnancy begins even before implantation takes place.

As Con himself provided - the definitions for Pregnancy read; "The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female."

Please notice that there is No mention of implantation in that definition.

The 2nd definition reads; "containing a developing embryo, fetus, or unborn offspring within the body "

I ask Con to consider the image I in R2. Is the newly conceived child/ embryo not contained in the mother's body for the 3 - 8 days it is floating un-attached in the mother's fallopian tubes? Of course it is. And again, there is no mention of 'implantation' as a requirement or condition in Con's 2nd definition either.

Con's definition for number three was; "The period from conception to birth. "

No mention of implantation being necessary again, and a child/ embryo floating unattached would still fit this definition.

Con's sources ended there so I could not use them to verify his claims from this point on. I'll respond to some of the quoted definitions anyway.

Where Con posted that Gestation is "the time between conception and birth, during which the embryo or fetus is developing in the uterus" I don't agree that THAT definition was ever intended to exclude pregnancies that are carried outside the womb - like the Ectopic Pregnancies that Con himself mentioned early on. Furthermore, we are not here to argue when and where Gestation takes place. Only when and where pregnancies BEGIN.

My opponent still holds in round two that "Conception can refer to implantation, and conception is the start of pregnancy..."

I can't disagree more.

When I use the sources that Con himself provided - I see that they define implantation not as conception but as this instead;

"the process of attachment of the early embryo to the maternal uterine wall" [4]

Please notice that means the early embryo is already in existence at the time that implantation takes place. So, the question for Con is - How can that early embryo actually exist and be ready for implantation, unless it's conception has already taken place? We can't implant something that doesn't already exist - can we?

The only logical conclusion is that conception precedes implantation.

Con (and ACOG) is therefore only partially correct in their views. They are correct when they acknowledge the fact that a pregnancy begins at conception. But they are incorrect when they claim that conception and pregnancy doesn't take place until implantation.

Rather than to respond to Con's opinions about the downside of recognizing pregnancy as beginning BEFORE implantation, I would like to use my remaining characters to shed some light on pregnancies that never involve implantation at all.

Given we are for the most part talking about human beings and human pregnancy in this debate but I ask my opponent and our readers the following; "Should the standards be higher for a human pregnancy to be recognized than it is for any other animal's pregnancy?"

There are several species of animals which are "Ovoviviparous [5]." They breed just like most other animals do, only they carry their fertilized eggs UNATTATCHED through their entire pregnancy and deliver their live young in a live birth just like humans and other animals do.

Certain snakes, salamanders and even sharks carry their pregnancies this way. [6]

Please understand, this is not being presented to equate human pregnancies with salamanders. It is shared only to ask the question... If implantation is not a requirement for a simple salamander to be recognized as pregnant - then why should implantation be required for the recognition of a Human pregnancy?"

Is it acceptable to my opponent - that a salamander's pregnancy can be said to begin at fertilization / conception and with no implantation ever taking place.... But a human pregnancy can not be recognized unless or until an implantation does take place?

That seems arbitrary and a bit exclusive to me.

It should be established that a pregnancy exists at any time a parent is carrying their young in their body. for these ovoviviparous animals, that point is immediately following fertilization/ conception and for human beings, it should be the same.



[1] Ectopic Pregnancies - http://www.mayoclinic.org...

[2] Spawning - http://www.ehow.com...

[3] Conception - http://www.memidex.com...

[4]
Implantation - http://www.merriam-webster.com...

[5] Ovoviviparous - http://dictionary.reference.com...

[6] Pregnancy in Salamanders - http://animals.pawnation.com...
creedhunt

Con

If we define pregnant as "having or containing an unborn child within the body", then someone who has swallowed a developing embryo would be considered pregnant; The petri dish in question would contain such an embryo. Sorry for the confusion.

ACOG is indeed suggesting that such a definition can technically be considered valid, but it completely disregards what we are talking about when we bring up the subject of pregnancy. If you were to graft an entire child onto the inside of your stomach, you would not actually be"considered pregnant. If an egg was fertilized in a dish and then terminated there, no pregnancy would be said to occur. The same goes for the majority of fertilized eggs within the uterus that never end up implanting at all. If you do not think that it is correct to call implantation conception and the official establishment of pregnancy, then when would you? I do acknowledge the fact that Pro says pregnancies In Vitro do begin at implantation, but why does he stop there? Why wouldn't such a pregnancy begin the moment it entered the uterus? What makes other pregnancies different?

ACOG is indeed defining pregnancy accurately. Ectopic and molar pregnancies are not an exception to the definition, and I will explain why. In ACOG's statement, they go on to describe the dangers of defining personhood from the moment of fertilization; "Women's very lives would be jeopardized if physicians were prohibited from terminating life-threatening ectopic and molar pregnancies". They state that pregnancies begin at implantation, and then go on to say that ectopic pregnancies could not be terminated without such a definition. The implication being that ectopic pregnancies can not be considered pregnancies at all.

That position makes a lot of sense. Pro may very well argue that they would not be called ectopic or molar pregnancies if they were not pregnancies, but he would be wrong. Imitation crab is not crab. Fool's gold is not gold. Peanuts are not nuts. Ectopic pregnancies seem like normal pregnancies at first, and they may widely be considered pregnancies (using more forgiving and questionable definitions), but they can't truly be considered as such. Every ectopic pregnancy has to be terminated [1]. Only one of three women who have had an ectopic pregnancy can ever have a child after [2]. It is very different from the pregnancies we generally refer to, and a loose denotation is the only reason to treat it like one of those pregnancies.

Also, I do agree that all pregnancies begin with a fertilized egg. I also think that all pregnancies begin with a sperm, and that all pregnancies begin with an unfertilized egg. I'm also saying, that pregnancies begin with implantation. That is reasonable. I'd also like to note, that it is not simply "some" fertilized eggs that fail, but nearly two thirds of them. Is pro suggesting that, in a majority of situations, a pregnancy's cycle doesn't even make it to the embryonic stage?

I do not agree that pregnancies can occur prior to implantation. The definition I provided does not allow for such a case-by-case interpretation.

Let's look at it closely:

the process of becoming pregnant involving fertilization or implantation or both

I can see how pro interprets this. Pregnancy (and therefore conception) can start either at fertilization or implantation, depending on the scenario. However, if this is the case, then the "both" in that does not make any sense. All pregnancies require fertilization, all pregnancies require implantation, all pregnancies require both. In no scenario could you rightly say that a pregnancy started at both, rather than fertilization. This completely discounts Pro's theory, that sometimes fertilization is conception, and that sometimes implantation is conception, because never are they both conception. Webster's is giving us three ways of looking at all pregnancies. We can consider every fertilization to be a conception, we can consider fertilization as being implantation and fertilization (those two seem to be his uses of the term), and we can consider every implantation to be conception. The latter is ACOG's position, and it is valid.

And once again, a conception must lead to a pregnancy, or in and of itself be the start of pregnancy. That is what a conception is: a process that leads to pregnancy.

As far as fish go, I do acknowledge that most use external fertilization. However, since no pregnancy occurs, no conception occurs.

I was displaying the various views on defining pregnancy. The second definition could very well refer to any human fertilized egg, however the first and third support my position. The definition of gestation does exclude all supposed pregnancies that occur outside of the uterus. Pregnancy can be said to only start at the development of an embryo, and it can also be said to only start at implantation.

Embryos do not start developing until attached to the uterine wall. The source that I provided does indeed claim that implantation requires an embryo, but my source also completely discounts this idea:

"The fertilized egg (zygote) grows by cell division as it moves toward the uterus, where it implants in the lining and grows into an embryo and then a fetus".[3]

Other sources agree:

"By the time it reaches the uterus, the rapidly dividing ball of cells " now known as a blastocyst " has separated into two sections.

The inner group of cells will become the embryo"[4]

This source [5] also supports such a statement.

So indeed, there are various ways of defining when and where pregnancy begins. The entire point of words, however, is communicating accurately and efficiently. Having an embryo in your nose does not really make you pregnant.

Comparing other species to humans is difficult. Their gestation is very different from our gestation. Implantation is not needed in order for salamanders to be pregnant because they do not require implantation in order to fully and successfully deliver their child. That is not the case for us.

[1]http://www.mayoclinic.org...
[2]http://www.nlm.nih.gov...
[3]http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[4]http://www.mayoclinic.org...
[5]http://www.nlm.nih.gov...
Debate Round No. 3
Chuz-Life

Pro

Thanks to Con for an informative, civil and I'm hoping all will agree for a productive exchange. I had hoped that my arguments would be strong enough that Con would have actually conceded before now. I feel that the evidence is that strong.

Our rules say that there are to be no new arguments presented in this - the final round. So, I will do my best to respond to the arguments presented by Con without presenting any new ones myself.

In response to Con's argument; "If we define pregnant as "having or containing an unborn child within the body, then someone who has swallowed a developing embryo would be considered pregnant..."

I have to ask. Is pregnancy something we define or is pregnancy something we can observe? The likelihood that a person could swallow a living human embryo and have it continue to live, grow and develop while in that person's stomach is extremely impossible. The argument itself borders on being an appeal to absurdity or ridicule [1].

"The Appeal to Ridicule is a fallacy in which ridicule or mockery is substituted for evidence in an "argument." That said, let's go ahead and consider Con's argument as an academic exercise. Suppose someone did 'swallow an embryo' and it continued to live, grow and develop in that person's stomach. I ask our readers and voters why that person would not be or should not be considered to be pregnant?

By the very definition that Con himself provided and in my opinion, they would be. However hard it is to imagine, they would be 'pregnant' for as long as that physical relationship would last.

Con also argue that ;"If you were to graft an entire child onto the inside of your stomach, you would not actually be"considered pregnant..." Again, Con's argument borders on the point of absurdity and I disagree with his conclusions. A person in that relationship certainly would be considered to be 'pregnant' and or 'impregnated' by that procedure. Whether it be located in the stomach, the intestines or a person's nose as Con has also suggested... the term 'pregnant' would still apply. The definition that Con provided himself really is that broad.

To Con's argument; "If an egg was fertilized in a dish and then terminated there, no pregnancy would be said to occur..."

I agree.

To Con's argument; "The same goes for the majority of fertilized eggs within the uterus that never end up implanting at all"

I can't agree. Because, a pregnancy that starts and fails - no matter how long or short that time period takes place - is still a pregnancy. So, I reject Con's arguments about the downside in recognizing those pregnancies. As I said before - pregnancies and the conditions of pregnancy is something that takes place and can be observed. It's not something that exists only as we define it. Pregnancies are based on biological facts. They are not just semantics creations for the sake of convenience.

The argument that we should narrowly define pregnancy as we see fit - in order to avoid any negative consequences is also an argument that borders on being fallacious. It is an appeal to fear [2].

As for my arguments about IVF, Con said he acknowledges "the fact that Pro says pregnancies In Vitro do begin at implantation, but why does he stop there? Why wouldn't such a pregnancy begin the moment it entered the uterus?"

I'm not sure that I fully understand what Con means by that question, but why not? If the woman is "with child" she is with child. The pregnancy may or may not last and only time will tell if it will. But, for as long as it does last; if a woman is carrying her young inside her body... even according to the definition that Con himself provided earlier, she is pregnant.


Where Con quotes ACOG's claim that "Women's very lives would be jeopardized if physicians were prohibited from terminating life-threatening ectopic and molar pregnancies.." That may or may not be so. However, it has little to do with this debate. There is no attempt to prohibit the termination of such life threatening pregnancies - in this debate.


Con's citing of ACOG's statement continued with; "They (ACOG) states that pregnancies begin at implantation, and then go on to say that ectopic pregnancies could not be terminated without such a definition. The implication being that ectopic pregnancies can not be considered pregnancies at all."

Yes, we already know what ACOG's claims and statement's are. Those are the claims that are being challenged. The more we examine them, the more it becomes clear - that ACOG's interest in defining pregnancy is NOT a strict adherence to the biological facts but an attempt to establish an arbitrarily decided social / political point that best suits their own social /political agenda.

That to me is unacceptable. Pregnancy is an actual and factual physical relationship. It is not a political football that is amenable to the political whims of a majority vote.

I encourage our voters to read Con's arguments closely and to see where Con (and ACOG) is trying to have it both ways. They both agree that "all pregnancies begin with a fertilized egg" in one breath and then refuse to define pregnancy that way in the next. Con is in some ways correct when he argues that a pregnancy can also be said to have began with a sperm cell and with an un-fertilized egg. Because, without them the pregnancy could not have occurred. However, the woman's physical and biological state of actually being pregnant is what is being debated here and that point begins the moment she begins to carry her young in her body. Not the moment that her young (some 8 days later) finally implants into her uterus.

Like we discussed earlier, some (ovoviviparous) animals carry their entire pregnancies to term with implantation never taking place. Their pregnancies are said to begin at fertilization / conception. It is illogical then to suggest that a human pregnancy does not begin until any point beyond the same.

I am short on time and I must close. I hope I have made my case well enough to carry this debate. I haven't enough characters to respond to all of Con's remaining arguments. Hopefully, I have responded to all of the most pertinent ones.

I do want to respond to Con's claim about fish. Where Con says "As far as fish go, I do acknowledge that most use external fertilization. However, since no pregnancy occurs, no conception occurs."

I encourage Con to do more research on the subject. There are numerous links on how fish spawn, when their conceptions take place and even how temperature affects the gender of those conceived. [3]

Thanks to all who read and to those who take the time to vote.

- Chuz





[1] Appeal to Ridicule - http://www.nizkor.org...

[2] Appeal to Fear - http://www.nizkor.org...

[3] Fish, Conception - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...


creedhunt

Con

Thanks to Pro, who has indeed shared an informative, civil, and productive exchange with me. I had hoped that the resolution that "ACOG is wrong" would have been abandoned by now, as the claim that conception is both implantation and the establishment of pregnancy has been proved to not only be acceptable, but a better alternative to opposing definitions and terms.

I have further arguments, however they will be omitted from this round. I hope only to clarify the debate that has just occurred.

In previous rounds, I have mentioned how the methods of defining pregnancy that Pro uses have some terribly inaccurate implications. Defining pregnancy as "having or containing an unborn child within the body" would mean that the swallowed embryo in question could be dead, or stop developing in the stomach, but still manage to make the person who swallowed it pregnant. I was not attempting to ridicule or mock anyone, or anything; I was simply stating that defining pregnancy in that way ignores what a pregnancy biologically is. It's technically acceptable to be a man with a dead embryo in your stomach and refer to yourself as pregnant, but biologically speaking, you wouldn't be. Biologically speaking, the system of child development that we talk about when we say "pregnancy" only occurs once implantation has. If we define it as occurring before then, most pregnancies technically involve no embryo, last about eight days, and end without any major development.

Certainly, I do agree with my opponent that if an embryo were swallowed and continued to live and develop in the fashion of regular pregnancies, it would be accurate to say that a pregnancy did occur. That has yet to be proved possible, however, and until then, all pregnancies occur once a fertilized egg has been implanted in the uterine wall of a female.

The example in question is absurd, but it displays the differences in what a pregnancy can be considered to be. We can define the relationship of pregnancy as being spatial, or biological. Pro's definition allows for, and primarily includes, questionable spatial relationships. An unborn in your nose can be defined as pregnancy, but once again, the biological relationship and development of pregnancy is best described as occurring once implantation has. My definitions demonstrate the different relationships that can be considered pregnancy, and strongly suggest that ACOG's has superiority.

What is the biological difference between a fertilized egg that dies before developing in a petri dish, and in the uterus? I would argue that there is none, and so a biologically accurate establishment of pregnancy is implantation. The spatial difference is arbitrary, and a wholly semantic thing to base a debate upon. If pregnancies are biological facts, then a definition should represent these facts.

The "negative consequences" in question are false logical implications and communicative errors. We give definitions in order to share ideas about actual occurrences, and the definitions that present pregnancy as occurring before implantations present skewed ideas. The idea of pregnancy should be true to it's physical and biological counterpart.

My opponent has said that in some cases, pregnancies do start at implantation. The cases in question were In Vitro pregnancies that have external fertilizations, followed by manual implantations. I asked about the events that occur just prior to the actual implantation, and Pro appears to have changed his mind in a way that suits his case. In doing so, he has rendered such a question irrelevant to this debate. Sorry for wasting the reader's time, along with my opponent's.

I never meant to bring up the horrific implications of defining pregnancy as my opponent wishes as an argument. I was merely presenting that quote as evidence for the idea that ectopic pregnancies are not exceptions to, but rather act in accordance with ACOG's view of implantation.

Ectopic pregnancies cannot develop the way that pregnancies can. Biologically speaking, they are very similar, but different enough that the definitions that ACOG uses still apply to the biological events more than alternative definitions. Considering the possession of dead embryos pregnancy is certainly more inaccurate and common than to refer to the hosting of a dying tubular development as not quite being a pregnancy. That being said, the description of ectopic pregnancy is "With an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants somewhere outside the uterus"[1]. There's still implantation in an ectopic pregnancy, so it would appear that an adherence to the facts suits ACOG better than Pro.

All pregnancies do require a fertilized egg to start. They also require an implantation. ACOG and I agree that a dead embryo can be found within a person's body without that person being pregnant.

I have said earlier, that in order for a human pregnancy to develop at all, an implantation/conception must occur. That is not the case for ovoviviparous animals, and so we can not treat them exactly the same. Equating them in such a way ignores the biological relationship that is pregnancy, and how it occurs in various animals. It is illogical to suggest that defining a pregnancy should involve criteria that does not reflect the actual nature of the situation.

I would like to acknowledge Pro's fish analogy, and simply say that a more accurate word would be fertilization. To conceive is to: "become pregnant with (young)"[2] "(Of a woman) become pregnant"[3], and "become pregnant"[4].

Finally, I'd like to remind everyone that even if you do not agree with the idea that all pregnancies start at conception (i.e., implantation), arguing that they are wrong in their claim would plainly be false. Pregnancy can be defined as "The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body" [5], and I have already proved that the embryo only begins to develop once implanted.

I really hope that my case was enough to convince the readers that ACOG is not wrong in their claim. Thank you all for reading, thanks especially to those who vote. I'd mainly like to thank Chuz-life, however, as he did instigate the debate to begin with.

[1]http://www.mayoclinic.org...
[2]http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[3]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
[4]http://www.macmillandictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 4
111 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ZenoCitium 2 years ago
ZenoCitium
What is the basis for your arguemnt and can you refute his arguments?
Posted by SitaraMusica 2 years ago
SitaraMusica
I agree with Con on this. Pregnancy begins at implantation.
Posted by creedhunt 2 years ago
creedhunt
Well alright, I'd be up for a forum discussion if you still wanted to tie the loose ends
Posted by creedhunt 2 years ago
creedhunt
Oh
Posted by Chuz-Life 2 years ago
Chuz-Life
You bet. :)
Posted by creedhunt 2 years ago
creedhunt
Thank you, Chuz
Posted by Chuz-Life 2 years ago
Chuz-Life
I appreciate your votes, dsjpk5. Especially for the point on arguments. In fairness to CreedHunt though, I have to say that even ectopic pregnancies involve the 'implantation' of the embryo. They just implant somewhere other than the uterus.

My argument is that pregnancy begins before implantation - not matter where ultimately takes place - because the new life that is created by the successful union of a sperm and egg are alive and living in their mother's body for several days before implantation finally takes place. The mother is "with child" even before implantation.
Posted by creedhunt 2 years ago
creedhunt
I'd advise dsjpk5 to reread the last couple rounds again, or maybe expand on the RDF. Thanks.
Posted by Chuz-Life 2 years ago
Chuz-Life
Sure thing.
Posted by creedhunt 2 years ago
creedhunt
If the voters are interested, I'll debate again. If not, we can put up a thread. Does that work?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
Chuz-LifecreedhuntTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: The definition of an ectopic pregnancy contradicts the implantation claims. If an ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy, pregnancy begins before implantation.