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

The abortion limit should be lowered to 20 weeks

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/29/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 433 times Debate No: 74435
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Abortion is legal in the UK up to 24 weeks. I will argue that this should be lowered to 20 weeks.

Abortion: a medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of the fetus. [reference-]

First round is for acceptance. No semantics.


abortion: the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks.
that is from the oxford dictionary. i srongly disagree with the topic, as it is a hard decision to make, and many people require more than 20 weeks.
just think, you (or your gilfriend) just found out you where pregnant. she is only 16, and refuses to be a teen mom. But you really want this. even though she's carrying it, its still yours. you argue for WEEKS, then finally decide you will do it. but, the thing is, it took you 15 weeks to decide, and you only found out she was pregnant on the 4th week. But, the clinics have no available spaces for that week. Now, she is forced to drop out of school, ruin all chances she has at getting a job and is a mess.
Debate Round No. 1


Hey mate! Thanks for accepting this debate, think it will be a good one. On with the debate"

Right, so a fetus at the moment of conception, we agree, is probably not worthy of having the same value as an adult human.
I expect we also agree that a newborn baby has the same value as an adult human.

So the question is, where is the line?
You mention it is a difficult decision and we need time to make that decision. However, the line should not be drawn when it is deemed that you have had enough time to make your decision. Rather it should be based on when the fetus goes from not having the same value as an adult human to having the same value. It is irrelevant the time needed to make the choice, however hard the decision may be. If pregnancy lasted only 20 weeks (not enough time to make the decision you claim) then would it be right to kill the newborn? I expect you would agree that this would be immoral. Therefore, the line cannot be drawn on how long it takes to make this extremely hard decision. I could argue that 20 weeks is enough time to make a decision but I believe this is unnecessary unless you can prove otherwise.

It seems that the best place to draw the line is when the fetus goes from not having the same value as an adult human to having it. Why is it immoral to kill the adult human and not the newly conceived fetus? I believe it is wrong to kill an adult human because they are a being with interests. They can feel pleasure and pain. They have it in their interests to avoid pain and maximise pleasure. We don"t kill another adult human because we know killing him will effect his interests. We appreciate that killing him will mean he will be deprived of all future pleasure, whilst also causing them pain. Fetuses (at a certain level of development) can feel pain however. I believe this capability means that they have equal value to an adult human.

One pro-abortion report from a strongly left wing newspaper reported on a scientific experiment into fetal pain and held that fetuses feel no pain before 24 weeks.[1] This automatically suggests that 28 weeks is the wrong place to draw the limit. Now this is one of several experiments and some conclude that fetal pain can start as early as 20 weeks. Obviously this depends on the development of the baby, so its right to go with the lowest common denominator so as not to risk killing any human life of value. With this significant scientific disagreement I believe that until more substantial proof supports the 24 week limit we should (to be safe) make the limit at 20 weeks. Imagine if, in the future, the proof supports the view that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks. Would it not be equivalent to a genocide to have killed all those lives which are as valuable as any adult human? Surely, to be safe we should go with the marginally smaller limit of 20 weeks. At least until we have proof beyond reasonable doubt that fetuses feel pain, we should set the abortion limit at 20 weeks. Furthermore, even if we never had this proof then I believe it would not be catastrophic to keep the 20 week limit.


Yes, I agree with all the things you said. But you said that killing a human is immoral because they have feelings and interests. A fetus doesn't, no matter how old you are. If you are still in the womb, then I think abortion is ok! Exception of 30 weeks plus.

Now. What is really the difference between 8 weeks? A fetus is still growing, and it is not yet fully developed. Same with twenty weeks. So, why should they cut eight weeks?

I am only 14. This is my first debate. Sorry I'm pretty inexperienced.
Debate Round No. 2


Firstly I"d like to say that its good people your age are entering discussions and thinking about these difficult topics. If we don"t think about them we only can have the views fed to us by the media and our parents. Now, to my response.

You stated that "killing a human is wrong because they have feelings and interests but a fetus does not". Also you stated "If you are still in the womb, then I think abortion is ok!" These claims I believe are contradictory because just because you pop out of the womb does not suddenly mean you now have interests. Either your second point is correct, in which case the consequence is that some newborns do not have feelings and interests. Or your first point is wrong and fetuses do have feelings and interests. What about premature babies (I am one)? Do they not have feelings and interests because they are born too early? Or do they suddenly get interests when they first see daylight?

"What is really the difference between 8 weeks? A fetus is still growing, and it is not yet fully developed. Same with twenty weeks. So, why should they cut eight weeks?"
I think we need to cut 8 weeks because the 28 is not the morally relevant dividing line. If done on interests then I believe that 20 and certainly 24 should be the dividing line as then they have interests as they can feel pleasure and pain. You are not suggesting when fetuses feel pain they do not have an interest for the pain to stop?

Thats my response. What are your thoughts?


Honestly, I think that it is alright. And premature babies have been born. 28 weeks and the baby is barely developed is what I meant. But, I believe that the limit now on abortion is fine!!!!!

I chose this debate because I have an older sister. She is now 18, but when she was 16 she was pregnant. The eight weeks was needed. And she was forced to do it by our mum, grandmother and her principal. She needed that last eight weeks. Again, as I said, decisions.

Abortion isn't that bad a thing. The media just over does it. And whilst killing a new born is wrong, yes killing a fetus isn't. They both don't have feelings, but it's the parental attachment. You know that first minute you look into your newborn babies eyes. You don't have that with a Fetus. That's why i guess it's ok. Have you ever listened to the song brick? By Ben folds five.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by jaime1729 1 year ago
yep agreed
Posted by TalkingWaffle69 1 year ago
Or or or.....abortion should just be illegal.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Philocat 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made a convincing argument about how the morality of killing is based on interests (from a utilitarian basis). As a foetus at 20 weeks can feel pain, it has interests so it is wrong to kill it. Con didn't refute the argument, just gave unsupported opinions and appealed to emotion.