The Instigator
youmils03
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
tcarter
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

Resolved: The Supreme Court case "Roe v. Wade" should be overturned.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
tcarter
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/12/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,100 times Debate No: 29107
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (4)

 

youmils03

Pro

I strongly affirm resolved that The Supreme Court case "Roe v. Wade" should be overturned. First, definitions:

life - the period between conception of an entity and its expiration
abortion - the termination of the fetus of a human child
Roe v. Wade - a Supreme Court case that deemed it unconstitutional to deny the right of a woman to abort her child during the first trimester of pregnancy

The framework for this round is the Constitution, because it is a natural document that dictates the rights and responsibilities of American individuals. Since "Roe v. Wade" regards policies in the United States, the Constitution should be an accessible and fair standard for both sides of this debate. Whichever side better adheres to the wishes of the Constitution is the won that winds this round.

My PLAN for this round is to overturn Roe v. Wade BUT to implement a law that allows women to have up to two abortions in cases of rape, incest, danger to the mother's health, or danger to the child's health. As this is not a Policy round, it is not my burden to show evidence of solvency; instead, as Affirmative, I have just as much power as the Negative side to dictate a reasonable interpretation of the resolution that gives both sides fair ground. Thus, the burden of the Negative is to show that Roe v. Wade should be extended not ONLY for cases of rape, incest, or danger to health, but ALSO for intentional purposes.

Contention 1: "Roe v. Wade" threatens the right to life. Life is a commonly prioritized right in American society, and the loss of life that an American fetus suffers during an abortion compromises the premise of life. The 5th Amendment to the Constitution mandates that "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Since unborn children are not given due process, depriving them of their lives is simply unconstitutional. Furthermore, John Locke indicates in his social contract theory that all American citizens are entitled to the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Since a baby is no less deserving of these simple, fundamental, intrinsic entitlements than a 24-year-old adult or 87-year-old senior, the Negative has no place to say that abortion is a constitutional or moral choice. It is common for opponents of the resolution to point to the cliche "my body, my choice" as a symbol of decisions that women should be able to make about their bodies. Remember, however, that a human fetus that is unable to live because of an abortion loses his access to BILLIONS of choices, decisions, and transactions that he could have made if he had been born into society. Thus, the Affirmative side of this resolution upholds the pro-choice (Liberal) AND pro-life (Conservative) sides of the political spectrum. To uphold the sanctity of life and to balance the rights of a woman with those of a child, it is simply in the best interests of America and of the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade.

Contention 2: Roe v. Wade does not hold individuals accountable for their actions. Remember that, as Affirmative, I do not have to prove that abortions should be eliminated altogether. All I must prove is that the current policies of giving women the right to choose are flawed. Roe v. Wade imposes no burdens of money or community service on women who give up children. According to the Center for Disease Control, 28% of abortions are caused within one week after a woman has become intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Essentially, permitting abortions as they are currently allowed dictates to American citizens that they should not be treated as ends in themselves. Abortion is a way of condoning heavy drinking, which leads people into unprotected sex and is one of the biggest reasons abortions happen in the first place. At the very least, Roe v. Wade could be replaced with a Supreme Court case that made abortions completely legal on the GROUNDS that the women completed community service or paid slightly higher taxes. This would serve as retribution for the termination of a human child, reminding the woman of her choice to do immoral. The Constitution mandates that those who are guilty of theft, murder, rape, or other high crimes shall be punished and held accountable for their actions. The United States criminal justice system must be held accountable if it puts to death an innocent person because he was not afforded access to due process. Almost equivalently, woman who have abortions should at least be mindful of their mark on society.

Contention Three: Religions are fundamentally opposed to abortion. The 47.7% of people who identify themselves with a religious position have predispositions about life, justice, and values that must be respected. In the Christian bible, it is mandated: "Thou shalt not kill." Catholic traditions are fundamentally opposed to unprotected sex as a whole. John Boehner said in August of 2012 that "the Constitution must do a better job of recognizing the rights and positions of religious institutions in our American system". My plan of allowing two abortions in very serious cases is a perfect compromise between those who are always fundamentally opposed to abortion and those who are always fundamentally opposed to depriving women of the right to an abortion.

I remind Negative of its burdens in today's round. Any definitions that he/she does not agree with must be stated in the next case and justified extremely clearly, or the judge should default to using my conditions.

Thus, I affirm.
tcarter

Con

I would like to begin by challenging the proposed definition of "life." Life may be defined in numerous ways. As the challenger has presented the definition in context of a time period, "the period between conception of an entity and its expiration," I would note that Webster's characterizes this time period as "the period between birth and death." In fact, I cannot find a single dictionary definition that classifies conception as a starting point for this time period.

I believe that in the absence of a defensible definition of life beginning at conception, this debate is moot, but I will proceed to the contentions.

Contention 1: Children are routinely denied choices, decisions, and transactions without due process under the Constitution. This is called "parenting." A child, in other words a minor who has not achieved the age of majority, does not enjoy the same rights and privileges of an adult in our society. The logical reason for this is that children do not have the capacity to make adult decisions and are reliant upon guardians to guide, teach, and protect them. As such, parents have always held the right to make such decisions on behalf of the child. It is inarguable that children do not enjoy the full rights and privileges of an adult under the Constitution. Therefore, abortion does not deny due process to another person. I would also point out that the "due process" clause refers to the actions of the state against an individual. To apply this clause to the actions of one individual against another is not in accord with the intentions or wording of our laws.

Contention 2: You argue that women should be held accountable for their actions, and I presume you mean "getting pregnant." You then liken this act to "theft, murder, rape or other high crimes." I contend that the act of engaging in sexual relations does not constitute a high crime punishable under the Constitution. Therefore, there is nothing to be "held accountable" for via the United States criminal justice system. Also, your contention that a woman having an abortion is equivalent to putting to death an innocent person without due process would be attendant upon a child having rights to due process. I believe I put this issue to rest in Contention #1. What's more, it would also require the unborn being legally defined as a live person, which I disputed in the definitions.

I further contend that even if you should alter the definitions to support the premise that a woman undergoing an abortion is removing a child's life without due process, your contention with regards to accountability remains flawed and would deny a woman equal protection under the 14th Amendment. Conception is not an act undertaken by a woman alone. It requires the participation of a male of the species, and yet the male is not required to suffer any of the physical burdens imposed by a resultant pregnancy. Should two persons conceive a child, and only one be required, under force of law, to endure the negative consequences and risk to life imposed by that act, this itself is discriminatory. Should this become a case where regularly and with state sanctioned approval, this be always applied to the woman, while the male suffers no ill consequences, this is the very definition of gender discrimination and thus would run afoul of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.

Contention #3: First of all, I would like to draw attention to my restraint in not taking the bait you dangle by quoting John Boehner as any sort of expert in a scientific/legal debate, though I admit that it pains me to do so. I would note that the Constitution offers freedom of religion, meaning that no person, whatever their religion, should be forced to commit an act that is morally abhorrent to them. Should your religion, whatever it may be, ban abortion, then I do not believe the state has any right to force that person to have an abortion. However, religious pretexts do not have any place in determining the law of the land, and 47.7% of the people have no right to enforce their particular religious views upon the remaining 52.3% of the population. Doing so would infringe upon the religious freedom of that 52.3%, which is in direct violation of the Constitution. Therefore, what one religious group feels to be abhorrent should not dictate whether that is an attendant right of other citizens. As a case in point, many religions believe that eating pork is morally abhorrent. If the state should ban the eating of pork for all citizens based upon this religious precept, they would be infringing upon the religious rights of Christians to serve ham for Easter dinner, among other things.

As for your proposal that women be allowed two abortions, this is simply ridiculous. First, you state that abortion falls under the legal definition of murder, i.e. denying right to life of an innocent. If it is murder, then no exceptions should be allowed. If it is allowable, then it must not be murder. You give qualifying conditions under which the two exceptions would be acceptable, but you characterize those only as "very serious cases." I contend that every pregnancy is a very serious case. Pregnancy itself and childbirth specifically present a risk to the life of the mother, even under the most ideal circumstances, and the negative consequences of bearing a child can last a lifetime.

Thus, I deny your affirmation and contend that you have failed to meet your burden of proof and contradicted your own argumen
Debate Round No. 1
youmils03

Pro

I would like to point out a couple of glaring holes in my opponent's constructive speech before impacting and perhaps restating my own arguments, as it seems that some of them were misinterpreted.

Let's start at the top of the flow. What this debate is really boiling down to is the definition of "life". The exact wording of either my opponent's definition or my definition doesn't matter; what matters is which definition, judge, you prefer. I think that my definition is better, because conception sets the foundation for an entity (human being) to come into existence. Once conception happens, there is some kind of evidence that a child is bound to exist. My opponent frequently likes to claim that since these babies aren't BORN, they don't have RIGHTS. I would like to argue that the amount of time they have been existence should not affect the amount of privileges they have. If you still don't support my definition of life, think of a slightly tangential but reasonable example. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrats didn't cheer as much the day that Barack Obama became president as they did when he was ELECTED president. The epiphany that Obama would soon be president was what instilled extreme emotions in people: contempt in Republicans and ecstasy in Democrats. It comes to show that life isn't necessarily determined by birth; it's determined by the very first steps that LEAD to birth, which I argue to be conception.

In response to my opponent's first contention, he/she states that "children are routinely denied choices". Just because the status quo causes society to function in a particular way does not mean that it SHOULD function in that way. My opponent wants you to believe that the fact that children are parented automatically proves the morality of an abortion. I would argue that ageism is as serious of a discrimination as racism, homophobia, or even *sexism*, a concept my opponent tries to pull through and I will try to address later. My KEY response to my opponent's first contention is that giving a woman one choice whether or not to have an abortion undeniably determines the accessibility of a child to billions and billions of choices that he/she himself/herself would be able to make. My opponent's only real response to my first argument is that I referenced the due process clause irrelevantly. However, the right to life is a common trait in our American system. Just as women who have gotten themselves pregnant have the right to life, so should the children that they have as a result of unprotected sex. Reciprocity is the key to fairness; don't let my opponent pull anything that says otherwise.

In response to my opponent's second contention, he/she says that it is not immoral for people to have sex. He/she remarks that intolerance of sexual relations is extremely rare and should not be a keystone of our American system. I agree with about 90% of that argument!! Sex is something that people should be able to take advantage of; it makes relationships stronger, blah blah blah. But women must understand the implications of UNPROTECTED sex, a key word of my 2nd contention that my opponent fails to consider in his/her refutation. There are ways to have sex without having "unnecessary" children: using contraceptives or birth control. Failure to use a condom is like failure to use a seatbelt while driving a race car or failure to wear a helmet while skiing down black-diamond slopes. Women need to make responsible decisions so that they don't feel the need to terminate the lives of children in the first place. If they happen to forget to wear a condom because of heavy drinking, lack of maturity, etc., they should be penalized. Matching punishments with actions is a keystone of our American system.

There's a sub-contention between my opponent's refutations to my second and third contentions that essentially says that overturning Roe v. Wade is an act of sexism. I have 2 responses to this. Take whichever won you, judge, find more convincing:
1. It's not an act of sexism. The woman performs the abortion --- the woman should be punished. It's not the man performing the abortion.
2. Even if it is an act of sexism, in the Affirmative world we could overturn Roe v. Wade and still implement procedures that would allow couples to have abortions if BOTH of them were to pay fines or complete community service. Thus, if the retributions were to fall on both people involved in the unprotected sex and consequent abortion, my opponent's argument about sexism falls entirely. He/she must defend the Roe v. Wade case itself.

In response to the rebuttal that my opponent made to my third contention, I concede that I can no longer impact my own argument here. My opponent's refutation is too strong for me to counter. Thus, let only my first and second contentions flow through today's round.

Keep in mind that my opponent has so far made no unique arguments in opposition to the resolution today. He/she has only made refutations to my contentions, and of those, only one of them stands completely. At this point in the debate, judge, my opponent must prove that the benefits of overriding the right to life outweigh the costs (Contention 1). He/she must also prove that individuals not need be held accountable for their actions in specific cases, in this case, abortions. The 3 essential questions that I would ask my opponent in this round are:

1. Why is the choice of a woman any more important than the choice of a child?
2. Where and why does the right to life, a commonly accepted American principle, not apply?
3. Is it unethical at all to abort a human child and not suffer any kind of legal retribution for it?

Please note that it is illegal to construct any new arguments beyond my opponent's last speech. This means that this speech is the first one for which new contentions cannot be counted.

Finally, my opponent must prove that ROE V. WADE is justified, not just abortions as a whole.

Thus, I affirm.
tcarter

Con

Let me start by thanking my opponent for the thoughtful responses provided so far. It seems my opponent takes issue with the fact that I have not endeavored to prop up Roe v. Wade, but instead refute his contentions. I sincerely hope it is understood that the burden of proof necessitating change lies upon the entity advocating for such change. I do not have to prove that abortions should be legal. They are already legal. The burden lies with my worthy opponent to explain why we should overturn this law of the land and ban something that is currently legal. My job, as it were, is to poke holes in his arguments and point out their fallacies where possible.

I agree with my opponent that the definition of "life" is key to this issue. I have provided a well-respected dictionary's definition, one which is supported by many other dictionaries and the scientific community as well. My opponent offers only that he or she thinks an alternate definition "is better" because it fits more neatly with his own beliefs. I offer citations in response:

Gerald Joyce of the Scripps Research Institute defines life as: "a self-sustaining system capable of Darwinian evolution." Unborn children are not self-sustaining, but entirely dependent upon their mother for everything from metabolism to waste processing. Benton Clark, a prominent astrobiologist, alternatively defines life. This definition says that "life reproduces, and life uses energy. These functions follow a set of instructions embedded within the organism." Unborn children do not reproduce. In fact, Clark's definition would point to excluding pre-pubescent children and post-menopausal adults from the definition of life and becoming, in his proposed terms, "organisms" rather than "Lifeforms."

Again, I can find not one single citation that accepts conception as the starting point of life. I ask that my opponent produce such citations, if indeed they exist. Until then, I believe we ought to be bound by the universally accepted definitions provided in all major dictionaries. These establish life as beginning at birth and ending at death.

Now, my opponent has credited several statements to myself that were never said and are contrary to my assertions. The first is that I believe that unborn babies have no rights. I have made no such statement. Rather, my opponent stated abortion was wrong and unconstitutional because it denies due process to a citizen. I stated the children under the age of majority do not have the same rights as adults under the law. My opponent does not like this, and would have you see it as an evil "status quo" that must be changed. Were we to follow my opponent's advice, toddlers would be casting votes in our elections, preschoolers could drive cars, and first graders could stop at the bar for a cold brew after a long day of finger painting. Children, of necessity, do not hold equal rights with adults. The concept of due process is as applies to adults, and therefore has no bearing on this debate.

Next, I have had words directly inserted into my mouth that I promise you did not originate with me. My opponent states that I have asserted that sex is not immoral. I ask you to read back, honorable judges, and note that I said nothing of the sort. I stated that having sexual relations is not illegal, which is a very large distinction. I pointed out that it is not a "high crime" nor subject to the criminal justice system. I stand by this assertion. Since having sex is not crime, it follows that the state has no right to impose a punishment upon anyone for engaging in this behavior. Forcing a woman to risk her health and life by carrying a pregnancy to term is equivalent to imposing a punishment for this legal activity.

My opponent takes issue with my argument that the woman suffers, while the man does not. He proposes that the answer to this is to have the male pay a fine or endure community service hours instead. Neither equates to risk of health and life (which is an automatic risk of pregnancy), so neither adequately answers the Equal Protection requirement. Furthermore, as I keep stating, sexual relations are not illegal. Therefore, to impose a fine or community service for such would be ridiculous. We do not punish what is not a crime. If my opponent instead refers to the abortion as being deserving of judicial punishment, I must state that he makes it sound as though you can purchase permission to commit a crime by agreeing to these minor disciplinary actions. Although I find such an idea abhorrent and akin to the purchasing of indulgences by the pre-Reformation church of 700 years ago, at the same time I cannot stop myself from speculating what the "price" would be to firebomb my ex. But I digress.

My opponent also relies very heavily, in his argument, upon birth control and the false assumption that women who use birth control do not become pregnant. I would like to presume to offer the information that birth control is not 100% effective. My opponent places the responsibility for using birth control on the female as well, and suggests that the only women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy are either immature or drunk. I find this patently offensive and ask that the judges take special note of those statements.

I repeat that the core of my contentions are two-fold. One, that the reasonings provided by my opponent are inherently faulty, and two, that overturning Roe v. Wade would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Debate Round No. 2
youmils03

Pro

I affirm.

I would like to start with the technics. My opponent wants you to shrink her burden as much as possible. Remember that the burden that I set for the Con side that goes completely uncontested throughout the debate is to show that Roe v. Wade should be extended not ONLY for cases of rape, incest, or danger to health, but ALSo for intentioanl purposes. Look carefully at the arguments, and you realize that ALL of her arguments are defensive pleas with negligible evidence. She gives no unique reasons to support the Roe v. Wade proposition; the most offensive argument coming out of her case is the one that says that children are routinely denied decisions, but this isn't a REASON not to overturn Roe v. Wade. I am going to spend this last time I speak in this debate going over the voting issues in this round and stating why it is too late for Con to be eligible to win.

As the framework, you should vote for the side that better upholds the Constitution. All of our moral systems, opinions, and policies revolve around the Constitution to an extent. Since my opponent does not respond to this framework, you should vote for the side that better adheres to Constitutional norms, which I show very clearly is my side.

My opponent throws at you a lot of evidence regarding the definition of "life". Firstly, the Scripps Research Institute is engaged in basic biomedical science, which means that they are bound to be very fundamentally biased. Second, my opponent still disputes the existence of my definition of life. The fact of the matter is that you can perform a quick Google search and see that life is "The condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, etc." Aborting a human child eliminates the capacity for growth! My opponent cannot deny that. What distinguishes animals from inorganic matter is that animals are conceived and will eventually grown into worthy individuals capable of making decisions for themselves. My opponent wants me to bound my definitions in major dictionaries, but she herself has biased sources that define life in very science-foscused manners. For fairness and an equal debate, I ask that you please remove my opponent from any ground that she has on the definitional debate. Regardless of how you define life - EVEN if you define it like my opponent wants you to - aborting a human child prevents him or her from making conscious decisions for himself, which I argue to be very seriously immoral.

My opponent perpetuates this ageist argument, saying that children do not have rights under the law. Since I incontrovertibly won the definitional debate, unborn fetuses in a mother's womb still have life. They eventually grow to be complex human beings who contribute to society and pay tax dollars and create innovations and solve problems caused by previous generations. Taking away this ability from worthy human beings, denying the right of a human child to make billions and billions of choices for himself, and condoning immoral behaviors are such fundamentally flawed claims that my opponent continues to pull throughout the round. Just because children are denied choices in the current U.S. legal system does not mean that their lives are trivial. I shouldn't have to prove that "toddlers should be casting votes in our elections" in order to win this first voting issue; the fact of the matter is that a human being of any age will grow to have the same rights and responsibilities as a woman performing an abortion does, and it is not a woman's choice to determine the mortal fate of another individual. My opponent hasn't really explained how putting an innocent person to the death penalty is any different from putting an innocent baby to death.

My opponent wants you to believe that I am putting words into her mouth. I do no such thing. She says that people should be able to have sex, and I agree. But they should be weary of the implications of their actions. If they FORGET condoms because they have been partying profusely or drinking irresponsibly, then there has to be some kind of learning lesson. Giving free, unlimited abortions to all women condones these behaviors and makes no effort to draw a line between responsible, protected sex and callous, unbounded sex. Do not let my opponent win on the second voting issue, because the way to prevent having an unintended child while still having sexual relations, which my opponent and I agree to be a right given to U.S. citizens, is to utilize birth control. My opponent says that birth control doesn't work; this is malarkey. In overturning Roe v. Wade, we can improve the quality of birth control and contraceptives so that abortion is never the resort of a woman who exercises good judgment and self-restraint.

Imposing a fine or community service for aborting a human child that was the product of heavy drinking and unruly immaturity is not ridiculous. My opponent labels my arguments as "patently offensive". What I find patently offensive is that women take advantage of a fundamentally flawed system that allows them to exercise no sense of self-restraint whatsoever and yet give up human children to evade any kind of lesson being learned.

My opponent has not sufficiently proven that abortion is a sex issue. Since having an abortion could entail issuing a community service requirement to both the man and the woman, there is no question of gender superiority or sexist policy. This argument is completely ridiculous. I have to argue that overturning the current policies in Roe v. Wade is a bad idea, not making all abortions illegal altogether. Don't let my opponent twist my burden into something it is not, because the burdens I constructed in Round 1 are sandbagged and unrefuted throughout the debate.

Because my opponent makes no offensive arguments in support of Roe v. Wade, has invalid definitions of "life", and uses responses that don't uphold the Constitution, I urge the Pro ballot.
tcarter

Con

I see that my opponent has grown rather impassioned over the course of this debate. I believe that I have stated my arguments in a clear, well-constructed manner. I have provided citations where appropriate and have continuously referred back to the U.S. Constitution throughout. I can give no credence to the words my opponent insists on attributing to me. I urge the judges to compare what I am accused of saying with what I have actually said, rather than allowing my opponent to twist and obfuscate my statements into some sort of rant against morality.

Although I stand firm that I do not believe the burden is mine to prove why something that currently is legal should remain legal, I acknowledge the repeated requests by my opponent to do so. I answer as follows:

1) In order to ban an act, we must prove that it should be illegal for the good of society. We must show it causes credible harm upon other society members. In order to do that, we would have to show that the unborn child is a "society member." My opponent has consistently failed to do this. His first attempt was to simply define life in such a way as to support his arguments. I have provided multiple citations and definitions contrary to his own and challenged him to provide even one citation in support of his own definition. He cannot do so. His second attempt regarded usage of the "due process" clause of the U.S. Constitution. I pointed out how this was an incorrect and inapplicable usage of such. He has no other arguments on the table. Therefore, if the act of abortion causes no credible harm upon other society members, it should not be banned.

2) My opponent continues to refer to women being held accountable for having sex, as though it were a criminal act. He has talked about "irresponsibility" and "immaturity" and "drunken, unprotected sex." Again, I call out this unfair characterization of a woman who faces an unplanned pregnancy. It is inaccurate, inappropriate, misogynistic, and offensive. Beyond that, I will not give further weight to my opponent's declarations regarding the "immorality of women".

3) Finally, my opponent desperately wants me to argue that Roe v. Wade should be extended not only for cases of rape, incest, or danger to health, but also for intentional purposes. I state that it is already such, and I should not have to defend it, and I have also explained why it should remain such (i.e. that no crimes are committed, no harm to society, no deprivation of Constitutional rights.) In addition, I have explained why banning elective abortions could potentially be unconstitutional, imposing a punishment, a risk of health and life, upon women who have committed no crime.

So, as for final judgments of this debate, I urge you to consider carefully all that you have read. My opponent is correct that the Constitution should be the framework for our arguments, and I would suggest that my opponent's only references to it are done incorrectly and without regard for the actual meaning or usage of those sections, while I have endeavored to ensure my own are proper and correct. Since my references go unchallenge, I can only assume the point is conceded. Therefore, I should win based on the correct usage of the proposed framework.

Additionally, my opponent is correct in stating that I "throw at you a lot of evidence." Thank you for acknowledging that. I believe "evidence" is a much stronger foundational block than arguing ambiguous morals.

I am accused of "ageism" for asserting that the law does not apply equally to children and adults. This is not ageism, which is a form of bias. This is FACT, sir.

Finally, it is said that I have "not sufficiently proven that abortion is a sex issue." I believe my opponent intends the word sex to mean "gender" in this instance. As such, I ask my opponent how many men have abortions? If Roe v. Wade were overturned, how many men would be forced, by law, to complete the term of an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy? How many men die in childbirth every year? How many men suffer serious health complications from pregnancy? This is as much a gender issue as it is possible to be, by the very nature of the issue. To argue otherwise is truly ridiculous.

Because my opponent has completely failed to provide even one logical, cohesive argument as to why Roe v. Wade should be overturned, I urge a vote for the CON side of this debate. Thank you for your time and attention.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tcarter 4 years ago
tcarter
This was my first debate here (and my first formal debate in well over 25 years) so it was very much a learning experience for me. To be honest, I think both of us foundered a bit, but I know I have over two pages of notes, based on the excellent feedback we've received, on how I would do things differently if I were to do it over. I hope to use what I have learned to do a better job on my next debate.

youmils03, thank you for giving me this opportunity. You've been an excellent sport and I had a lot of fun. I look forward to debating you again in the future.
Posted by Mangani 4 years ago
Mangani
You are right. Con could have simply argued that it hasn't been overturned, and therefore it is the supreme law of the land. SCOTUS determines what should be overturned, or not. Roe v. Wade was not originally argued in SCOTUS- it was argued in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Part of THAT ruling was upheld by SCOTUS, and part of it was overturned.

Roe v. Wade doesn't just grant women the right to an abortion- it establishes that it must be balanced against prenatal protection rights, and women's health. In short- you cannot actually make abortion illegal by overturning Roe v. Wade, and you can actually end up overturning anti-abortion laws in some states without it.

Before you go opposing Roe v. Wade because you don't like abortion, you should do a little research.
Posted by youmils03 4 years ago
youmils03
Thanks for the feedback. This is one of my worst debates - I should have done proper research on the topic before making up a bullsh*t argument. I didn't expect to lose quite so sorely, but I guess this is a learning experience for the future. In hindsight, I feel like the resolution is very biased; it seems easier to argue Con than to argue Pro, but I think Con still deserves the win here.
Posted by Mangani 4 years ago
Mangani
And to Pro:

The act of reproduction doesn't begin at conception, buddy. I understand you may still be a virgin, but SEX is where reproduction begins. Ejaculation is the first step to conception, and the sperm and ovum are two individual cells that join together and become ONE cell. At this point, this is NOT a fetus- the cell splits until it becomes a zygote. You made the error of arguing and arguing that life begins at conception, yet you defended only fetuses- not zygotes.

And if life begins at conception, at which point the sperm and ovum join and become one single cell, why wouldn't you defend single celled sperm and ova as living humans as well??? If your argument is that, at this point, each cell only contains information, how does that differ from a zygote, which is many cells containing nothing more than information???
Posted by tcarter 4 years ago
tcarter
I would like to thank all of the commenters on this debate for their feedback, especially DudeWithoutTheE. Your detailed analysis and helpful suggestions will undoubtedly be of assistance to me in my next debate. It is very much appreciated.
Posted by DudeWithoutTheE 4 years ago
DudeWithoutTheE
CON Feedback

You made a lot of the right arguments. You need to go into more depth on some of them. The State Actors point was the most obvious example. You just say that, you risk losing. A judge cannot credit an argument just because they happen to know it's true. You explain it, then you're clearly going to win on that point.

With life, I would find a single definition, and argue why that is the right one. I think supplying two muddied the waters. Against a more experienced opponent, trying to claim that there is no support whatsoever for the belief that life begins at conception won't work.
Posted by DudeWithoutTheE 4 years ago
DudeWithoutTheE
Feedback:

PRO

Firstly, you took too much of a burden upon yourself here. You don't need to prove that Abortion is a constitutionally forbidden wrong, merely that it is NOT a constitutionally protected right. That middle ground - States can legislate it how they choose - is what Pro needs to establish is preferable to the status quo here.

On the definition of life, which is where you really lost the debate, if presumably your source is Merriam-Webster, you need to say that explicitly. You also need to engage with things like 'the capacity to reproduce' argument. Your best bet there is probably to argue that the capacity is present (for instance, female babies are born with all their eggs already inside of them) merely dormant. If your opponent wants to claim that prepubescent children aren't alive, this is a very bold assertion, and most people would believe prima facie that children are alive. If you can do any analysis at all of this, then your definition is likely to win out.

Also, when you define a debate as being about one thing, you need to be disciplined and restrict your arguments to that one thing. A huge amount of what you said here was irrelevant to the question of constitutionality.
Posted by DudeWithoutTheE 4 years ago
DudeWithoutTheE
The 'Holding people accountable' point falls on its own without requiring rebuttal, since PRO gives me no reason to believe that the Constitution requires that people be held accountable, and he himself specified that the round should be judged on Constitutional criteria.

Likewise, the 'Religious people believe...' point does not stand. I have no reason to believe that the Constitution cares about what some people's opinions on an issue are.

Also, PRO seems very confused about BoP. He claims that CON didn't give reasons to uphold Roe specifically, rather than just legal abortion. But it was clearly his burden to show why Roe should be overturned, and he did this by arguing that abortion should be illegal. He gave no reason to believe that his preferred model outlined in the first round is better.
Posted by DudeWithoutTheE 4 years ago
DudeWithoutTheE
The important part of the subsequent rounds is the argument over the definition of life. Here, I think, CON does do enough to establish that the unborn are not in possession of 'life' and therefore cannot be deprived of it. PRO cites his definition from 'Google it' while CON attributes his to scientists, and provides a reason why his definition excludes unborn children - that they are reliant on the mother rather than self-sustaining. Neither side cites properly at any point in this debate so citations mark is a wash, incidentally. CON challenges Pro to provide any source to back up his life begins at conception assertion, but Pro doesn't do it. As before, "You can perform a quick google search and see that.." does not meet this test. Nor do I buy 'X is a scientist, and therefore biased.' Pro asserts that even if you define life as Con wants, then abortion is immoral. That may be so, but is irrelevant to the Constitutional assessment he himself asked judges to perform. We're not judging whether it's moral, we're judging whether it is Constitutional. CON wins on the definition of life because he provides some analysis and identifies the source of his definition.

(BTW, CON cannot find a single source that says life begins at conception? Like, REALLY? That search string - WITH quotation marks - produces eleven million hits on google).
Posted by DudeWithoutTheE 4 years ago
DudeWithoutTheE
Firstly, I'm rather disappointed no-one talked about the spurious 'finding' by SCOTUS of a right to privacy in the Constitution, nor the bizarre legal reasoning by which that right is assumed only to apply until the third trimester. That is a compromise, not a statement of legal principle, and as such is properly the role of the legislative branch rather than the courts. But hey ho.

The critical issue in this debate, from my perspective as a judge, is whether the fetus' right to life is protected under the Constitution or not.

PRO establishes the 'Deprival of life without due process' point well enough to stand in the absence of a compelling argument from CON as to why the fetus should not be considered a person, or it cannot be held to be in possession of life. CON states, correctly, that the Due Process clause is always interpreted to refer solely to state actors, not private citizens. However, in the absence of a source to prove this, versus the plain meaning of the text (no person should EVER be deprived of life) I cannot consider CON to have proven this, and as such PRO's point stands at the end of the first round. Any explanation at all of WHY it applies only to state actors wins for CON, but there is none. CON's children argument can be discarded here as a red herring.

There is a compelling CON argument not given: 'Person' in terms of the amendment is defined as those having legal personality, which does not and has never encompassed the unborn. You cannot sue on behalf of an unborn baby, but you can on behalf of a child.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
youmils03tcarterTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro is unclear. Key sentences have no apparent meaning. I will impact my argument?
Vote Placed by Mangani 4 years ago
Mangani
youmils03tcarterTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro negated his entire argument at least twice. First, he states women should be allowed 2 abortions. Con aptly pointed out this negates the rest of his argument. In Round 2, Pro states that this debate boils down to the judge's choice for the definition for "life." Even the bible defines life AFTER birth- various passages in the bible, including the law, allude to how one should treat a pregnant woman, and how one should be punished for mistreating one. Amongst many passages, one key point is Exodus 21:22, which states that if a man causes a woman to miscarry, he should be FINED, but if she dies, he should be put to death. This is a clear distinction between the living, and the unborn. If I use a scientific definition- Con wins by Pro's concession. If I use the biblical definition of life? Con wins by Pro's concession. Job 33:4, and Genesis 2:7 imply that life begins at first breath.
Vote Placed by DudeWithoutTheE 4 years ago
DudeWithoutTheE
youmils03tcarterTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. S&G and Conduct are a wash, CON wins on arguments.
Vote Placed by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
youmils03tcarterTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Very close to awarding a tie for arguments. THe defense for RvW was unconvincing, yet I agreed that the BoP should fall on Pro. This might have meant that Con was only required to gainsay the Affirmative arguments. This debate veered very close to a resemblance to Robert's Rules of Order, and presented few new or novel arguments - except one. "Fetal life cannot reproduce." In all ways otherwise a tie (from my perspective,) this was the only thumb on the scale that I noted. In the end, I found slightly more merit in the arguments that religion should not inform contraceptive rights.