The Instigator
Pro (for)
5 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Resolved: The United States Federal Government should pass the Life at Conception Act.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,976 times Debate No: 69932
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (21)
Votes (2)




I would like to thank Lexus for accepting this debate.

This debate is over wheater or not Congress Should pass the Life at Conception Act. What this Bill escentially does is decide that life begins at conception and escentially reverses Row V Wade. Click here for more information. (

First Round is acceptance and definitions
2nd Round is for Constructives, no rebuttles
3rd Round is Rubutles
4th Round is Rubtles and Conclusions
No Swearing
Wikipeadia is not a valid source
No Semantics

Congress- the national legislative body of the U.S., consisting of the Senate, or upper house, and the House of Representatives, or lower house, as a continuous institution. (
United States- refuring to the United States of America, all 50 states and territories.
Pass shall be refurred to as having being voted on in favor of in the terms of at least 2/3s majority in each house.


I accept.
Thanks for inviting me to this debate. Should be pretty fun debating someone that takes a genuine interest in debate.

Now, I'd like to give everyone the entirety of the bill itself, so we really understand what we are debating:


To implement equal protection under the 14th article of amendment to
the Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ``Life at Conception Act'.


To implement equal protection for the right to life of each born
and preborn human person, and pursuant to the duty and authority of the
Congress, including Congress' power under article I, section 8, to make
necessary and proper laws, and Congress' power under section 5 of the
14th article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the
Congress hereby declares that the right to life guaranteed by the
Constitution is vested in each human being. However, nothing in this
Act shall be construed to authorize the prosecution of any woman for
the death of her unborn child.


For purposes of this Act:
(1) Human person; human being.--The terms ``human person'
and ``human being' include each and every member of the
species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including the
moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an
individual member of the human species comes into being.
(2) State.--The term ``State' used in the 14th article of
amendment to the Constitution of the United States and other
applicable provisions of the Constitution includes the District
of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and each other
territory or possession of the United States.

I'd also like to ask my opponent why he has a rule against semantics, the study of words, when this debate is really ABOUT semantics...
That just doesn't make sense to me, so I propose to amend the rules and take out the semantics one. Thanks again for starting this debate and inviting me, looking forward

Debate Round No. 1


I accept my opponent's amendment. What I meant by no semantics is that my opponent does not take the resolution and warp it because of such wording or use a differnt Life at Conception at (2011 version). As long as we stict to the current resolution with the current bill then we should be fine for this debate. Without further ado, let's move onto the debate.

Contention 1: Self-Awareness and the value of Human Life.

One of the arguments for abortion is that the fetus is not self-aware, but the fetus becomes fully aware during the 24th week of Pregnancy, which is why many abortions in the 3rd Trimester are illegal. ( Many people believe that is the qualifications for the starting of a FDH (fully developed human) is when the creature is self-aware, but this has many flaws. One being that in cases of sleep and in cases of comas. Under these situations the person is not self-aware, does this mean that they are no longer a FDH until they have awoken? However the person’s ability to be self-aware is irrelevant to their personhood as it is an inherent capacity for self-awareness.

Dr. Jerome LeJeune, professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris, was the discoverer of the chromosome pattern of Down syndrome. Dr. LeJeune testified to the Judiciary Subcommittee, “after fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being.” He stated that this “is no longer a matter of taste or opinion,” and “not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence.” He added, “Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.”

You can see here that this further my point as one can see that life begins at conception and throughout the child's life is concidered a human life. The moment of conception is when life starts. This is because this is when you start being and because you are beginning to being. Dr. Bernard Nathanson, founder of National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), created a movie that showed the realities of abortion to inform Americans. In his movie Silent Scream he stated, "“Modern technologies have convinced us that beyond question the unborn child is simply another human being, another member of the human community, indistinguishable in every way from any of us." Here the founder of an Abortion Rights group showed that modern technology shows us that the unborn child is indeed another human being and a valued memeber of the community though he is still unborn. (Bernard Nathanson, Aborting America (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1979).

"In fact, philosophers often use the terms self and person interchangeably: a capacity for self-awareness is necessary for full personhood.” (

If that is true then we can see that it’s degrading as different levels of self-awareness would vary across the board. Meaning that certain people like that of “special” peoples and those in different medical conditions would not be considered FDH and be up for “abortion” depicting as such in the Unwind Trilogy by Neil Shusterman. Meaning that they would also be considered less of a person than the average American. With the quote bellow we can see that people are people because they are human, not due to something they gain nor loose in their lifetime, so this can work all across the board in this debate.

"Humans have value simply because they are human, not because of some acquired property they may gain or lose in their lifetime." (Scott Klusendorf, "Advanced Pro-Life Apologetics" Biola University lecture notes)

By accepting the legality of abortion we can see that we are endorsing that a human life is disposable as Pope Francis called it the “Throw away culture.” We get rid of the unborn like they are unwanted pickles on our Hamburghers from McDonald’s and just imagine the horror of never getting to see the light of day? When we look at our stages of life we can see that from it was you there at conception and you’re the same now (though taller and more mentally developed) and we can see that it was you at birth and you are here debating me, so we can see that it was you in the womb, not the body of something that would later become you. This means that once you were fetus, if it is wrong to kill you now, then it was wrong to kill you then. (

In the end we can see that at the least a fetus has the same FDH levels that of a person in a coma or asleep.

Contention 2: Aftermath effects.

In China, women their generally tend to have the world’s lowest rates of breast cancer, but the numbers have been skyrocketing so the Chinese government launched several studies into the incident and has found that an abortion has the chance to increase the rate of breast cancer after an abortion by 600%! This study was backed by the New York City Science Advisor to the Coalition of Breast Cancer/abortion, Joel Bind. Bind has stated that the link found between the two is that of a cigarette link to lung cancer. ( Dr. Jane Orient has found that the reasoning behind this is that estrogen increases by 2000% during the end of the 1st Trimester which in turn increases vulnerability to estrogen-fueled cancers and that a full pregnancy decreases the risk of milk producing stem cells to divide into that of cancerous cells. (

As we can see from above is that there is a direct corrilation between abortions and breast cancer as the statistics show that it's near 1 abortion per breast cancer incident.

They have also found that abortion causes PASS (Post Abortion Stress Syndrome) which leaves women in mental anguish similiar to the effects of shel shock. (
Contention 3: Life of the Mother

In 2012, the Dublin Declaration on Mental Healthcare reached a ground breaking finding that abortion is not necissary to save the life of a mother as 140 scientists observed this study. They released the following findings.

-“As experienced practitioners and researchers in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.

-We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.

-We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.” (

Since I'm running out of characters I'll pass things back off to my opponent as I'm running short on characters.



Thanks for a quick response, Lannan. Really glad that you are taking this debate seriously, since most do not. Sorry if I use some weird language, I did Student Congress debate in High School so that's the way that I will be debating.

Contention I. Technical problems with this bill.
Now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this Act (or Bill, the words can be used interchangeably) is completely impractical and impossible to really put into effect. Under current US Law, if someone unintentionally brings death to another human being, it is called involuntary manslaughter. Now, if a woman has a miscarriage, then she is bringing the involuntary death to another human being, which means that she is committing involuntary manslaughter, and is setting herself up for criminal prosecution. If you want a source for what involuntary manslaughter is, then here you are [1], and this source says that involuntary manslaughter is the murder of “a human being”. By voting in affirmation of making congress pass this bill, we are voting in affirmation of the prosecution of many many mothers, due to the unreasonable wording of this bill.
Because of the impact of "unreasonable prosecution of the innocent", as well as "illegitimization of the government due to immoral prosecution", we should not, under any circumstances, pass this bill. We are not going to be debating an amended form of this bill, just the way that the bill is set up at the moment, so we cannot pass this.

Contention II. Disproving the idea that a fetus is a human being, or is even alive.
Life is defined as something that meets all of these criteria, or most of them, in the case of viruses [2]:

  1. Homeostasis (regulation of internal environment to maintain a constant state)
  2. Organization (structurally composed of one or more cells)
  3. Metabolism (transformation of energy by converting chemicals and energy into components and decomposing organic matter)
  4. Growth (self explanatory)
  5. Adaption (adapt in accordance of the environment)
  6. Response to stimuli (self explanatory)
  7. Reproduction (ability to produce new individual organisms)
Proponents are voting in the false premise that fetuses are by definition alive, and no human life is worth killing. However, if we do look at the criteria for life, then we see that this is not the case. A fertilized egg does not have homeostasis at all, it does not have a metabolism, it does not have adaption to environment, it cannot respond to stimuli, and it cannot reproduce. I am not saying that children are not alive, since they meet most of these criterion, but a fertilized egg is not, since it does not meet most of these criteria. A human being is a homo sapien that is alive, thus a fetus is not a human being, so we must conclude that there is a false premise that many proponents are voting on.

Contention III. Public opinion.
The role of the US Congress is to represent their American constituents, and as you can see down below that they would not be doing this, because the public is mostly in favor of abortion, in "certain conditions", where this bill would ban all times where an abortion would be necessary. Because of the impact of "government illegitimacy", where the government would be eroded to a point where it is going against what the public wants, it is very important that we do not say that the US Congress should pass this bill.

Debate Round No. 2


That is quite alright if you use student Congress wording as I myself did Student Congress myself for a few years though I prefered doing Lincoln-Douglous on my Friday rounds.

Contention 1: Technical Problems with this bill.

Now I do comend my opponent on bringing up such an interesting argument. The only problem with it is that it does not apply to a miscarriage. Why you may ask? Well let's just consult Con's own source for this argument. Con's source states that in order for it to be involuntary mansalaughter it must satisfy three, not one, but all three of the following points in order for it to be involuntary manslaughter.

1. Someone was killed as a result of act by the defendant.

2. The act either was inherently dangerous to others or done with reckless disregard for human life.

3. The defendant knew or should have known his or her conduct was a threat to the lives of others. (

Now let's apply this to a miscarriage, but for those of you who do not know what a miscarriage is I shall define it for you.

Miscarriage- the expulsion of a fetus before it is viable, especially between the third and seventh months of pregnancy; spontaneous abortion (

So we can see from the above this is the explusion of the fetus before it can survive. Which can include an abortion, which under this bill will be manslaughter, or it could just simply be the failure of the child. This is not done on purpose on behalf of the mother nor would she know that this would cause a miscarriage and thus disproves point three. Point two can also be disproven by us just simply looking at the fact that a miscarriage can simply be an accident and is not the fault of the mother.

Contention 2: The Fetus is alive.

My opponent goest out in this contention saying that the fetus is not alive because of XY and Z, without any imperical evidence. This round I intend on showing that evidence for these things.

Every organism must be able to maintain a consistent internal environment. This is often seen done through sweating, excretion and blood plays a major role. There is no set law on how one’s internal environment must be maintained, so long as the organism can accomplish this, it’s performing Homeostasis. The Fetus performs a great deal of Homeostasis through the Placenta. The Amniotic Fluid also plays a large role in maintaining body temperature. The fluid stays slightly above the body temperature of the mother in order to keep the fetus’s body temperature where it needs to be. (
The hormones that help maintain Homeostasis are produced in the Placenta. The Fetus must maintain glucose homeostasis, body temperature, and body fluid homeostasis.

Every organism must require Metabolism, the transformation of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components (anabolism) and the decomposing of organic substances (catabolism). The energy is used to vastly support homeostasis and other phenomena. The fetus maintains a good deal of metabolism on its own. Many primary hormones, such as insulin and glucagon, don’t pass through the placenta. This means the hormones are produced within the fetus. The mother’s own hormones play a minor role in the fetus’s Metabolism. (

It is well known among biologists that the fetus responses to external stimuli. At what week it begins to react is not known, and no estimates are universally accepted. (
A test performed in the early 20
th century, studying the effects of sound on fetuses found considerable amounts of data on the subject. The Fetus does react to sound and other stimuli. (
This is seen again in the study of 100 Dutch women, where the fetus responds to sound before adapting to it. (

In the study mentioned in the prior segment, the researchers used noise to test the fetus, and found that the fetus would stop responding. It adapted to the noise through habituation or sensitization. These are primitive forms of memory, but the fetus did nonetheless adapt to and remembered the noise. There is other research that suggests the fetus adapts to stress. This adaptation usually involves increased maturation in the Brain and Lungs. (

Being able unable to reproduce only means you aren’t fully developed or that your development was messed up, but you can still be alive. So how does one handle this characteristic? A good move would be to accept that this characteristic need only be found in one’s species. Of course, we could also use information from Vorvick and Stork to conclude that, on a cellular level, the zygote is reproducing. (
Starting as a single cell, the Zygote begins cell division (reproduction). This mean that, for the first few weeks, the fetus is capable of fulfilling the reproduction characteristic. For the sake of reason, we will conclude that after the fetus reaches a certain level of development, where cellular development is less as an issue, cellular reproduction no longer counts. We will also conclude that once living, a fetus can’t die and come back to life months later. The fetus reproduces as a cell, and afterwards, is protected by the principle that it’s already fulfilled its criteria, and that reproduction need only be a specie’s characteristic.

So we can see here that I have refuted all of the areas that my opponent has brought up.



Thanks for understanding about Student Congress wording and debate orientation, Lannan.

Contention 1.
Lannan has tried to do something very admirable here, and that is trying to prove to us that abortion is immoral due to the fact that a fetus is self aware and is alive, and I applaud him for trying to bring this up. However, this is simply not true when you actually look at what self-awareness is, or what life is, as I explained in my R2C2. Self-awareness is defined as, "conscious knowledge of one's own character, feelings, motives, and desires" [1]. Now, this Act is a very large and umbrella-like one, that reaches not only out to the second or third trimesters of pregnancy, but to ALL times of 'life' of a homo-sapien, from fertilization to the deathbed. Because of this basic nature of the Act, we can see that a fetus is not self-aware. A zygote does not have concious knowledge about its surroundings -- it is just one cell. A zygote does not have a character, it does not have feelings, and it does not have desires.
If we move beyond the raw semantics of the words "self-awareness", we can see that his point is invalid in another sense. A fetus cannot meet the terms of "self-awareness", because he has not yet met the criteria that is required for self-awareness. In order to be self-aware, you must have met your: physiological needs, security needs, belongingness and love needs, and esteem needs [2]. This is all according to Abraham Maslow [2]. Below is a picture of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, where the bottom is most important and most vital, and top is the least vital and least 'important' [3].

I do not need to refute the idea that a zygote is alive since I have already proved that this is false in R2C2.
Contention 2.
I would like to give you a quote from Gloria Feldt on the topic of a causal link between breast cancer and abortion [4].
  • “Another favorite tactic of anti-choice extremists is to scare women away from having abortions by telling them that the procedure causes breast cancer. In other words, when they don’t have law or truth on their side, they just lie. The link between abortion and breast cancer is about as medically sound as the link between root canals and mouth cancer, but the right-wingers have spread this lie far and wide.… The few study cited by proponents of the link between breast cancer and abortion have all been old, small, and flawed… Similarly inaccurate statements were posted on a National Cancer Institute website Factsheet, another source from which citizens have a right to expect straightforward reporting of the facts. “Some studies have reported statistically significant evidence of an increased risk of breast cancer in women who have had abortions, while others have merely suggested an increased risk,” the NCI website stated… The idea that abortion causes breast cancer has zero validity.”
What we can interpret from this quote is that there is no real, non-circumstantial evidence to prove that abortion is a direct causation factor in breast cancer. What I always like to tell to people when they bring up these kind of statistics is, "well, did X cause Y, or did X and Y just so happen to happen at the same time?", and most of the time they say that it was the latter. This is a logical fallacy known as "post hoc ergo propter hoc", which is a logical fallacy in which someone says that X caused Y without any real in-depth research [5]. Because I have proved that my opponent has used a logical fallacy when determining whether abortion causes breast cancer, this point of his has successfully been negated.
But before I do move on, here are some of my theories as to why there has been a sudden uptick in breast cancer stastics in China. Now I am not an expert in ALL of the causes of breast cancer, and very few are, but these are just my personal theories:
  • poor air quality due to pollution, and chemicals are going into the lungs of women, absorbing into their breasts, and causing cancer with carcinogenic chemicals
  • more screening meaning there is more possibility to tell that someone has breast cancer
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (which is surprisingly common in China [6])
Contention 3.
If I provide just one rhetorical counter example, then I have negated my opponent's entire contention. According to the Telegraph, there are hundreds of women each and every year that are diagnosed with a very aggressive type of cancer, and are also 'diagnosed' (lack of better term) with pregnancy [7]. The current medical opinion is that no mother should be allowed to start on chemotherapy until her fetus is past the first trimester, even if it is at an immediate threat to the mother's life. The cancer often poses the impossible choice for the mother of either (1) saving herself or (2) saving neither the baby nor the mother. In this instance of a first trimester baby and only a few weeks to live if the woman does not start on chemotherapy, I have successfully negated my opponent's contention.

[1]: Google definition of self-awareness.
[4]: (I couldn't find my original source for this so this will have to do. sorry!)

=note= I used the word 'he' as a pronoun for a fetus sometimes in here. It's just a general pronoun don't delve too deeply into that.

I am winning this debate because:
  • my opponent has not met his burden of proof due to the invalidation of all of his contentions
  • none of my opponent's contentions stand uncontested
  • I have successfully negated my opponent's contentions
  • I have used reliable sources
  • I have made good arguments and rebuttals
  • I have been using excellent conduct (so has Lannan, so this isn't a reason why I'm winning, but just throwing that out there)
  • I have used great spelling and grammar (so has Lannan, again)
Posted this round with only a few characters left. Good luck and again, thanks for this debate, Lannan
Debate Round No. 3


Okay, I thank my opponet for doing this great debate, but I'm afraid it's time for it to come to an end. Without further ado let's move onto the debate.
Contention 1: Self Awareness.

The evaluation of life, as defined by Biologists, is done by locating Signs or Characteristics all life possess. While no full list is accepted on a universal scale, at least twelve characteristics are generally used in Biology, often in lists of five or seven. They are as followed:

Organization: Defined as composing of cells.

Genes: To consist of DNA and RNA.

Adaption: Changing to match the environment around it.

Homeostasis: Maintaining a consistent internal environment.

Metabolism: Sometimes called Thermodynamics, it’s the transformation and use of energy.

Response: To react to stimuli or to the environment around it.

Reproduction: To be able reproduce or bear children.

Growth: To grow in size, usually referred to as Cell Growth.

Excretion: Removing wasted from the organism’s body.

Respiration: The intake of gases needed to live.

Feeding: The consumption of resources to live.

Movement: The ability to move that even plants have.

The Characteristics of Life are used to measure whether or not something is alive or non-living. As with any measurement, the unit of measurement must match the thing being measured. It is completely useless to measure weight in inches, thus showing my opponent's umbrella is irrelivant and this is the proper measurement. For that reason, we have to use these Characteristics used to determine life among single-celled organisms to determine if a Zygote is really alive. Measuring a Zygote by the standards of a full grown, multi-celled organism would be a fraudulent means to determine it not living, sadly too often successfully used to do so.

There are many who believe that life starts with a heartbeat, or some who argue that it’s about being self-sustaining. Neither is correct. Life has nothing to do with a heartbeat, or self-sustainment. This is an issue of flawed Cause and Correlation. That because someone is alive because he has a heartbeat, when in reality he has a heartbeat, and brain signals, and digestion… because he is alive. We can measure if you die by using your heartbeat, but it’s not because of your heartbeat that you are a living creature. Your heartbeat just keeps you alive. A tree has no heartbeat, nor does jellyfish, but even they are alive. (
In all reality, a heartbeat is merely a side-function of Respiration, the true character of life.

Self-Sustainment isn’t used to measure life either. The idea that humans are self-sustaining is far from reality. Humans depend on bacteria to live, if we lost the trillions of microorganisms and bacteria in our bodies, we would simply begin to die. (
There are many humans who can’t live on their own, some using iron lungs, and others in comas. Being able to live is required; being able to do it independently for this very reason is not. It should also be noted that parasitic creatures like the Candiru, or the tapeworm also fall under this category and we still concider them alive. While this seem less than humanly, living isn’t about how pretty or desirable the creature is.

Last round I have already posted many of these reason on how the fetus is alive in refutation to my opponent's second contention, but I'll continue by extending those points across as they were dropped by adding on to it as they help prove this point. The fetus does not breathe through its mouth, but through its umbilical cord. The Mother inhales, and the oxygen is sent to the fetus through the placenta. The placenta then transports the CO2 back to the Mother via the same means. ( This would call us to ask whether this counts as Respiration. The answer is simple. Yes. As mentioned in the criteria, respiration is not about means and ways. It’s about bringing in a gas to live, and Fetus does bring in gas. While it doesn’t ‘breathe,’ it does require and take in oxygen. It should be noted that the heart begins to beat just 10 days after implementation, during the first and second week. ( This is around the time it’s begins receiving nutrients and oxygen from the Mother. As discussed in the prior sections, once the placenta is finished forming, the fetus begins receiving oxygen and nutrients (same as the last source). By receiving nutrient from the Mother by week 1-2, the fetus fulfills the criteria needed for Feeding. As stated, it is not a matter of means. The fetus need not eat much the same as an adult. It need only require and take in nutrients. The fetus does this via the umbilical cord.

Prior to conception, the two human Gametes, Sperm and Egg, each contain one pair of Chromosomes, for a total of 23 chromosomes each, or 46 pair together. During fertilization, the two sets merge, forming 23 pairs of Chromosome. After Fertilization, the diploid cell, a zygote, that is formed contains a full set of 46 human Chromosomes. ( Even at conception, the zygote contains Genes.

We can now see that I have shown that the zygote has met all the crieteria needed for it to be concidered alive. The other criteria that my opponent has brought up is irrelivant as one does not need friends and such to be concidered alive.

Contention 2: Aftermath affects (with contention 3)

Here's somthing that my opponent has failed to take into account here. There is actually several problems about my opponent's GLoria Fledt source. Firstly she is heavily biased as she is the founder of a feminist Pro-Choice organization, so that's one peice of judgement that could've skewed her judgement. Okay, Lannan you say, let's look past that it's still valid right? Wrong, the next piece of evidence is her sourcing states that she said and declared this in 2004. While both of my sources come nearly 8 and 9 years later with better and more accurae evidence than what was provided back then. So my argument here stands. She then calls it irrelivant because it's ad hoc, but that once again is false. THere is clear emperical evidence showing the connection between the two which is the same as linking smoking to lung cancer.

Now what my opponent is saying maybe true about China, but take this into factor. They have been this way since the 1980s so why in the world is breast cancer starting to show up now? Thus my opponent's conclusion is wrong and should be discarded.

THe last part is once again the date. My opponent's source from the telegraph comes in Feburary 2012 while mine comes 7 months later. Not only that, but mine is a study done by OBstertics and Gynaecologists and thus we can see that mine is more creditable due to them having more creditentials to this field as well.

In conclusion, we can see that I have effectively refuted all of my opponent's points and she has dropped her own case. I have shown that the fetus is alive and the effects of abortion on a mother is dangerous. I thank my opponent for a great debate and I urge voters to vote Pro!



Sorry if this round is shorter than my others, I have to start getting ready to go out of town for a few days.
I will be taking this round to defend my case from refutations that my opponent has made so far.

Contention 1.
Lannan has tried to convince us that having a miscarriage will not be federal manslaughter under the passage of this bill, however this is not true. I will accept the criteria that he has proposed for involuntary manslaughter, and prove that each one of these criteria are met.
  • Someone was killed as a result of act by the defendant. This criterion has been met, because the expulsion of a fetus from a uterus results in the death of the child, and because the Mother has committed the expulsion of the fetus.
  • The act either was inherently dangerous to others or done with reckless disregard for human life. Having PIV (penis-in-vagina) sex is a disregard to the possibility of life to the fetus, because there is a very high probability that the fetus will be expelled from the uterus, and thus dying.
  • The defendant knew or should have known his or her conduct was a threat to the lives of others. This criterion has been completely met. There have been studies done ( that have shown that over 50% of all of fertilized eggs fail to implant into the utuerine wall. If the mother had read up on these studies, then she should have known that there is a high probability that the fetus would die as a direct result of her giving it life.
Lannan has also said that "[p]oint two can also be disproven by us just simply looking at the fact that a miscarriage can simply be an accident and is not the fault of the mother", and that is false, because this is what involuntary manslaughter is -- involuntary to the conciousness of the mother; as well as meeting the above criteria, which I have proved that it does. With this defense of my opponent's point, I have won this contention.

Contention 2.
A fetus is not alive because it fails to meet most of the criteria which I have listed in my second contention, which my opponent fails to actually refute. I listed 7 criteria, which a ZYGOTE (remember, not only a fetus) fails to meet 5 of them, thus not being alive. My opponent has said how a zygote can have respiration because of the umbilical cord that is connected to the mother, but this is really not true. At the moment of fertilization, there is no umbilical cord in place from a singular cell to the uterine wall, so my opponent is completely misinformed about how conception works, and he is completely misinformed about the forming of life.
My opponent tried to prove that a zygote has metabolism, but this is not true. This may be true in the case of a fetus that is in the third trimester, but not so much when it is just one cell, which this bill umbrella-ly applies to (new word). The mother's body is not aware that there is a zygote in the uterus, so it does not produce the hormones that are required for metabolism of the zygote.
Furthermore, my opponent tries to say that a fetus replies to external stimuli, and I am not refuting that claim at all. I know that a fetus can listen to music, respond to light, etc. However, a zygote fails to do any of these kind of things. Can a zygote hear the music around it? Can a singular cell zygote that was just fertilized respond to the light around it? The answer to both of these questions is no, so this criteria is not met.
I drop my reproduction criterion not being met, I was misinformed about that. With that said, my entire point still stands because a ZYGOTE, which this bill applies to, is not alive. I am not saying that a fetus in the third trimester is not alive, heavens no, but a zygote is not.

In conclusion, I am winning this debate for the following reasons: successfully defended my case from my opponent, I have attacked my opponent's case successfully, my opponent has not met his BoP concerning zygotes, instead only meeting his BoP when talking about fetuses, I have used reliable sources, I have had excellent spelling and grammar.
Remember, voters, that this is not a debate that solely applies to fetuses. My opponent's points have been refuted because he fails to notice that this bill also applies to zygotes, which he did not even mention. Vote con!

Debate Round No. 4
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
RFD (Pt. 1):

So, by the end of this debate, all the contentions are relatively straightforward... however, the debate is anything but. I think this will become exceedingly clear as I sum things up in the conclusion. Both debaters could have done much better to step back from the debate and make an evaluation of the way their arguments function rather than just trying to win them, but more on that later.

I'll go through the contentions, and then move down to the conclusion.

1) Self-Awareness and the value of Human Life/Disproving the idea that a fetus is a human being, or is even alive

This is where most of the debate happens. Both sides spend a lot of time here, each producing a separate contention addressing the issue. But by the end of the debate, I'm given two relatively straightforward answers:

First, a zygote is not alive. Truth be told, I think this point is patently absurd, and I'm not particularly disposed to agree with it, personally. However, the arguments I get from Con are convincing enough that I'm forced to agree with it within the context of this debate. She points out in R2 that there are a number of factors that define life, and then points out in R5 that Pro's responses to it fail to prove that a zygote meets these definitions.

Second, a fetus is alive and a human being. Again, I'm not in particularly strong agreement with this point, but the arguments I get from Pro are sufficient. Con never counters Pro's rebuttals regarding the life of the fetus being actual. She never truly counters Pro's case that fetuses meet the biological standards required for self awareness. So long as the fetus meets those factors, I'm forced to buy that it's a human being.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
(Pt. 2)

2) Aftermath effects

Pretty straightforward here " Pro's winning this one. Con's response just doesn't address the two studies Pro brings forward, instead attacking the idea of the argument. That's insufficient. I don't particularly like this point from Pro, and I can think of several strong responses, but I don't really end up seeing them. In particular, I was hoping to see a point from Con about how abortions are entered into with full knowledge of these medical concerns, and that the mother can freely choose whether to put herself at risk or not. I don't see that point, so I'm left to evaluate its impact without context.

The best response I get is the hormone replacement therapy point, which might be another reason for the increase in incidence of breast cancer. However, this is only mitigation " it doesn't tell me that Pro's studies are wrong, just that they're not telling the whole story. So I buy that Pro is saving lives, physical harms and anguish.

3) Life of the Mother

Again, I think this one's pretty clear " a win for Con. Con shows me that, at least in one instance, there's a reason for a potential mother to get an abortion for medical reasons. Pro's response that his source outweighs is really insufficient; that's not a basis for me to ignore Con's link and argument, just a basis for some doubt. What Pro is asking me to do is not to doubt, it's to completely negate the possibility that a mother's life could be saved with an abortion. So long as I buy there's any small chance of this being necessary (and, considering cancer treatments aren't all that rare, this is a decent chance), I'm forced to look at the issue of the mother's survival.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
(Pt. 3)

4) Technical problems with this bill

I think this is just generally mishandled, by both sides. Con gives me a case for the bill allowing mothers to be tried and convicted for involuntary manslaughter without really explaining how this process would work. Pro challenges by showing the process and explaining why a miscarrying mother would never be convicted, and then Con spends a good deal of her last round pointing out how it meets those criteria.

Con spends all of her time focused on convictions, ignoring a few realities, some good and some bad. The good that you should have put forward was that it doesn't matter if they're convicted " any instance where a miscarriage is confirmed would have to be investigated as a potential crime. That could have been a big point, but it didn't appear. The bad is that it's very difficult to verify miscarriages at early stages. Con ends up using the argument that sex produces miscarriages in the final round more often than it produces sustained pregnancies... but not only is it new, but it just leaves me extremely uncertain, because now I'm wondering how this could possibly be enforced. How do you determine that a pregnancy occurred in each case, rather than just a failed fertilization? It's impossible to say. These points probably should have appeared somewhere on either side, but they really didn't appear anywhere in the debate.

That being said, I'm buying that there's some low chance of some women getting convicted. It might be low, but it's something, so this is another win for Con.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
(Pt. 4)

5) Public opinion

I'm not sure how this functions in the debate. Both sides drop it after R2, and I'm not sure what it means to the debate as a whole. I can see how that could have been argued by Con " it would have taken spending some time on what governments should and should not do, and focusing on Pro's burden to show that a government should do something, and not just that it's worthwhile to do " but I don't see those arguments, and I can't just give them to you. So, despite being dropped by Pro, I don't see a reason to accept it as important in the debate.


You both probably already see the problem here. Each side is winning several points here, and I'm not getting anything in the way of context for their importance. I'll explain more thoroughly:

Pro is winning:

The life and self-awareness of the fetus and later stages.

What does this mean? It means that the bill would save numerous lives that are the equivalent of human beings. I don't get any analysis of how many lives that is, or why I should favor those lives within the context of the debate, but I get that there are many, and they are important.

Aftermath effects to those getting abortions

This means that more mothers will survive into later stages of life. I don't get much context for what that means (like having other children), but again, lives, important. Again, no clue what the amount of people affected is either.

Con is winning:

The zygote is not alive/Miscarriage issues.

This means that the bill is faulted, in that, it's conferring a status of both life and humanity to something that is neither of those things. I don't know what the harm is in doing that (beyond the miscarriage point, which I'll get to shortly), but I get that the fault exists and is problematic.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
(Pt. 5)

The miscarriage issue is just too minimally explained. The point is weak, and I don't get any idea of what I'd expect to see following the passage of this bill beyond some mothers being convicted of killing their children who would otherwise just have miscarriages. I don't see how that stacks up against lives lost, so it seems weaker to me.

Saving the life of the mother.

I buy that some people will be killed who would otherwise survive due to having access to abortions, but I'm not sure how common that is.

Public opinion.

I mentioned this earlier, but this is easily the weakest point, and there's just nothing substantial to it.

So, how do I go about weighing these? The life of the mother counterbalances the potential cancerous effects that follow abortions. Public opinion falls out. So what decides it is miscarriage convictions versus the massive loss of lives from fetus to birth. That loss of lives, in my opinion, far outranks the possibility of miscarriage conviction. Ergo, I vote Pro.
Posted by LostintheEcho1498 3 years ago
Continuing as I ran out of room and believe this debate should receive as much feedback as possible. Returning to my explanation of point C, Lexus won that point as she did present the better argument and cast reasonable doubt upon Pro's argument, despite the sources being less up to date.
4. Sources were a bit of a toss up until Lannan started to take sources of Lexus' and use them for himself. Lannan also revealed that Lexus' sources were outdated, in several cases, by years. For this, and only this, does Pro get sources. Otherwise, both used a plethora of sources and I am highly impressed by both in the time they took to do this debate. Well done people.
Posted by LostintheEcho1498 3 years ago
First off, good job to both of you. Excellent debate. Now to points:
1. Both had equivalent conduct, so no points awarded.
2. Spelling and grammar I find myself leaning one way then the other, so I will null points here.
3. Now for argument. I see three main points and will grade according to who I perceived successfully proved or disproved these points. The points being that A. Abortion is manslaughter while miscarriages are not B. The fetus is alive or is a cognizant being C. There are aftereffects to abortion. Pertaining to point C, this was related more to sources but I will still count it as a relatively sizable portion of the debate was used for this. First, I award A to Lannan. I give this to him for two reasons. 1. And I quote from Con's opening, "However, nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize the prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child." This alone is enough to prove that manslaughter does not pertain to miscarriage. Lannan did one of the most damaging things to Con's argument, however, He took her sources and furthered his own point, refuting Con's argument while benefiting his own. Bravo for that and so a point there. Second, point B. I will give this to neither. Both sides presented excellent points as well as sources. They remind me why this debate stays controversial. Both sides have sufficient argument for a win if it weren't for the other sides equally convincing argument. Lastly, point C. This point took me a little time to decide on. I thought, originally, that Lannan's argument of breast cancer being a result of abortion being mildly absurd. Con then brought up China's air quality and problems involved living there and I was prepared to give Con this point. However, Lannan brought up a point that I was unaware of. The statistics shown by Con are outdated, even if only by several months in one case. Pro's research is relatively new and so I am prepared to give him the point for sources, but not argument.
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
dsjpk5. 3 points to Pro (arguments). Reason for removal: This RFD made two misstatements of fact: (1) it claims that Con failed to give any evidence that zygotes are not alive, which is not true, and (2) it claims that Con offered criterion for life of bacteria, not humans, but her criteria were for all life. Pro actually spent the entire debate trying to establish that a fetus met all of Con's criteria for "life"; dsjpk5's RFD essentially ignores what the entire debate was about. Given the problems with the first part of the RFD, its validity is not saved by stating merely that one of Con's arguments was "ridiculous" -- without explaining why.

Reasons for voting decision: Con failed to give evidence that zygote are not alive. She gave criterion of life for bacteria, not humans. Also.her miscarriage argument was ridiculous. Arguments to Pro.

-bluesteel (voting moderator)
Posted by lannan13 3 years ago
Only if there was more room. I ran out of space.d
Posted by Lexus 3 years ago
oh, didn't see the scrollbar when I posted my round. maybe it's since I'm blind
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by LostintheEcho1498 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: Explanation is in comments.