The Instigator
b3rk
Pro (for)
Losing
38 Points
The Contender
Mangani
Con (against)
Winning
54 Points

Resolved: A fetus' life may be legally sacrificed to protect the life of the mother.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/30/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,284 times Debate No: 3855
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (24)

 

b3rk

Pro

Trying out a new argument I've developed, help me check for holes...

The fourteenth amendment to the U.S. constitution states that "Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

This presents the citizenship criterion known as JURIS SOLI, the right of the soil. If a fetus has not yet been born on American soil, it is not yet an American citizen, and has similar legal status to an Alien applicant for U.S. amnesty, even assuming we consider it to be a human life.

As a government, the U.S. has a mandate to follow its own social contract, as laid out in the constitution. The mother's right to live should be valued above the fetus' simply because the is a United States citizen, whom we have an obligation to protect first and foremost.
Mangani

Con

I would first like to apologize to my opponent if I am not a superb debater, but you asked for holes to be pointed out, and that's why I accepted this challenge.

"If a fetus has not yet been born on American soil, it is not yet an American citizen, and has similar legal status to an Alien applicant for U.S. amnesty, even assuming we consider it to be a human life."

-Not true. I am not going to post the different cases, but different cases have shown that in instances of murder a fetus is treated as and defended as an American Citizen. An aborted fetus is not offered citizenship because it wasn't "born", and it's life was legally taken, however, in instances where the mother has been murdered they have gone on to issue citizenship and in some cases a SSN for logistical purposes for the government, and for memorial purposes for the family.

"The mother's right to live should be valued above the fetus' simply because the is a United States citizen, whom we have an obligation to protect first and foremost."

-A US citizen has no more protections of life and liberty than any other person. Though you have provided the law showing how the mother is a citizen, you have not shown any laws differentiating in importance of life of a citizen over an undocumented immigrant. Being undocumented does not mean you have less right to live than a citizen, and you have not proven this.
Debate Round No. 1
b3rk

Pro

Thanks for accepting the challenge, Mangani.
"Not true. I am not going to post the different cases, but different cases have shown that in instances of murder a fetus is treated as and defended as an American Citizen. An aborted fetus is not offered citizenship because it wasn't "born", and it's life was legally taken, however, in instances where the mother has been murdered they have gone on to issue citizenship and in some cases a SSN for logistical purposes for the government, and for memorial purposes for the family."

I would be interested in seeing some of these cases, as I haven't heard of them. I'll assume, however, that these cases are real and you aren't bs-ing me, for the sake of argument.

It may be true that in certain cases, a fetus has been treated as if it had life. However, the level of humanity granted to an unborn child varies from region to region- for example, here in North Carolina, you are not considered legally alive unless you have a birth certificate, period, with no exceptions.

Now, this situation is obviously ludicrous. A fetus cannot be alive in one state and not alive in the next. In a situation where the fetus was simply killed, with no other important circumstances, one could make an argument that if the fetus is considered alive in one place then it must truly be alive.

However, in a case where we are directly analyzing the life of the fetus and the life of the mother in a value comparison, we can clearly see that the life of the mother, who is obviously alive (in any region of the world) takes legal and ethical precedence over the life of the fetus, who may or may not be alive, depending on where you are.

_______________________________________________________________________________

"A US citizen has no more protections of life and liberty than any other person. Though you have provided the law showing how the mother is a citizen, you have not shown any laws differentiating in importance of life of a citizen over an undocumented immigrant. Being undocumented does not mean you have less right to live than a citizen, and you have not proved this."

The united states government is defined in the constitution as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. By people, it obviously means the citizens of America. Thus the government has an obligation to protect its own people, who are members of the social contract, over others.

To say a US citizen has no more protections of life or liberty than a non-citizen is simply untrue. Why would we write the bill of rights in the first place, if not to specifically protect citizens' rights? It is true that the 5th amendment right to "life, liberty and personal property" does not mean that ONLY citizens have this right. It does however GUARANTEE that right to American Citizens. Non-citizens DO NOT have that guarantee, and thus citizens do indeed have more protections on their life and liberty than other persons.

Finally, you ask for a case example. I'm afraid very few cases exist involving undocumented workers, seeing as they are, as is implied by the name, undocumented. However, there is the example of American foreign policy, and how we value American lives over the lives of foreign nationals.

Take, for example, the justification the U.S. government uses when American hostages are taken- such as Operation Eagle Claw, the ill-fated attempt by president Carter to rescue the 444 American citizens held hostage in Iran. We decided it was justifiable to kill not only the captors of the hostages but also civilians and non-participating members of the Iranian government in order to save American lives, simply because they were American and we had an obligation to value their lives first and foremost.

We have to remember that despite any feelings we might have on the abortion issue or a fetus' right to life, in comparison with the life of the mother, we do have more of an obligation to protect her. This is why abortion in a case of rape or a case where the mother's life is in danger is endorsed by all three major Presidential Candidates, including the Republican, John McCain.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Mangani

Con

"http://www.uttyler.edu...;

-Radiation professionals are required to identify embryos/fetus/nursing child receiving dose of radiation by social security number.

"http://209.85.207.104/search?q=cache:wsQO4Yul1FwJ:www.nilc.org/immspbs/health/Issue_Briefs/Prenatal%2520coverage%2520through%2520SCHIP.pdf+%22fetus+issued+social+security+number%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=10&gl=us"

-2003 provision in SCHIP which applies citizenship to unborn fetuses so their undocumented mothers can receive prenatal care.

"http://www.leg.state.or.us...;

-Rules for the state of Oregon requiring a Social Security Number to be provided for a certificate of death. Rules also requiring a certificate of death for the transportation of a dead fetus for burial.

There's more, but I think I satisfied that... so now that that's out of the way...

"here in North Carolina, you are not considered legally alive unless you have a birth certificate, period, with no exceptions."

-Nothing to do with your first round argument... nothing to do with my rebuttal...

"A fetus cannot be alive in one state and not alive in the next."

-A fetus is alive by federal law. The murder of a pregnant woman is a double murder and a federal offense. This is not a state issue.

"we can clearly see that the life of the mother, who is obviously alive (in any region of the world) takes legal and ethical precedence over the life of the fetus, who may or may not be alive, depending on where you are."

-You have not made this point clear, rather you have made affirmative assertions without any legal bearing. I have provided caselaw showing how a fetus is considered alive by federal law, and how is may be considered a citizen by state law- in some cases it has to be recognized before it can by buried.

"The united states government is defined in the constitution as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

-Not true. This is a line from Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" speech, not the Constitution.

"the government has an obligation to protect its own people, who are members of the social contract, over others."

-Even if the line were from the Constitution you can't logically infer this. The statement makes no allusion to protection of the people by the government, nor does it apply a level of importance to the American people over others. Since the statement does not even exist in the Constitution, this statement is moot.

"To say a US citizen has no more protections of life or liberty than a non-citizen is simply untrue."

-The murder of a non-citizen is treated as murder, not as the "murder of a non-citizen" with lesser penalties. You cannot provide any scenario where the life of a citizen is legally valued over the life of a non-citizen. You can appeal to emotion, but it's not an argument based on fact. Since the burden of proof is on you, I challenge you to provide a source for this argument.

"Why would we write the bill of rights in the first place, if not to specifically protect citizens' rights?"

-The "Bill of Rights" protects "ANY" person from the deprivation of life, and does not provide any special privelege of life to citizens over non-citizens. Again, I challenge you to provide any source to the contrary.

"Non-citizens DO NOT have that guarantee, and thus citizens do indeed have more protections on their life and liberty than other persons."

-Indeed this protection is against the detriment of that right imposed by others, ie. murder, and it does apply to non-citizens, per my previous argument on murder. You cannot murder a non-citizen and be treated as less of a criminal that one who murders a citizen. Furthermore, recent caselaw, ie. Guantanamo Bay prisoners, applies certain rights to not only non-citizens, but enemies of the state, terrorists, and enemy combatants, most importantly the right to life- hence the superb healthcare they are offered while imprisoned for crimes against this country.

"few cases exist involving undocumented workers"

-Not true. There are thousands of documented cases...

"there is the example of American foreign policy, and how we value American lives over the lives of foreign nationals."

-I believe my own example proves your assertion to be incorrect.

"We decided it was justifiable to kill not only the captors of the hostages but also civilians and non-participating members of the Iranian government in order to save American lives, simply because they were American and we had an obligation to value their lives first and foremost."

-You can hardly apply laws of "collateral damage" and "rules of engagement" to your case in point. These are extreme circumstances in which even the lives of the saviors are not as valuable as those of the saved. Even in your example an operation was never successfully carried out, and the hostages were eventually released without anyone being harmed. Again, your point is moot.

"We have to remember that despite any feelings we might have on the abortion issue or a fetus' right to life, in comparison with the life of the mother, we do have more of an obligation to protect her."

-That is not the case in point, nor the premise of your original argument.

Case in point- you assert that due to Juris Soli, a fetus has less rights as a citizen than the mother. You assert the fetus is as an illegal immigrant, and therefore has less of a right to life than a US citizen- in this case, the mother. You assert the government is obligated to protect a citizen over a non-citizen...

Juris Soli does not apply to unborn fetuses, as they can be considered citizens even before birth as proven by my argument based on SCHIP. A fetus can be issued a social security number as a citizen, and is required in states requiring a death certificat for burial and transport of dead fetuses, and a social security number for a death certificate.

Your arguments for importance of life of a citizen over that of non-citizens has been challenged by federal murder laws, which consider a murderer anyone who takes ANY life under malicious means- even the life of a non-citizen by a citizen. You have failed to prove any of your points...
Debate Round No. 2
b3rk

Pro

Whew, you've sure given me plenty to work with, thanks for helping me develop this argument.
___________________________________________________
"Radiation professionals are required to identify embryos/fetus/nursing child receiving dose of radiation by social security number."

The site actually says:
"Requires employers licensed by Nuclear Regulatory Commission to report medical event and radiation dose to embryo/fetus/nursing child and identify persons by name and social security number."

When read more carefully, one can see that this is detailing two entirely different things- a regulation requiring a report of radiation effects on children and another regulation requiring all persons in reports be identified by SSN. Since the absolute earliest point, according to the SSA website, that a person can apply for a SSN is on their birth certificate, this regulation obviously does not apply to fetuses.
_____________________________________________________
"2003 provision in SCHIP which applies citizenship to unborn fetuses so their undocumented mothers can receive prenatal care."

Thank you for bringing this to my attention! This is a very interesting update to SCHIP. The problem is that nowhere in the SCHIP, nor in the summary provided, does the SCHIP "apply citizenship" to a fetus, it simply identifies the fetus as a prospective citizen, and thus they decided that they cannot deny it medical care when it is helpless in the womb.
I believe the amendment to be unconstitutional. The fetus is not a US citizen and SCHIP should not give it free health care.
However- even if you accept that the fetus is a citizen in the womb, then you must concede another of your points. the document states:
"Thus a fetus, rather than the pregnant woman, is the recipient of SCHIP-funded services. This approach potentially limits the scope of services available to the pregnant woman to those directly related to the health of the fetus."

Why would they put this little footnote in? Because they recognize that as an illegal non-citizen, the pregnant woman is NOT entitled to free health care and the protection of her right to life through government insurance. In this situation, the U.S. government would value the life of the fetus over that of the mother by making it the beneficiary of better health care, simply because the fetus is a prospective citizen. This case confirms that the U.S. govt. values citizen's lives over non-citizens.
___________________________________________________
"Rules for the state of Oregon requiring a Social Security Number to be provided for a certificate of death. Rules also requiring a certificate of death for the transportation of a dead fetus for burial."
First of all, I don't understand your fixation with the SSN. The number is handed out to people to track income and calculate benefit, not to confirm citizenship or life. Why the SSA EVER hand out a number to a dead fetus who will never have any income is beyond me, but if you say it occurs in some places, I won't dispute you on that.
What I will dispute you on is your assertion that this is a universal rule...
This is an Oregon statute, only applicable in Oregon, which even includes this provision:
"(5) An authorization for final disposition issued under the laws of another state which accompanies a dead body or fetus brought into this state shall be authority for final disposition of the body or fetus in this state."
This both confirms that other states do not have the same procedures for issuing birth and death certificates and SSN's before burial, but allows those provisions to be valid in Oregon, confirming my point that there is not universal declaration of a fetus' life or citizenship.
____________________________________________________
"A fetus is alive by federal law. The murder of a pregnant woman is a double murder and a federal offense. This is not a state issue."

"Your arguments for importance of life of a citizen over that of non-citizens has been challenged by federal murder laws, which consider a murderer anyone who takes ANY life under malicious means- even the life of a non-citizen by a citizen. You have failed to prove any of your points..."

This is completely untrue. Murder is not a federal crime. There is absolutely no statute anywhere in U.S. code that allows murder to be charged as a federal crime. The person can be charged with Terrorism or Treason in case of an assassination or act of terror, or charged with murder as an aggravating factor on a drug offense, but there is NO federal statute defining murder or defining a fetus as a human life.
Murder is a state crime, and the statues are written differently in every state. NC law in fact specifically prohibits charging murder of a pregnant woman as double murder, and the fact that this has not been challenged by the US Supreme court proves that the federal government does not believe that a fetus is universally a US citizen.
______________________________________________________________________________
"You have not made this point clear, rather you have made affirmative assertions without any legal bearing. I have provided case law showing how a fetus is considered alive by federal law, and how is may be considered a citizen by state law- in some cases it has to be recognized before it can by buried."

You have provided no cases nor case law that show that a fetus is considered alive or a U.S. citizen by federal law. Moving on...
______________________________________________________________________________
"Not true. This is a line from Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" speech, not the Constitution."

Sorry, I should have remembered this. I concede this point.

______________________________________________________________________________
"The murder of a non-citizen is treated as murder, not as the "murder of a non-citizen" with lesser penalties. You cannot provide any scenario where the life of a citizen is legally valued over the life of a non-citizen. You can appeal to emotion, but it's not an argument based on fact. Since the burden of proof is on you, I challenge you to provide a source for this argument."

All right. Look at the circumstances in which the Fourteenth amendment was passed. Its purpose was, generally, to state that all persons born or naturalized in the U.S. are first and foremost U.S. citizens and are therefore entitles to all associated rights, privileges and immunities. This was done specifically to reverse the Dred Scott decision which stated that blacks were not citizens and thus did not have a right to life, liberty, or property. If citizenship does not grant a person more rights or more validity or value under the law, then why make this declaration? Why not simply say that all Americans, citizens or not, were human beings, and guarantee universal human rights in our constitution?

The answer is, because we recognize that being a U.S. citizen means you are entitled to U.S. protection. It is the same justification we give for not ratifying the UN's universal declaration of human rights or the Geneva Conventions or even the Rome Statute creating the ICC. As a U.S. citizen every one of us is entitled to protection by our government, especially when it is a choice of protecting either us or a foreign national.

It isn't enough to say that there are no examples available- this doesn't prove that the action is illegal, it just proves that it isn't confirmed as legal. I believe that the constitution allows an American Citizen to protect her life by removing a parasitic organism that is going to kill her from her body, even if that parasite is human. We have no such direct obligation to protect said parasitic organism unless it is a U.S. citizen, and as I have shown, it is not.

Thanks again M. for this wonderful debate. It has helped me a lot in fleshing out this argument. Please vote PRO!
Mangani

Con

"When read more carefully, one can see that this is detailing two entirely different things- a regulation requiring a report of radiation effects on children and another regulation requiring all persons in reports be identified by SSN."

-Either way, it is a regulation requiring radiation therpists/diagnosticians to document doses delivered to fetuses- hence in the very least implying acknowledgement of the fetus as a living being.

"The problem is that nowhere in the SCHIP, nor in the summary provided, does the SCHIP "apply citizenship" to a fetus"

-Given the fact that SCHIP is a federally sponsored program, it in the very least applies protections as a citizen to the fetus.

"it simply identifies the fetus as a prospective citizen, and thus they decided that they cannot deny it medical care when it is helpless in the womb."

-Neither my assertion, nor yours is explicit in the regulation, but mine is at least implicit.

"I believe the amendment to be unconstitutional."

-So?

"The fetus is not a US citizen and SCHIP should not give it free health care."

-But it does, and the argument is not whether or not you agree with it, rather whether or not the law recognizes it.

"Because they recognize that as an illegal non-citizen, the pregnant woman is NOT entitled to free health care and the protection of her right to life through government insurance."

-A pregnant woman's life is not necessarily in danger, and the refusal of prenatal care on the grounds of her undocumented status is not an infringement on her right to life.

"In this situation, the U.S. government would value the life of the fetus over that of the mother by making it the beneficiary of better health care, simply because the fetus is a prospective citizen. This case confirms that the U.S. govt. values citizen's lives over non-citizens."

-You are attempting to imply what is not written. Refusal of healthcare for non-life threatening conditions is not an infringement on a person's right to life. Indeed it is illegal for a hospital to refuse emergency life saving care, based on the fact that every person has a right to life, regardless of citizenship.

"Murder is not a federal crime. There is absolutely no statute anywhere in U.S. code that allows murder to be charged as a federal crime."

-I concede this point partially. Murder in and of itself is not a federal, rather a state crime.

However...

"there is NO federal statute defining murder or defining a fetus as a human life."

-The Unborn Victims of Violence Act signed into law by President Bush in 2004 is a federal law condemning all crimes against unborn victims, including murder. As of 2004, 29 states had laws providing for the application of this bill to state laws. (http://www.nrlc.org...)

"NC law in fact specifically prohibits charging murder of a pregnant woman as double murder"

-Though this state has not provided for state laws recognizing this act, federal law does provide for recognition of a fetus as a living human being, and therefore entitled to some rights- including the right to life- unless that life is taken through a consentual legal/illegal abortion.

"the federal government does not believe that a fetus is universally a US citizen."

-States do not reserve the right to recognize US Citizenship.

"You have provided no cases nor case law that show that a fetus is considered alive or a U.S. citizen by federal law."

-Well, I just did... moving on.

"If citizenship does not grant a person more rights or more validity or value under the law, then why make this declaration?"

-The 14th amendment provides "any person" with the right to due process of law, and offers citizens with "equal protection" under the law. It does not say non-citizens are not entitled to due process (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com...)

Caselaw Plyler vs. Doe provides that illegal immigrants are bound to the jurisdiction of the states in which they reside, and are therefore offered rights under the 14th amendment, including due process of law.

Since this is the basis of your argument, and I have just provided an Act signed by the President which recognizes a fetus as a living human being, and caselaw in which The Supreme Court ruled in favor of recognizing illegal immigrant's rights under the 14th amendment, your argument has more holes than Sean Bell...
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Geekis_Khan 9 years ago
Geekis_Khan
My friend, I believe you could have taken out half of the CON case by arguing supremacy clause...
Posted by Mangani 9 years ago
Mangani
Thanks B3rk, and others! I don't see how I lost this debate though... I wasn't arguing against abortion or it's legality, rather against the points Pro made to support his arguments particularly the 14th Amendment. The 14th Amendment is recognized by the Supreme Court of the US as providing equal protection for illegals, and therefore Pro's argument is crushed... I have no idea how anyone can argue against this, but ok... I actually learned a lot trying to debate against a position I don't disagree with in premise.
Posted by b3rk 9 years ago
b3rk
Mangani, whatever the end result, thanks again for an exhilarating first debate. You are obviously very good at this.
Posted by Orrs_Girl 9 years ago
Orrs_Girl
i believe con should win! con put up one heck of a debate! good job and keep it goin!
Posted by draxxt 9 years ago
draxxt
I disagree with PRO but vote him nonetheless.

CON, good job and I don't think I'd want to debate you on a sleepy day.

PRO, Good job refuting and keeping up with the opponent's points. While your argument strayed from time to time, I enjoyed it and unanimously vote PRO
Posted by draxxt 9 years ago
draxxt
And does anyone else find it ironic that a baby picture is debating this resolution? I do.
Posted by draxxt 9 years ago
draxxt
actually it's called self-preservation
Posted by Bitz 9 years ago
Bitz
Clarification: by anything i meant only in a case where you know that that thing that one is about to kill is he cause of your potential death.
Posted by Bitz 9 years ago
Bitz
While I personally think Con won, I do disagree.

If someone or something is going to kill you, do you have the right to kill him/her/it to save your own life? Of course! it's called self defense!

If you know someone or something is going to kill you, are you allowed to hire people to kill that someone/something to stop him/her/it from killing you? Of course! that's also a form of self defense!

Even if the fetus was a full human being, that still would not invaldate the right of self-defense. It doesn't matter HOW it's going to kill you, the point is you know it's going to do it, you have the right to do ANYTHING necessary to save your own life. It's simple self-defense.
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