The Instigator
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The Contender
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Should Abortion be a Choice?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/3/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 415 times Debate No: 83400
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
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My first argument is short.

If you don't like or support abortion, don't get one. simple as that.

Why stick your nose is someone else's business that has nothing to do with you? with abortion staying legal, rape victims won't have to raise a baby they don't want. They don't have to raise a child they'll probably treat them badly because they're constantly reminded of what happened to them. If someone is not financially stable enough to raise a child, they shouldn't have it. But I agree if someone can afford the baby and they're just someone who messed up they should have it. I'm 100% Pro-Choice. let's hear the Pro-Life side.


Thanks for opening the debate, I'll get right into it.

This is not a question of "sticking your nose in someone else's business." The first, unavoidable, and central question is whether the fetus is a human life or not. This is the root of the issue. We cannot progress to the other questions until we answer this one. If it is human life, and if Pro agrees that ending human life is wrong, then embracing Pro-life is the only rational conclusion. There is not a single piece of logical or scientific evidence to suggest that an unborn child, at any stage of development, is anything other than a human life, so we must therefore accept that abortion is wrong.

Here are some initial arguments for Pro's consideration:

1. Science overwhelmingly confirms that the unborn, even at the earliest stage, are human. At the first second of conception, the zygote has unique and completely human DNA. Humans have 46 chromosomes with DNA specific to the Homo Sapiens species. All 46 chromosomes, as well as the human specific DNA that comes with them, are present the moment fertilization occurs. According to the book Human Embryology & Teratology, "fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed.... The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. [1]".

Even if an abortion happens just after pregnancy is usually detected, the embryo has already begun developing its own unique brain, spinal cord, fingerprints, and heart. By week 6, the arms, legs, eyes, and bones develop. The heart also begins beating [2]. The brain and spine of a fetus are not the organs of some separate sub-human species. They are genetically and fully Homo Sapien. There is not a single scientific argument to justify why a fetus is not a member of the human species.

2. Constitutional Law - even Constitutional Law confirms that the unborn are both alive and human. The 2008 Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA), Section 1841, says that any person who injures a child in utero can be punished as if they injured the mother herself, even if the offender acted unintentionally or had no knowledge she was pregnant. Furthermore, UVVA says, "As used in this section, the term "child in utero" or "child, who is in utero" means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb." Incredibly, this means that if a pregnant woman on her way to the abortion clinic gets hit by a texting driver, survives, but loses the baby, then that driver can be charged with manslaughter. Yet, if the woman arrives safely at the abortion clinic, she can "lose" her baby in a perfectly legal and often celebrated procedure. This contradiction borders on insanity and cannot be justified with logic.

3. The problem of viability - Pro-choice advocates often claim that a fetus should only be considered human after it is "viable," meaning it can survive outside the womb. The problem, of course, is that there is no clear or consistent definition of viability. There are very few people who draw the line at birth - even the most passionate abortion supporters would not advocate aborting 3 minutes before birth. But where then DOES the line get drawn? 3 hours? 3 days? 3 weeks? 3 months? This is a very difficult question to answer since there is no clear answer to be found. If there is no obvious or consistent definition of viability, then there is no obvious or consistent time to say abortion is ok.

The other problem is that viability is almost purely a function of current technology. Over the decades, the point at which babies have survived outside the womb keeps getting earlier. Babies born in remote areas of Africa are not viable much earlier than 35 weeks. In America however, babies can survive after only 22 weeks in the womb thanks to technology [3]. It is not unreasonable to assume that with further technological advancement, this threshold will continue to shrink. So what does that mean if viability defines humanity? Is our level of humanity purely dependent on the level of technology we have access to? Is a non-viable 35 week African baby less human than a viable 22 week American one? Viability is too inconsistent and uncertain to have much meaning, which makes it a scary standard to use when justifying abortion.

== Rebuttals ==

Pro says abortion is justified when pregnancy results from rape. This is a common argument, however it's important to remember that only a very, very tiny fraction of abortions occur because of rape. Since 1979, the number of annual legal abortions in the U.S. alone has been around 1 million [4]. Some records indicate 17,000 pregnancies due to rape occur each year, which accounts for only 1.7% of annual abortions in the U.S. It cannot be ignored that the vast majority of abortions are healthy pregnancies resulting from consensual sex. Focusing exclusively on rape is a bit of a Red Herring.

However, that doesn't mean it's unimportant. Rape is terrible, yes. But we must return to the central question - is the fetus a human or not? If it is (and I believe it is), then even the horror of rape is not justification to destroy a third, innocent human life. Rebecca Kiessling, who was conceived by rape and carried to term by her victim mother, said: "When you make that rape exception, it's like you're saying to me that I deserved the death penalty for the crimes of my father. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, my father didn't even deserve the death penalty. The Supreme Court has said there is no death penalty for rapists. But you say that I, as the innocent child of rape, deserved the death penalty?" Rape is terrible. Carrying a rapist's child would be horrifically painful. Yet that pain still does not justify killing another human life. As Rebecca Kiessling said, even the rapist himself cannot be charged under the death penalty for his crime.

Pro then says abortion should be allowed if a woman is financially unstable, which suggests that abortion is preferable if the mother doesn't want the child. Pro goes so far as to suggest that being aborted is preferable to being treated badly by an unloving mother......

This is absurd. Quite frankly, it's appauling. Abortion, according to this logic, is a type of mercy killing. Pro is implying that a child is better off dead than unwanted. Better to not live at all than to live a hard life, right? Good grief..... The only way these justifications are acceptable is if a fetus is not human, which Pro has yet to prove.

Looking forward to my opponent's response.

[1] O'Rahilly, Ronan and Muller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. (New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996), 8-29
Debate Round No. 1


Yes. A fetus is technically alive. You very thoroughly explained how and why. Though the fetus is alive, it can't live on its own. Its not its own, individual self. Yes rape is a small percentage, but it is still a percentage. Another argument I have is if there aren't legal abortion, how many illegal and unsafe abortions would there be? even if there weren't that many it'd still be some. Better safe than sorry.


I was hoping Pro would offer a more robust response, but oh well.

Pro admits that a fetus is alive, yet justifies its destruction because "it can't live on it's own." Two things: First, a 1 year old cannot live on her own either, so does this argument extend to newborn children as well? Does this mean young children dependent on parents for survival are not individual selves either, and can therefore be killed? Assuming Pro does not believe that, they are then contradicting their own logic. Second, this is an argument about viability - that a fetus only gains full human status once it can survive on its own. I have already explained the huge logical problems with this argument in Round 1, so I will not repeat them here. I do not believe Pro has successfully overcome my refutations.

Finally, Pro offers the argument that if abortion becomes illegal then it may lead to women seeking unsafe abortions, and, as they say, "better safe than sorry." This is an argument of last resort. It essentially admits that "well, even if abortion does destroy unborn human life, at least the destruction happens in safe, legal facilities!" This is a justification we do not accept for virtually any other behavior. Every criminal act you can think of would likely be "safer" if we made it legal and regulated - rape, theft, murder, arson, assault, etc.... Why do we not legalize these activities as well? Because they're still wrong, any way you slice them. It is wrong to destroy human life, and Pro has admitted that "a fetus is technically alive." With this admission, Pro must therefore explain why a living fetus does not deserve equal human rights, or provide justification for why it is not wrong, in the case of abortion, to destroy unborn human life. Pro has done neither so far.
Debate Round No. 2


SamanthaLynn forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by sengejuri 10 months ago
Is this debate still working?
Posted by obliviousmassacre 10 months ago
Pro, I think you should make more points in your argument if you want to win this debate. I would suggest bringing up the issue of the woman's bodily autonomy.
Posted by Jonbonbon 10 months ago
Just because someone does something less safe illegally doesn't mean it should be legal. Like theft would probably be a lot more safe if people could just walk in and take whatever they wanted without having to hold a guy at the end of a gun, but that doesn't mean we should legalize theft.
Posted by Jonbonbon 10 months ago
Good job, sengejuri. Maybe too sarcastic toward the end, but your analysis worked.
Posted by bananaedmonkey 10 months ago
Who the hell is going to argue forced abortions.
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