The use of force to stop Abortion is justified.
Debate Rounds (5)
Before I get into my contentions, I'd like to point out the flaws in my opponents case. Firstly, I'd like to state that Pro has made a huge assertion in stating "Abortion is the taking of an innocent life." He has yet to prove that an unborn fetus is qualified to have human life and therefore has the right of life. My first point will prove why a fetus does not have the fundamental right to life. Pro has taken on the burden to prove different in order for his only argument to stand.
1) Who Does The Right to Life Apply to?
The right to life is applied to individuals who have awareness. Simply because something has a beating heart and breathing lungs does not give it life. I take the example of a transplanted heart. It is still beating, human tissue with DNA. However, the donor who gave the heart is not considered alive, depite his organ working within another's body. Why? Because he no longer has awareness and his body part relies on the well-being and life of the receiver of his heart. We can not consider something that relies solely on the life of another as alive. We also can't consider something without awareness as alive. As proof, let's analyze the definition of death.
According to the Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, the legal definition of death is as follows:
"For legal and medical purposes, the following definition of death has been proposed-the irreversible cessation of all of the following: (1) total cerebral function, usually assessed by EEG as flat-line"
So a person's is considered unalive and their right to life is vetoed when the EEG (electroencephalogram) flatlines. Fetuses experience no activity in the EEG. A phemoninon best described by Dr. David James Mellor, "It is apparent that immediately after conception the fertilised ovum has no capacity for sensory perception and conscious awareness. It is equally apparent that almost immediately after birth neurologically mature newborns do possess those capacities, as indicated by their volitional responses to maternal and environmental stimuli." Given this, on legal terms, fetuses are unalive and therefore have no legal right to life. Thus, we cannot consider abortion the killing of a human being.
2) Do we have the right to force someone to do as we please?
In short, absolutely not. In order for Pro to fully grasp this, I shall explain why. Unlike her unborn child, a pregnant woman has all the rights that apply to living humans. This includes liberty and safety from harm. First, physical force (seeing as it was left undefined by my opponent) is considered power, violence, or pressure directed against an individual consisting in a physical act. (See source c) It is not, morally or legally, permissible to use violence against another without cause. As I have already disproved Pro's reasons behind using force against a pregnant woman, we can say it is not permissible to use violence in this case.
Moreover, even if you continue to consider the unborn fetus as alive (which I am arguing is definitely not), thus giving the assaulter probable cause, the act of using physical force is still not permissible. The reason behind this is because when violence is used against pregnant leads to harm, and even death, to the child. So, if physical force is used you are causing the "innocent human life" harm. There is no probable cause to harm the child. Therefore, physical force is not justified and it is not morally permissible.
Secondly, all people have the right of choice. The pregnant woman in this case has the option to do as she pleases with her body, as it is HER body. Human beings have liberty. We cannot force our wishes upon another, even if our morals view the act as wrong. Seeing as what she is doing causes no harm to anyone, she is not legally wrong in her decision to receive an abortion. To remove a cluster of cells from her body is her own choice, and she should be alluded that choice.
To conclude, the use of force to prevent abortion is absolutely and evidently not justified.
I look forward to hearing back from you :)
a) Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 31st Edition, published May 2007.
b) Mellor, D.J. and Stafford, K.J. (2004). Veterinary Journal 168, 118-133.
My opponent enters in tragic error almost immediately. The question is not the definition of death, since, to die a being must first become alive. The question is when does life begin.
"A United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee invited experts to testify on the question of when life begins. All of the quotes from the following experts come directly from the official government record of their testimony.
Dr. Alfred M. Bongiovanni, professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania, stated:
"I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception.... I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life....
I am no more prepared to say that these early stages [of development in the womb] represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty...is not a human being. This is human life at every stage."
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."
Professor Hymie Gordon, Mayo Clinic: "By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception."
Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard University Medical School: "It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive.... It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.... Our laws, one function of which is to help preserve the lives of our people, should be based on accurate scientific data."
Dr. Watson A. Bowes, University of Colorado Medical School: "The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter"the beginning is conception. This straightforward biological fact should not be distorted to serve sociological, political, or economic goals."
A prominent physician points out that at these Senate hearings, "Pro-abortionists, though invited to do so, failed to produce even a single expert witness who would specifically testify that life begins at any point other than conception or implantation. Only one witness said no one can tell when life begins.""(entire section quoted from http://www.epm.org...)
My opponent, also mentions the cessation of brainwaves as a medical definition for death, again, this definition is the wrong one for this debate, but it may interest her and any thoughtful reader that detectable brainwaves begin emerging at day 40 of a pregnancy. The heart begins to beat at day 21. (see http://www.pregnancy.org...)
My opponent said "The right to life is applied to individuals who have awareness. Simply because something has a beating heart and breathing lungs does not give it life." Exactly what level of awareness are we speaking of here? A fetus can respond to a myriad of stimuli (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...). already placing it in a category of awareness greater than many born persons who have fallen seriously ill.
I would also like to point out that my opponent has sourced a veterinary journal in describing fetal development. I would be ROTFLing (as the kids say) if this wasn't such a serious topic.
My opponent states "Moreover, even if you continue to consider the unborn fetus as alive (which I am arguing is definitely not), thus giving the assaulter probable cause, the act of using physical force is still not permissible. The reason behind this is because when violence is used against pregnant leads to harm, and even death, to the child. So, if physical force is used you are causing the "innocent human life" harm. There is no probable cause to harm the child. Therefore, physical force is not justified and it is not morally permissible."
My opponent is arguing that it is immoral to take a relatively small risk of harm or death to the child, to prevent the certain death of the child. I am stunned.
Furthermore, I have not specifically delineated that the use of physical force should be levied against the pregnant woman. It could just as effectively be leveled at the abortionist, or the facility itself.
My opponent argues that abortion is the choice of the woman. Certainly it is, at least as much as it would be my choice whether or not to commit a murder, but it does not legally or morally preclude a person from stopping me, even with force. My opponent states "it is HER body", but the child's body is not.
Finally, my opponent asks "Do we have the right to force someone to do as we please?". The answer is yes. We do so everyday with legislation requiring or prohibiting a whole host of actions and behaviors.
1) I think it is essential to understand the definition of death, as to clarify to definition of what something as ambiguous as "life" is. In understanding the opposite, we can further grasp what it is. Especially when the definition of death is the loss of "x", because then it seems evident that to be a human being you must have "x." In this case, the "x" is activity in the EEG. Since all authorities accept that the end of an individual's life is measured by the ending of his brain function (as measured by brain waves on the EEG), would it not be logical for them to at least agree that individual's life began with the onset
of that same human brain function as measured by brain waves recorded on that same instrument?
Before I get into the statements my opponent so graciously copy and pasted, I like to point out that each of them is a quote from an expert testimony. This is opinion evidence he has brought to the table. I could just as easily cite doctors who state that person-hood begins at birth, and not conception. In fact, I shall later on in this. However, first I'd like to state my own contention as to why.
So, I think we all understand that humans grow and change after they are born. Pro has quoted, "I am no more prepared to say that these early stages [of development in the womb] represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty...is not a human being."
There is a problem within this statement, because of the cornucopia of differences between a prepubescent child and a unborn fetus. The most fundamental difference is that a fetus is 100% dependent on the vitality of a woman to survive. Anti-abortionists might argue that born human beings can be entirely dependent on other people too, but the crucial difference is that they are not dependent on one, specific person to the exclusion of all others. Anybody can take care of a newborn infant (or disabled person), but only that pregnant woman can nurture her fetus. Another key difference is that a fetus doesn't just depend on a woman's body for survival; it actually resides inside her body. Human beings must, by definition, be separate individuals. They do not gain the status of human being by virtue of living inside the body of another human being"the very thought is inherently ridiculous, even offensive.
"....that detectable brainwaves begin emerging at day 40 of a pregnancy." So, firstly, Pro cited pregnancy.org for this "fact." This website is a community forum and cites no author (credible or incredible) for this article. This statement is based of a study conducted in the early 60s by two doctors named the Bergstroms. The activity then recorded was not in any way similar to what is seen on a normal EEG, which includes what people call "brain waves." Rather, the Bergstroms stimulated the fetal brain stem and were able to record random bursts of electrical activity which looked exactly like the bursts they got from the fetal leg muscles when they were stimulated.
The type of awareness that brings life requires a sophisticated network of highly interconnected components, nerve cells. Its physical substrate, the thalamo-cortical complex that provides consciousness with its highly elaborate content, begins to be in place between the 24th and 28th week of gestation. Roughly two months later synchrony of the electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythm across both cortical hemispheres signals the onset of global neuronal integration. Thus, many of the circuit elements necessary for consciousness are in place by the third trimester. By this time, preterm infants can survive outside the womb under proper medical care. During this time, abortion is illegal. So, it is unnecessary and cruel to use force. This would be advocating for vigilante justice.
There is a considerable amount of case tension arising in the later-half of Pro's first point as he juggles between conception and "day 40" / "when fetuses develop awareness" as being to point at which a fetus should be considered a person.
I think conduct points should be taken away from Pro for his comments regarding my second source last round. I found the simplest means of describing a point already proven by my substantial citing of a medical dictionary. There is no need to laugh and be rude. The vet journal not included, I sourced two references last round, one a hard-copy book. Whereas, Pro cited nothing the first round. This round he has sourced two websites (I'm not giving you that pregnancy link)
"Furthermore, I have not specifically delineated that the use of physical force should be levied against the pregnant woman. It could just as effectively be leveled at the abortionist, or the facility itself."
It doesn't matter who the force is levied against, doctor or patient, without reasonable cause, this act is still illegal and immoral. It also should be noted, who made you the police of the world? Why should this specific person be given reason to stop an act which poses no harm to himself nor anyone else?
Oh c'mon, using the old "abortion = murder" example? The woman is making a choice to terminate a POTENTIAL human being, not a human being. A woman should definitely be given the option to control that which not only physically burdens her, but also emotionally and financially burdens her.
"My opponent states "it is HER body", but the child's body is not."
By this I assume you mean I am taking into consideration the woman's body and not the child's? Well, as I already have proven, we are talking about a fetus, not a child. Unlike it's mother, a fetus holds no right to liberty and to life. It's ludicrous to something that has no higher awareness should be considered a human being. I'd like to quote Margaret Sanger in saying, "No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother."
"We do so everyday with legislation requiring or prohibiting a whole host of actions and behaviors."
Legislation prevents actions which harm individuals and society as a whole. Abortion does neither of these things.
e) Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 31st Edition, published May 2007
My opponent cited ""For legal and medical purposes, the following definition of death has been proposed-the irreversible cessation of all of the following: (1) total cerebral function, usually assessed by EEG as flat-line" First, notice the word "proposed", not "resolved", or "a consensus has been reached that....". Second, notice that she has quoted only the first of a list of factors. I cannot complete the quote, as I, and I suspect many readers, do not just happen to be in possession of a Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 31st edition. Third, "irreversible cessation", neither word applies to fetal brainwaves. Not irreversible, because there brainwaves will begin in the near future, and not a cessation because they never had them before.
"Recorded on the same instrument". I defy my opponent to cite one documented case of a human fetus being hooked up to an EEG.
2. My opponent correctly states that " a fetus is 100% dependent on the vitality of a woman to survive.". I might mention that a woman who chooses to engage in sexual activity invites this burden and responsibility.
3. "Since all authorities accept that the end of an individual's life is measured by the ending of his brain function" My opponent cites no source for this categorical statement. Furthermore, doctors do not hook every person up to an EEG, before pronouncing them dead. Such would be impractical, and probably cost prohibitive.
4. My opponent argues that voters should take my conduct points for attacking her sources. Then, in the same paragraph, proceeds to attack my sources.
" There is no need to laugh and be rude." My opponent apparently has hurt feelings over my rhetorical attack on her source, but if rudeness counts I would be happy to quote my opponents arguments:
"(I'm not giving you that pregnancy link)"
"Before I get into the statements my opponent so graciously copy and pasted"
" who made you the police of the world?"
My opponent quotes Margaret Sanger, and well know eugenicist, racist, and former guest speaker for the Ku Klux Klan.
Attacking a source is a completely normal and acceptable debate tactic. Debate is an intellectual contact sport, cupcake, I suggest you buy a helmet.
5. "During this time, abortion is illegal." This may be true in Canada, not in the United States.
Jennifer9 forfeited this round.
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Jennifer9 forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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