Resolved: The United States should value the pro-life stance above the pro-choice stance.
Resolved: The United States should value the pro-life stance above the pro-choice stance.
I will be affirming this topic today, because my view (at least for the purposes of this debate) is that the right to life outweighs the right to liberty.
Here are my conditions for a successful debate:
Round 1 - agreement to debate, introduction
Round 2 - definitions, burdens, values, and contention-level arguments
Round 3 - refutations to the arguments and conditions created in Round 2
Round 4 - summary and crystallization of the key arguments and voting issue
Here are a couple of observations hat I have with respect to the previous structure. NEITHER PRO NOR CON MAY DO THE FOLLOWING THINGS. These should be automatic grounds for disqualification:
1. beginning contention-level arguments, definitions, values, burdens, or observations in Round 1
2. doing any refutations of the opponent's arguments in Round 2 (ex: Con cannot spend his/her Round 2 speech refuting my arguments from Round 2)
3. trolling, loitering, or being disrespectful to the opponent
And finally, a couple of expectations for the round (so long as my opponent agrees to them):
1. use evidence, statistics, and examples to illustrate arguments
2. follow through with impacts to arguments, clearly defining how each links back to the values and burdens stated at the beginning of the Round 2 speeches
3. sign-post arguments (ex: using contentions or benefits)
As affirmative, I believe that the U.S. should value the pro-life ideology above the pro-choice ideology. However, I will NOT make any definitions or specific arguments until the Con accepts this debate.
I look forward to it!
Please begin by stating your points as to why you support your side of the debate and we will begin. I will do my best to follow the criteria you've listed. I have no desire to troll you or insult you in any way. Proceed. :)
I affirm. Here are my definitions:
United States: pregnant women in the U.S., as the resolution implies two polarized viewpoints of abortion
value above: consider to be more important than
pro-life: a viewpoint advocating the right to life of an unborn child during a pregnancy
pro-choice: a viewpoint advocating the ability of a woman to choose whether to abort her unborn child during pregnancy
standard abortion [as seen in my plan]: an abortion that happens NOT as a result of rape, incest, or danger to the mother's or child's health
My standard is NET BENEFITS FOR AMERICAN SOCIETY. This is a universally accepted framework that gives Pro and Con equal access to the ballot. Thus, whichever side produces more benefits for people living in the United States should win today's debate.
My plan is that we do NOT overturn Roe v. Wade. Women still have total access to an abortion. However, we EITHER spend time and effort encouraging pregnant women not to have standard abortions OR encourage those who do abort to have their babies adopted. This is because we should feel that the right to life outweighs the freedom to make one choice. The SECOND part of my plan is that women who do not abort their unborn children can get small tax incentives (ex: paying taxes on only 70% of their income instead of 100%). This slightly increases financial feasibility to take care of the child AND rewards women who uphold the right to life.
The Pro burden is that the benefits to American society of steering women away from abortion with wisdom and tax incentives outweigh the costs.
The Con burden is that the costs to American society of steering women away from abortion with wisdom and tax incentives overwhelmingly outweigh the benefits.
Contention 1: The pro-choice stance violates fundamental rights. Oxford Dictionaries defines life as the existence of an individual human being or animal, where individual is defined as unique. Aborting a child takes away his opportunity to live and make decisions freely for himself. The billions of choices that an unborn child could someday be able to make are compromised by one choice of one woman. This creates an unbalanced system that promotes murder and neglects opportunity. John Mearshiemer explains that "aborting an unborn fetus is equivalent to putting an innocent person to the death penalty". The Declaration of Independence mandates that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Supporting abortion directly contradicts the Founding Fathers' intentions for an inalienable right to life in this country. Furthermore, the Sixth Commandment of the Bible declares that "Thou shalt not kill." Thus, not only are there American objections to standard abortion, though there are also religious objections. The pro-choice stance is an assault on both the right to life AND freedom of religion. Life is sacred, inviolable, and absolute. The fetus will inevitably develop the human abilities to think, feel, and be aware of itself. The unborn child will be given every ability that each pregnant woman currentlty has.
Contention 2: The pro-life stance is psychologically more sound. A 2002 peer-reviewed study published by the Southern Medical Journal of more than 173,000 American women found that women who aborted were 154% more likely to commit suicide than women who carried to term. An April 1998 Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology study on men whose partners had abortions found that 51.6% of the men reported regret, 45.2% felt sadness, and 25.8% experienced depression. This is a drastic burden on American society, because the women and their partners are unaware of the psychological and emotional ramifications of having an abortion. Approximately 52 percent of the early abortion group and 67 percent of the late term abortion group meet the American Psychological Association’s criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Thus, "pro-choice" is an inherently flawed system that not only hurts the ABILITY to life of an unborn child, but also the QUALITY of life of anyone else who is involved in the abortion. Women are citizens, and their access to the pursuit of happiness is very seriously limited by having a standard abortion.
Contention 3: The pro-life stance is a healthier method. Abortion increases the likelihood that women will develop breast cancer. In early pregnancy, levels of estrogen increase, leading to breast growth in preparation for a woman to milk her child. When the process is interrupted by abortion, immature cells are left in the woman's breasts, resulting in a greater potential risk of breast cancer. Janet Daling is a cancer researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington found that women who have an abortion have an increased breast cancer risk of 50%. Moreover, abortion increases the likelihood of future miscarriages. A June 2003 study published by the peer-reviewed International Journal of Epidemiology estimated that about 15% of first-trimester miscarriages are attributed to prior history of induced abortion. Standard abortions not only damage the psychological well-being of a woman, but they also attack her biological health. Many women have sued the doctors who have performed their abortions, because they were unaware of these health risks. By encouraging women not to abort their children, we can improve the biological quality of life. The impacts of breast cancer and miscarriages are life-threatening, and we should take steps to prevent them.
Contention 4: The pro-choice stance promotes economic corruption. Subpoint A: The abortion industry is a scam. The abortion industry, including the federal subsidies received by Planned Parenthood, accumulates over $1 billion per year. Abortion entrepreneurs are more interested than making money than assisting their clients. The U.S. is committed to helping others, not by scamming them to accumulate money more quickly. This violates American ideals. Subpoint B: Abortion eliminates the potential societal contributions of a future human being. The US would be an entirely different country if the mothers of our nation’s heroes, great presidents, scientists, athletes, and others had chosen abortion. According to Nitin K, an economic growth strategist, one of the four biggest factors of GDP growth is consumption. Common principles in our American system show that an increased national population, to some extent, increases consumption. A woman who chose to abort her child could have otherwise given birth to a man who'd learn how to cure cancer, invent a time machine, or end world hunger. Financial and social contributions to society are undermined by standard abortion.
Contention 5: The pro-choice stance is medically unethical. The Hippocratic Oath is a document by which doctors agree to abide when they perform medical practices. It is intended to promote ethics and uphold morality. The Supreme Court notes that "it enables us to understand, in historical context, a long-accepted and revered statement of medical ethics". The Oath includes the statement, "I will not give a woman a pessary [a device inserted into the vagina] to cause an abortion." The modern version of the Hippocratic Oath from 1964 mandates an equivalent message. The idea that the Hippocratic Oath was intended to make abortions difficult or limited suggests that they are unethical. Hospitals are fundamentally inconsistent; while Roe v. Wade permits standard abortions, medical institutions seem to condemn them. To promote greater consistency and uphold universal morality, the Hippocratic Oath should be extended to prohibit abortions as a whole.
I have cited sources and statistics above, as a key part of any Debate round is evidence. If my opponent would like to see the cards from which I am pulling my info, I invite him/her to request that I post my links in the Round 2 speech.
Thus, I affirm.
I will now give a list of my definitions.
Unintended Pregnanices: Unintended pregnancies include unwanted pregnancies as well as those that are mistimed. Worldwide, 38% of pregnancies are unintended.
Fetus: A developing human from usually two months after conception to birth.
Individual Liberty: a. The condition of being free from restriction or control. b. The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one's own choosing.
Back-Alley Abortions: Illegal abortions not medically supervised.
Reproductive Rights: Reproductive Rights are legal rights and freedoms relating to reproduction and reproductive health.
First Trimester: First twelve weeks into the pregnancy.
Second Trimester: Between the 12th week to the 27th week.
I would like to begin by resolving an often misrepresentation of those who take the stance of "Pro-choice" over "Pro-life". People who choose to be Pro-choice accept and understand that in the end, it is ultimately the woman's decision and our efforts should be focused not in persuading the woman to choose an abortion or not choose an abortion, but giving her a comfortable environment and answering any questions she has relating to the abortion so she can make a better decision. It is NOT the intention of Pro-choicers to encourage women or discourage women from getting an abortion.
I will now go through the benefits of being pro-choice, and why having legalized abortion is a completely necessary thing for society to function properly.
Contention 1: Abortion should remain legal and medically supervised the way it is. Before the abortion process takes place, the mother is often placed in a comfortable environment where she can ask questions and resolve her feelings or doubts to make a better decision. The clinic is run by doctors and professionals who know what they're doing and are not interested in coercing or forcing the woman to make any decisions she is not comfortable with. Once she has made her decision, the doctors decide whether to go through with the abortion, or to send her home since she made the choice to keep the child. Without legalized abortion, mothers wanting to get rid of an unborn child that they don't want would need to refer to back-alley abortions, which could potentially danger the mother's life. Women who get a legalized abortion are also still able to have another child, as they would have no organs damaged like they would during a back-alley abortion, since these types of abortions are unprofessional and deterimental to the woman's health.
Contention 2: Most of the guilt and stress that comes from a woman after an abortion is due to external pressure and influences, such as people in the Pro-Life movement, or other people who try to convince her she committed murder. One of the arguments that a lot of Pro-Life representatives bring up time and time again is that the mother feels incredibly guilty after she has gotten an abortion. This, however, is due to a lack of understanding on their part. When an unborn child is aborted from the mother, her hormones change back to their pre-pregnancy state, and a whole range of emotions is usually felt by her. This includes happiness, relief, sadness, and irritation. On top of this, most women do not get support from their family after they've performed an abortion, and she is usually left with her own thoughts. Loneliness is not usually a pleasant experience. There are also irrational fears that are completely natural from being in an emotional state, that the woman will never be able to have a child again. But if she got an abortion done by the professionals at the abortion clinics, the safe, legalized abortion and not a back-alley abortion, then she will be able to have another child whenever she so pleases. 5% to 30% of women report feelings of regret, anxiety, guilt, mild depression, and other negative emotions. Pro-Life advocates try and make those numbers sound larger, and the media sensationalizes on women that feel guilty afterward, but the numbers show that most women, after getting an abortion, do not feel any guilty at all.
Contention 3: Abortion clinics are a separate entity from government and are usually funded by concerned volunteer-groups or pro-abortion advocates. Abortion can be a fairly expensive procedure. However, what most people don't know is that the government doesn't pay for it, and neither do we. The funding for abortion comes from normal citizens like you or me that understand the importance of a mother's right to an abortion, and there are usually group donations and generous individuals willing to help pay to cover the costs of an abortion. In this way, abortion clinics cannot be exposed to corruption because the government has no hand in the decisions being made, and cannot mandate their will on the procedures taking place. In this regard, there is no ulterior motive for abortion clinics to abort women's unborn children. The aborted fetus is used for stem-cell research, but there is enough aborted fetuses already that the necessity to coerce or bribe women to get an abortion is simply non-existent. On top of this, an abortion usually does not take place (depending on the clinic) without the consent of the mother's parents, first.
Contention 4: Before the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy, the fetus is not considered conscious or aware, and should not be considered alive. If it is not considered to be alive, the decision for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness cannot be used to defend the unborn child. Therefore, only the mother can really decide. Scientific evidence is demonstrating to us that while the child is in the womb, it is not actually considered a human being until the 24th week of the pregnancy. If this is true, then how are human rights given to a non-human entity? The fallacies in the Pro-Life argument are great, and most fail to accept the scientific evidence that the unborn fetus is a human being by the 24th week due to a religious bias or other forms of ignorance. If we are to argue that getting an abortion is wrong, we must also argue that the destruction of sperm cells is also wrong, despite the fact that sperm dies and is recycled every three days. Before the 24th week of pregnancy, the unborn child in the mother's womb is only, in reality, a conglomeration of tissues and cells that are in the process of becoming human, but are not actually human.
I actually have a few more contentions to list here, but have sadly run out of room. These four contentions alone, however, should be enough to show why abortion is important, why it should remain legal, and how it benefits not only the individual, but also society as a whole.
I now give the floor over to Pro.
I think I mostly agree with what my opponent says about "pro-life" and "pro-choice" between his/her definitions and contentions. I think I defined both terms reasonably in my Round 2 speech, and I think that both are pretty self-explanatory. In layperson's terms, pro-life people think that an unborn child should be able to live life for herself, whereas pro-choice people believe that a woman should choose whether or not the unborn child can experience the same opportunities that the woman herself has been able to enjoy.
Before I jump into refutations, I would like to extend one observation through my case that will be fundamental to the rest of the round. I do not have to argue that abortions should not be legal. I do not have to argue that the pro-choice side does not have benefits. All I must argue is that the benefits of encouraging women not to have an abortion outweigh the costs. The resolution says that we VALUE pro-life over pro-choice, not that they are mutually exclusive. My opponent has the opposite burden. This debate is NOT "Resolved: Abortion should be legal in the U.S." The debate is NOT "Resolved: Roe v. Wade should be overturned." This is not a debate JUST about the legality of abortion, and I would like my opponent not to approach it in that manner.
coerce - to persuade someone by force or threats
encourage - give support to someone to do something (both definitions from Dictionary.com)
A lot of my opponent’s first contention is untopical. I agree that abortions should remain legal, I agree that women can still have another child, and I agree that women can ask questions. But these are not unique reasons to value the pro-choice stance over the pro-life stance. The fact of the matter is that we can still give women their choice, but what we need to VALUE (prioritize) above that is making sure that women make the RIGHT choice: either taking care of the child themselves or passing on the child to a family who could accept it.
There are a few glaring holes with my opponent’s 2nd contention that I will now address. My opponent first (literally) says that most of the guilt and stress after an abortion comes from pressure and influences. First, he/she has NO evidence for that claim whatsoever. My opponent’s attribution to external influences is no more valid than my attribution of guilt and stress to the fact that abortion is the end of a human child. Make my opponent bring up an abundance of evidence showing that guilt and stress are spawned as a result of external influences. Second, remember that I clearly draw the line between “encourage” (which is the word that is used in my Pro plan for the resolution) and “coerce” (which is the word referenced by my opponent in his/her first contention). By affirming the resolution, there will not really be “external pressure” on a woman, because we would gently encourage the woman to save the life of a human child by offering her kind words and a small tax incentive, which are parts of my plan that have not yet been responded to in this debate. Third, the guilt and stress are guilt and stress, respectively. My 2nd contention still stands in today’s round, because I discuss how the pro-life stance is more psychologically sound. It doesn’t necessarily matter where the guilt and stress are coming from; the fact of the matter is that women who abort a child are 154% more likely to commit suicide. “Do unto others.” It’s likely that these increased risks of suicide are a direct result of putting an unborn child to death. My opponent brings up a statistic that says that only 5-30% of women report negative feelings. I would like to cross-apply my statistics: women who abort are 154% more likely to commit suicide, 52% more likely to have partners in regret, 45% more likely to have partners in sadness, and 26% more likely to have partners in depression. My opponent dismisses huge numbers like these as “sensationalizing” and “trying to make numbers sound larger”. My statistics are just as valid as my opponent’s and make more sense. 5% of women reporting negative feelings after having an abortion means that for every 20 aborting women, only 1 of them is sad. That is inconsistent with our intuition. My last response to this argument is that 5 - 30% is still more than zero percent! We can stop sending women into “regret”, “anxiety”, “guilt”, and “depression”, among other negative feelings, if we prioritize the right to life over the freedom to make one decision! I would like judges to refer back to the framework for this debate of net benefits for American society. Which side do you believe, judge, sends more women into dissatisfaction and regret? The answer is the Con’s.
I would like to respond to my opponent’s 3rd contention by saying that it doesn’t necessarily matter where the money is coming from; the fact of the matter is that it is being used for greed. Abortion entrepreneurs are MORE interested in making money than they are in assisting their clients. This is for exactly the reason that my opponent stated: a lot of abortion clinics are NOT sponsored by the government, so they don’t have to operate under particular regulations. At least Planned Parenthood has some kind of government oversight, but the vast majority of the abortion industry is from companies who don’t care about others. But there is a problem with Planned Parenthood too! It gets federal subsidies, which are bad for taxpayers and bad for the economy.
Thus, I affirm.
Corrupted_Ideal forfeited this round.
My opponent has forfeited the Round 3 speech for an unknown reason. I will not provide too much offense in this speech but rather impact my arguments and state the voting issues for today's round very briefly.
Voting Issue 1: Rights
Con wants to uphold that it can hold the right to liberty by allowing women to choose whether or not to have an abortion.
My plan upholds the right to liberty as WELL (by not restricting abortions), but ALSO prioritizes the right to life of a human child. A woman should not be able to determine the fate of an innocent human being. A child should be entitled to the same rights that the woman has. Since my definition of "life" goes uncontested in the Round 3 speech, please let Pro win Rights.
Voting Issue 2: Psychological Well-Being
Con says that the stress and drama that women face after an abortion is caused by the fact that pro-lifers forced them not to have an abortion. This is contradictory to when my opponent says that only FIVE percent of women feel negative emotions after having an abortion.
I win psychological well-being because suicides, depression, and regret are not in the best interests of the United States, nor are they in the best interests of maximizing net benefits. To prevent these things, we should encourage women NOT to have an abortions. Therefore, Pro wins this voting issue.
Voting Issue 3: Physical Well-Being
There's very little offense coming out of the Con's case that responds to my physical well-being point. Basically, women who ahve abortions are 50% more likely to develop breast cancer. This, as is the second voting issue, is a violation of net benefits. Miscarriages and cancer are deplorable and agonizing situations, and we should ENCOURAGE (not coerce) women not to make decisions that are more likely to bring them into these terrible effects. Pro wins the fact that abortion is a HEALTHIER option, because women are healther if they do NOT abort.
Voting Issue 4: Economic Integrity
The key points that Pro would like to extend are that:
1. Planned Parenthood is funded by a lot of people who OPPOSE Roe v. Wade
2. most of the abortion industry is made up of back-alley abortions, which are driven by a profit incentive and NOT by maximizing the health of a woman
Because Con has negligible response to the fact that the pro-choice promotes economic corruption and societal immorality, please let Pro win this voting issue.
Voting Issue 5: Consistency with Norms
The Hippocratic Oath was intended to make it HARD for women to get abortions. There really isn't any gray round with abortion; it's pretty black and white. If a bioethical document was intended to make abortions unpopular or difficult, why encourage them in the first place? It's inconsistent with our intution. Con doesn't make ANY response to this Hippocratic Oath argument specifically, so Pro wins consistency with norms.
Nowhere in my plan do I prohibit women from getting abortions. Nowhere in my plan do I exploit the right to liberty. All I argue is that pregnant women who do not abort their alive, human children should be incentivized with small tax benefits. Since Con has failed to generate enough reasons to believe that my plan should not be implemented, please vote Pro.
I now turn the debate over to Con for voting issues.
Corrupted_Ideal forfeited this round.