The Instigator
kingkd
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
Pfalcon1318
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points

Resolved: Abortion should be Illegal (Except in life threatening cases)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
kingkd
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/26/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 458 times Debate No: 74259
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

kingkd

Pro

This is for the Round Robin April Tournament.

Rules:
FF is loss of conduct point
Cite all sources
Drops=concession
Be nice
No new arguments in the last round

First round acceptance, second opening, third rebuttal, fourth conclusion

abortion:the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Good luck to Con.
Pfalcon1318

Con

I accept. Burden of Proof is on PRO to affirm the resolution.


I look forward to an interesting and thought-provoking debate.
Debate Round No. 1
kingkd

Pro

Thank you to the Con again

Contention 1: Fetus is a person
http://www.abort73.com...
"Faye Wattleton, the longest reigning president of the largest abortion provider in the United States"Planned Parenthood"argued as far back as 1997 that everyone already knows that abortion kills. She proclaims the following in an interview with Ms. Magazine:

I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don't know that abortion is killing. So any pretense that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say yes, it kills a fetus.1

On the other side of the pond, Ann Furedi, the chief executive of the largest independent abortion provider in the UK, said this in a 2008 debate:

We can accept that the embryo is a living thing in the fact that it has a beating heart, that it has its own genetic system within it. It"s clearly human in the sense that it"s not a gerbil, and we can recognize that it is human life.2"

""It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive...It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception."

"The official Senate report reached this conclusion:

Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being - a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.11

The American Medical Association (AMA) declared as far back as 1857 (referenced in the Roe. vs. Wade opinion) that "the independent and actual existence of the child before birth, as a living being" is a matter of objective science. They deplored the "popular ignorance...that the foetus is not alive till after the period of quickening.""

So you can see, even the extreme "pro-choice" supporters concede that the fetus is a human. The fetus is a human simply because it is biologivally conceived by two humans and the fetus has its own unique DNA.
http://www.abort73.com...
"A month after fertilization, brain development rapidly speeds up. In just two days time (between day 31 and 33), the brain's size increases by 25 percent. It is estimated that during the course of prenatal development an average of one million neurons (impulse-conducting cells that make up the nervous system) are produced every minute. "
"By the sixth week, the brain emits measurable brain impulses. Primitive brain waves have been recorded as early as six weeks and 2 days. Small bodily movements can be observed at this time, initially affecting the entire body but gradually becoming more specific."
"Pro choice" people may claim that the fetus isn't human as it is not developed completely. However, a baby isn't completely developed compared to a middle aged person, is it not a human? Size and development don't matter, the fetus is a human. THe fetus is an individual, not part of the mother because the fetus has its own DNA and can have different blood type than the mom, no human can function with two different blood types. Mothers don't have 4 arms and 4 legs when they are pregnant.

Contention Two: FLO

http://www.abort73.com...
"Don Marquis, a philosophy professor from Kansas University, wrote an article entitled "Why Abortion is Immoral," published in The Journal of Philosophy, proposing a way to avoid the above difficulties. Instead of basing the morality of abortion on either of the above categories, he suggested that we address abortion within the larger discussion of the ethics of killing. That is, before we make any moral decisions about abortion, we should ask: what makes killing wrong in the first place? According to Marquis, killing is not wrong because it shows the killer to be barbaric nor because it leaves friends and relatives left behind saddened. Rather, killing is wrong primarily because of the effect it has on the victim. Killing deprives the victim of life. The loss of one"s life is the greatest possible loss anyone can suffer. It "deprives one of all the experiences, activities, projects, and enjoyments that would otherwise have constituted one"s future." It is not merely changing the biological state of a victim from alive to dead that it is wrong, but the effect of that change on the victim"s future, which forever is taken away. In Marquis" own words: "When I am killed, I am deprived both of what I now value which would have been part of my future personal life, but also what I would come to value." His conclusion: what makes killing any adult human being wrong is "the loss of his or her future."

Marquis adds that this explanation for the wrongness of killing should be preferred if it fits with our natural intuitions about killing and if there is no other better explanation. In addition, he finds his explanation to be supported by several considerations: (1) it explains why many regard killing as one of the worst crimes (i.e., killing is regarded as so horrible because of the great loss it causes); (2) it is incompatible with the view that it is only wrong to kill beings that are biologically human (i.e., it would be wrong to kill any being with a valuable future, like aliens and some animals); (3) it does not necessarily entail that euthanasia is wrong (since those who face an incurable future of pain would not lose a future of value); and (4) it accounts for the wrongness of killing newborns and infants (since they indeed have futures of value like adults).

Thus, if the primary reason for the wrongness of killing is that it deprives one of his or her future, then this has obvious implications for abortion. Every normal fetus, just like you or me, has "a set of experiences, projects, activities, and such which are identical with the futures of adult human beings and are identical with the futures of young children." Since fetuses have a "future like ours," then it follows that abortion is a serious moral wrong. Thus, it is not the category of "being human" or "being a person" that ultimately makes the moral difference in abortion, but the category of having "future like ours." Just as it would be wrong to arbitrarily kill someone like you or me, since we have valuable futures full of a variety of experiences and enjoyments, it is equally wrong to kill fetuses, because they also have valuable futures. Lastly, under this theory abortion could only be justified if another life (e.g., the life of the mother) was threatened by not aborting."

Basically, killing is wrong because it deprives someone of a Future Like Ours (FLO). If someone is to have a full life with experiences and you kill them. it is wrong because they will never experience a life like we are.
http://www.abort73.com...
"The reason that some people take such offense at comparing abortion to past crimes against humanity is the same reason that the white establishment of America was scandalized when Dr. Martin Luther King compared the abuse of black Americans to the Holocaust. It is easy to condemn crimes that are far away (either by distance or time), it is much harder to condemn them when they sit right in your back yard. Abortion supporters are infuriated at the notion that abortion is comparable to the Holocaust because they incessantly argue that the unborn aren't people. This is exactly the same argument that is always made to justify crimes against humanity. They're not really people. This is what Hitler said. This is what America said when it counted enslaved African-Americans as 3/5 of a person.1 If we can't compare atrocities past to atrocities present, then the term "never again" loses all its meaning."
Conclusion
Banning abortion is not forcing women to give birth, as they chose to have intercourse. It is not choosing a fetus over a mother, as it is the fetuses right to live vs. the right to choose (to kill), and the right to life triumphs as without life you have no freedom to make decisions. Banning abortion is saving lives.

Back to Con!

"I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born."
Ronald Reagan
"A person's a person no matter how small"
Dr. Seuss
Pfalcon1318

Con


Introduction


Thank you PRO for instigating this debate.


Burden of Proof for this debate is on PRO to establish that abortion ought to be illegal. I do not need to provide any positive arguments against the resolution. I only need to argue against PRO’s arguments. In other words, I only need to rebut PRO’s arguments, or at least show they don’t provide reason to believe the reason is true.


That said, I will address PRO’s arguments.


Rebuttals


Argument 1


The fetus is a person.


PRO provides quotes via abort73.com from a variety of “pro-choice” individuals. It is difficult to determine where the quotes end and PRO’s arguments end, but the basic argument here seems to be that because the fetus is a human being, it is a person; however, simply because the fetus is biologically the same as born children, that doesn’t mean that the fetus is of the same category of being as born children.


“Life” as a biologically term can be applied to a wide variety of organisms. Biologists note seven characteristics of life. All living organisms:



  1. 1. Respond to the environment

  2. 2. Grow and develop

  3. 3. Produce offspring

  4. 4. Maintain homeostasis

  5. 5. Have complex chemistry

  6. 6. Consist of cells.


Should a thing have these characteristics, biologists would say that thing is alive. This point is quite important. A plant is alive. Any random bacterium is alive. These things are living organisms. It cannot be disputed that at a purely biological level, a fetus is a living organism and that it belongs to the species Homo sapiens. The terminology that is used here is of vital import; there are key differences between an organism and a person. Rather, we consider there to be key differences between an organism and a person (whether there are or not is debatable). For example, we regularly wash off, and thus kill, thousands upon thousands of bacteria a day [3]. The fact that bacteria are alive doesn’t play any moral or legal role in our daily lives. Additionally, we eat fruits and vegetables (which are living organisms [1] [2]) and this is of no moral or legal relevance. Even vegans (who place moral value on the lives of all animals) eat fruits and vegetables. We recognize some key differences between animals and non-animals. However, it is a truism that non-animals and animals are alive.


I will concede that the fetus is a member of the species Homo sapiens, however, there doesn’t seem to be any relevant connection between this biological fact and the legal status of abortion. At best, biology allows us to say a fetus is a person in development. Surely membership in the species Homo sapiens isn’t necessary and sufficient for personhood; this is blatant speciesism. It displays an unjustified bias, and on that basis alone, can be rejected.


Argument 2


Future-like-ours (FLO)


First and foremost, what is a future-like-ours? What is the group being referred to by the plural possessive pronoun “ours”? Additionally, who is the person doing the valuing of the future?


There are a few issues with Marquis’ argument, as it is presented by this website. Marquis does note a very important aspect of our evaluation of killing (perhaps more appropriately, murder) as a moral wrong.


From the website:


…what makes killing wrong in the first place? According to Marquis, killing is not wrong because it shows the killer to be barbaric nor because it leaves friends and relatives left behind saddened. Rather, killing is wrong primarily because of the effect it has on the victim. Killing deprives the victim of life. The loss of one’s life is the greatest possible loss anyone can suffer. It ‘deprives one of all the experiences, activities, projects, and enjoyments that would otherwise have constituted one’s future’… In Marquis’ own words: ‘When I am killed, I am deprived both of what I now value which would have been part of my future personal life, but also what I would come to value.’…” (Emphasis mine)



The author of the article makes note of some considerations. Among these considerations is Euthanasia: “it does not necessarily entail that euthanasia is wrong (since those who face an incurable future of pain would not lose a future of value)”. What is the basis for claiming the euthanized individual will not lose a future of value? “Euthanasia”, by definition, is assisted suicide, which means the individual in question desires to die, which means that they do not, at present, value their own future. In other words, it would not be wrong, under this criterion, to kill someone that wishes to die, because they do not value their future. However, a fetus necessarily cannot value its future.


It seems, then, that what a “future-like-ours” would be is a future of things which we presently value. But a fetus can’t presently value anything, as it doesn’t have the capacity to value anything, any more than an apple or ant does.


This argument doesn’t serve to establish the moral impermissibility of abortion, let alone provide reasons to make it illegal.


Abortion Criminalization


Keep in mind, this is a debate over the legal status of abortion (whether it ought to be legal or illegal) not over the moral status of abortion (whether it’s permissible or impermissible). For PRO’s arguments to get off the ground, he must first make a connection between the morally impermissible and the legally punishable, after which he must establish the morally impermissibility of abortion.


It doesn’t seem to be necessarily the case that those things which are morally impermissible are illegal. Under some ethical systems (utilitarianism), killing animals for any reason other than self-defense is morally impermissible. Additionally, there are things with no moral content which are illegal (driving on the left side of the road in the United States).


The Holocaust


The key difference between the Holocaust, The American South, and personhood arguments for abortion is that the first two were based on unjustified biases. The skin tone or hair color of an individual doesn’t affect personhood. However, the ability of an individual to perceive themselves and recognize themselves as an entity over time, arguably, do affect personhood.


Choosing to Have Intercourse


I will not disagree with this claim. It is true that women choose to have sex. However, there are those couples who do as much as they can to prevent pregnancy, short of not having intercourse, and still end up conceiving. To consent to having intercourse is not to consent to pregnancy. As such, you are in fact forcing the woman to give birth. The only available options are don't have sex or have children, as conception is not a choice.


Closing Remarks


I have addressed all of PRO’s arguments, or rather, all of the arguments PRO quoted from abort73.com. I hope PRO will provide some better arguments in the coming rounds.


I look forward to your response!


[1] http://www.ck12.org...


[2] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...


[3] http://www.foodscience.caes.uga.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
kingkd

Pro

Thank you, Con.

Rebuttal
" Rather, we consider there to be key differences between an organism and a person (whether there are or not is debatable). For example, we regularly wash off, and thus kill, thousands upon thousands of bacteria a day [3]. The fact that bacteria are alive doesn"t play any moral or legal role in our daily lives. "
"I will concede that the fetus is a member of the species Homo sapiens, however, there doesn"t seem to be any relevant connection between this biological fact and the legal status of abortion. At best, biology allows us to say a fetus is a person in development. Surely membership in the species Homo sapiens isn"t necessary and sufficient for personhood; this is blatant speciesism. It displays an unjustified bias, and on that basis alone, can be rejected."

First off, I would like to acknowledge Con's concession that the fetus is a human. Homo sapiens is defined as a human.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Since the fetus is indeed a human, as we both agreed, we then know it is alive. A comatose person may not respond to the environment or a sterile person may not produce offspring, but obviously they are alive. We can't use Con's seven points blindly.
About Con's point about bacteria, it is true we wash our hands (or at least I do). However, bacteria lives aren't the same as human lives, there is no comparison. Killing bacteria should be legal;killing humans should not.

Donna J. Harrison, M.D., president, American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
http://www.thesurvivaldoctor.com...
"Since the mechanism by which mammals reproduce has been known for at least the last 150 years, any biologist in the world can tell you that a mammal"s life begins when the sperm from the father unites with the egg from the mother. This process is called fertilization, and when the DNA from the father and mother have combined, the egg is called a fertilized egg, or zygote. When the zygote splits into two cells, it is called a two-celled embryo. When it splits into four cells, it is called a four-celled embryo, etc. The definition of "embryo" is "the youngest form of a being."

If this being is nourished and protected, it will proceed uninterrupted through the developmental stages of embryo, fetus, newborn, toddler, child, teen, adult and aged adult: one continuous existence. This being never develops into a pig, a frog or a tree, but only into a human. This being is therefore, by definition, a living human being."
Biologists agree that a human life starts from fertilization. 23 chromosomes from the father and 23 from the mother form a unique DNA person. Not being as developed does not reduce someone's status of person hood. A 50 year old man is not any more a person than a 7 year old girl, even though one is more developed.

""Euthanasia", by definition, is assisted suicide, which means the individual in question desires to die, which means that they do not, at present, value their own future. In other words, it would not be wrong, under this criterion, to kill someone that wishes to die, because they do not value their future. However, a fetus necessarily cannot value its future.

It seems, then, that what a "future-like-ours" would be is a future of things which we presently value. But a fetus can"t presently value anything, as it doesn"t have the capacity to value anything, any more than an apple or ant does."

Just because the fetus temporarily may or may not have desires (remember that it has brain waves), does not make it okay to kill it. The desire view of life is wrong, in that a person in a coma may not have desires at the time because they cannot think; however killing them is still wrong.

"It doesn't seem to be necessarily the case that those things which are morally impermissible are illegal. Under some ethical systems (utilitarianism), killing animals for any reason other than self-defense is morally impermissible. Additionally, there are things with no moral content which are illegal (driving on the left side of the road in the United States)."
Driving on the left side of the road? OK, this is getting ridiculous. If on balance, nobody followed traffic rules, there would be more traffic accidents and blockage.

My contentions stand as I prove why Con refutations fall.
Constitutive being argument:
P1) If an individual being has a constitutive property at one point in time, then it has that property at every in its existence.

P2) You are the same individual living being or organism as the fetus from which you developed.

P3) You are a human person constitutively.
https://books.google.com...
Thank you, and I urge a Pro ballot.
Pfalcon1318

Con

Unfortunately, I will not be able to continue in this tournament. My sincerest apologies to yhe audience and my opponent.
Debate Round No. 3
kingkd

Pro

The FF is accepted. Thank you for the good round.

Vote Pro
Pfalcon1318

Con

Pfalcon1318 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Pfalcon1318 1 year ago
Pfalcon1318
Guess it's a good thing I was going to be offering positive arguments anyway, then.

Not sure where that rule is in the forums, but I'll keep it in mind.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
@Pfalcon, in a tourney debate, BOP is *always* shared.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
kingkdPfalcon1318Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Ff
Vote Placed by theisticscuffles 1 year ago
theisticscuffles
kingkdPfalcon1318Tied
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Total points awarded:42 
Reasons for voting decision: Tough one to decide. I wish that Con could have continued. While I am personally "pro life" I don't know that this stance ought to be governmentally imposed. Con prevailed on the FLO point but Pro had more overall arguments.