Debate Rounds (4)
1. First round is acceptance. Do not present your argument.
2. No new arguments in the final round.
3. No kritiks or semantics
4. Definitions and topic may not be changed during debate
I will be arguing in favor of "Pro-Choice" (against pro-life), you will be arguing in favor of "Pro-Life" (against pro-choice).
Abortion- "removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus in order to end a pregnancy"
Fetus- "an unborn or unhatched vertebrate especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind"
Embryo- "an animal in early stages of growth and differentiation that are characterized by cleavage, the laying down of fundamental tissues, and the formation of primitive organs and organ systems"
Pro-Choice- "favoring legalized abortion as an option for unwanted pregnancy"
Pro-Life- "supporting the right to life of the new born; against abortion"
I look forward to having a respectful debate on this topic.
1. "The fetus is a human being from the moment of conception; this means abortion is murder, which is immoral and should be illegal."
Pro-Lifers' main argument against abortion is the "fact" that life begins at conception. This cannot be known as a true fact as there is no clear point at which life begins. A fact can be defined as "something that actually exists; reality; truth:something known to exist or to have happened:a truth known by actual experience or observation". This definition will be sufficient for both arguments. For this argument, I will use an analogy.
For the sake of the argument, let's use blue and purple. We all know purple isn't blue and blue isn't purple. So, once we leave the blue area, there must be a point at which it becomes purple. Of course there's no straight answer as to where it becomes purple, except in the purple itself. Everyone would have a different definition as to when blue becomes purple. This is the same way people think with life. For Pro-Lifers, life begins at conception, meaning they believe as soon as an egg is fertilized, boom, life. If that is the case, more people should be focused on stopping in-vitro fertilization as many eggs fail to implant, and using Pro-Life logic, that would be the death of a child. Pro-life's argument that life begins at conception can't be completely correct as there isn't one true way to decide the moment a clump of cells becomes a human life, just as there isn't a clear point to decide where blue becomes purple.
My argument is that as there is no proof life begins as conception, this is not a valid argument against abortion. It is simply an assumption based on religious beliefs, which have no place in the legal system.
2. "Many religions do not endorse abortion or certain forms of birth control."
This argument brings religion into play. Our society has a separation of church and state, and this argument infringes upon it. Religion, no matter how strongly you may feel, has no place in any medical or lawful discussion as there's no solid proof a god exists. Laws imposed by religion, not factual evidence, have an effect on a wide range of people with different kinds of belief systems, including Atheism, Agnosticism, and Hinduism. These laws would turn our country into a theocracy, thereby undermining what our country stands for. Freedom of religion is written in the Bill of Rights, so why is it right to subject the beliefs of a single (or small group of) religion on everyone? If we did make all religious law federal law, we would outlaw fish, make it legal to sell our daughters, and women would basically be property again.
3. "If the pregnancy is the result of carelessness on the mother’s part..., she should have to deal with the consequences. It is ultimately her responsibility...to prevent pregnancy if both she and her male partner do not wish to conceive."
This argument states that it's up to the woman to make sure pregnancy does not occur. The most common form of birth control is in the form of a pill and "when taken correctly, it is up to 99.9% effective." That still leaves a .1% chance pregnancy will occur. A study conducted in Sydney, Australia found, "Respondents were 544 men aged 18 to 54 years. Of these, 402 men reported using 13,691 condoms for vaginal or anal intercourse; 7.3% reportedly broke during application or use and 4.4% slipped off." Birth control and condoms are never 100% effective. There's no sure-fire way to prevent pregnancy without subtracting a basic human need (Maslow's Hierarchy of Basic Human Needs). This argument suggests pregnancy prevention is entirely up to the woman, which is an unfair assessment as there are two partners involved.
This argument is also invalid in cases of rape as it is reported that 1 in 3 women will be victims of sexual violence in her lifetime. Does this mean that 33% of women should be forced to carry out a pregnancy from this violation?
Why Abortion Should Be a Choice:
1. Abortion should always be a choice. It is a woman's choice regarding her own body. By denying a woman the right to her own body and her own choices, one is denying her a basic human right. Women in many Middle Eastern countries where abortion is illegal are thought of as second class humans and treated as such. The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon supports a choice, stating that the world needs to "'realize women’s reproductive health and rights,' advocate for universal healthcare coverage for all, and 'end preventable maternal, new-born and child deaths and malnutrition."' Though many argue that when it comes to abortion, it's no longer just the woman's body, this is false. The fetus or zygote is a part of the mother's body as it can't live outside of her.
2. Abortion sometimes is the only thing standing between a woman and poverty. Global Citizen states, "Women make up half of the world's population and yet represent a staggering 70% of the world's poor." In sub-Saharan Africa and west Asia, women typically have five to six children, leaving them powerless to provide for not only their own families, but themselves.
3. Women who face deadly consequences of a pregnancy deserve to choose to live. A Facts for Life study found, "Girls who give birth before age 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their twenties." Not only do girls from age 15-19 account for 70,000 deaths a year, but the babies that do survive birth have a much higher chance of dying in the first year.
Sources will be in comments.
Thank you for your response. I look forward to this debate.
One thing that I ask is that my opponent posts the sources in the debate to make finding them easier for the judges.
I'm going to provide my supporting arguments, and rebut my opponent's case.
Establishing Life and Human:
I would like to point out the definitions of life and the definition of a human. Now a human is just any living being in the genus species Homo sapien. Now, if you google the genus species of a human embryo, you get nothing . A human embryo does not have its own classification. This makes sense, because if it did, you could not rely on giving birth to a human baby. In fact, giving birth to a human baby would be rare if the embryo did not contain the intrinsic characteristics of a human.
To be clear, I will only be defining life according to science. Any philosophical arguments on the beginning of life are unfounded as they lack the necessary backing. Biology is a scientific study, not a philosophical one. So a scientific definition is all we need.
Now onto life:
1) Metabolism - transfering outside energy into internal energy.
2) Respiration - intake of gases needed for life.
3) Feeding - intake of nutrients needed for life
4) Excretion - to expell waste.
5) Reproduction - the ability to reproduce after onesself.
6) Growth - to grow or increase in size.
7) Movement - to change position or move.
Now, an embryo only needs some of these characteristics. For example, someone who is paralyzed is not less human, because he/she cannot move as much. Neither is someone without genetalia considered less human due to the lack of reproductive ability. They still contain a lot of the other qualities and are still considered medically alive.
However, these things are definite signs of life, and once a few of them have been met, an organism can be considered alive.
Establishing the Embryo's Life:
1) 2) 3) 4) 6) This all comes from the same process in the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord provides oxygen and nutrients to the embryo, and the embryo can expell carbon dioxide through it. The embryo takes this nutrients and uses it for its body to continue growth as the pregnancy moves on .
That alone is enough to qualify it for life. Something which is not alive will not metabolise after taking in nutrients and thene expell waste. And an organism that is not alive will not grow.
Life at Conception:
A human zygote is the first stage of a human being . The zygote is also a eukaryotic cell, which is considered the smallest form of life  . So allow me to put this into a syllogism.
P1) A eukaryotic cell is alive.
P2) A zygote is a eukaryotic cell.
C) A zygote is alive.
Human life does indeed begin at conception. We can argue some of the details in following rounds, but what I've presented is sufficient to make the claim that a human life does begin at conception and doesn't stop being a human life until it dies. As such, it should be protected as having the right to life.
I have refuted this in my case.
I am a Christian, but I am not arguing from Christianity in this debate. Religion should not have any part of this debate from my side or my opponent's side. The issue of abortion in politics should be completely scientific. There is no need for us to discuss religion anymore in this debate.
R3) Consequences for the mom
As far as rape goes, here's how to look at it. The human embryo is a human life that has not wronged the mom. The embryo didn't consent to being alive either. It's here due to natural biological processes. The embryo is not an invader on the mother. It is there because that's what humans do.
To assign capital punishment to the embryo because of someone else's wrongdoing is unjust. An innocent life should never be punished for the actions of the guilty, especially not with his/her own life.
It's not that I don't feel bad for women who were raped. I'm sure I would understand if that were to happen to me. However, emotions do not override the right to life.
R4) The Mother should have the right to make a decision with her own body.
I agree with this statement, but the embryo is not the woman's body. It is attached to her body, but it has a separate set of genes that make it a different organism. Because of this, the woman cannot decide to abort the baby on these grounds.
R5) Women may go into poverty without an abortion
Someone's mistakes in not practicing safe sex should not result in the embryo's punishment. A woman who cannot afford to support a baby should not have sex without contraceptives or a preventative measure that doesn't kill another human.
R6) Teen pregnancy and the life of the mother.
I have a couple points. In some states, it's not even legal for minors to have sex with each other . So making it easier on minors in certain states is just encouraging illegal activity.
However, in the states that it is legal, lacking the option to abort can force teens to have safer sex to make sure a pregnancy doesn't happen. If it does happen, the teen should be forced to deal with the consequences. A baby isn't a liability or a simple consequence of a mistake. Even the embryo, as proven above, is a human life.
In the event that the mother threatened is not a teen, certain procedures can be taken to make the pregnancy safer, like c-sections and water births  . Both of these things can make pregnancy easier and safer. Obviously, c-sections have risks, but in the event of a medical emergency, they're usually more life saving than not.
As part of the doctor's hypocratic oath, they are required to do whatever they can to keep humans alive. This must include all humans. Not just the ones that have already been born. That oath overrides the philosophical questions of what to do when one or both lives are in danger for a normal pregnancy. A doctor is required to do everything he/she can to save both lives, and it's not a question about whether or not the unborn baby is a human life.
The embryo's right to life far outweighs the other arguments in this debate. Unless the embryo does something legally deserving of capital punishment, we cannot legally support killing him/her.
Thank you for your time.
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