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abortion, responsibility, and analogies

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/1/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 876 times Debate No: 58309
Debate Rounds (3)
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this debate focuses on analogies to getting pregnant, and abortion. the analogies should involve whether the woman assumed the risk of pregnancy by having sex, or whether the conceived is uninvited and has no rights to the mother's body.

i will be arguing analogies against abortion. you must do opposite. there are some beginning anaologies for foundation by Thomson involving burglars and violinists. a lot of that stuff gets pretty bizarre and beyond reality, but they make points and give fodder for thought.

the responsibilties in getting pregnant are like causing an accident, and rupturing someone's kidneys and causing them to lose blood. couldn't it be said that the wrong doer should be forced to give that person blood, and maybe even a kidney, at least as long as the wrong doer would not die? many insist on absolute bodily autonomy, even in an accident situation, and so would reject that. but i would argue the moral obligation is there.

and what makes birth the magic point that changes the parents responsibitlies? a person could argue... the child was a burlar in my house. i let the burglar stay until he was ready to leave. then i let him leave. why am i obligated to take care of them... they were burglars to begin with and i was going a nice thing for them letting them stay.
society might have laws that frown on this thinking, but if you take the burglar analogy to its consequence, it was still a burglar at birth too. you just happened to let him live awhile instead of legally killing him. why should mother's liberty continue to be hindered due to someone who came as a burglar to begin with?

someone causes an accident in while planes are in mid air. the planes crash on the island of the person who caused the crash. the person who caused the crash should not be able to evict the victim, by tossing them to sea, or killing them.
you could replace planes and islands, with cars and the wrong doers home.

it is also like. and this is bizarre but it is not much more bizarre that that 'well respected' (really a joke of a publication) violinist debate. you cause a car accident. the victim is caused to be attached to you kidneys. they are sustained by your kidneys and need them for awihle to live. hardly no one would say the person who caused the accident should be able to kill the victim.


Thank you for offering this interesting debate. Just to clarify, I will be arguing for abortion, and my opponent will be arguing against abortion. It's funny that you should mention Thomson because her arguments were for abortion, hence why there might have been some confusion. But I'll address that later.

One of the main issues regarding abortion is whether the fetus has a right to life. Opponents equate killing a fetus to murder and saying that is no better than killing a human. But consider this situation. You have to choose between killing a fetus and killing a child. It is ridiculous to even consider killing the child, and therefore we cannot say that a fetus equals a human being. There are several underlying reasons why killing a child is much worse than killing a fetus. Unless you're a psychopath, I would assume that you would not want to kill a child. However, a mother who doesn't want a baby does want to kill their fetus and has much to gain from it, namely the risks and pain that comes with pregnancy. Of course, simply desire alone would not justify killing someone. For example, I can't just kill off people that I don't like. However, we must keep in mind that a mother has a right to their own body. If one day I woke up with tadpoles growing out of my back, isn't it my right to decide what to do with my body, even if removing the tadpoles would kill them? Some critics may point out that tadpoles are not the same as humans. But if we look at it from the fetus perspective, there is not much of an argument to be made. When the egg is first fertilized, it is simply a clump of cells that keeps dividing. I could say that removing a fetus is like removing a wart: it is something on my body that I don't want and didn't mean to have. Now this clump of cells is not what pro-life activists like to say, "a living breathing human being". Only in the late third trimester would the fetus even come close to looking human. At the embryo stage, it is difficult to distinguish a human from a chicken or a fish or a reptile. Furthermore, the fetus is not conscious of its own being within the womb. When it is in utero, it is similar to being in a deep sleep, only that they have nothing to dream about and nothing to experience. If anything, the tadpoles would be more "human" than a fetus. The fetus experiences nothing and is not self-aware; it simply exists. Is this what we could consider "life"? How can you kill something that hasn't lived?

Now I'll respond to some of the analogies my opponent has made.

The Car Accident
If I were to get in an accident with someone, in no way would I be responsible for providing blood and kidneys for them. Yes, they are entitled to legal compensation and I should serve punishment for my actions, but they are not entitled to my body. We have moved past the notion of "an eye for an eye" because it is simply inhumane. If I killed their child, should they have the right to mine? Obviously this is a horrible thing to say but this simply illustrates the flaw in the argument.

The Burglar
Frankly, I'm not sure what you're arguing here. It seems that you are supporting abortion when you say that a mother's liberty shouldn't be hindered by the fetus, and I completely agree with you.

The Plane Accident
This really isn't that applicable to abortion and you seem to be implying responsibility when you say that they caused the accident. Here is what I'm getting from your argument, but please clarify if I'm wrong.

Person A (mother) causes Person B (fetus) to stay at their island (uterus). Person A should not be able to kick Person B out.

However, this is what I consider to be a more accurate depiction of abortion.

Person A (lover/rapist/etc.) cause Person B (mother) to have Person C (fetus). Person B does not want Person C. Person B has the right to get rid of Person C.

In situations such as rape or failed contraceptives, the mother has no fault for getting pregnant. Therefore, she should not be stuck with something she doesn't want growing inside of her. And a child should not be forced to have parents that don't want him.

The Kidney Dialysis Machine
Again, this analogy is more for abortion. Yes, in this case, you would be entitled to kill the person. The original analogy isn't that you "caused the accident" but that you woke up one day with this violinist attached to your kidneys. Although they have a right to live, that should not infringe on your right to your own body. If you condone this situation, are you saying that people should be forced to give organ transplants? Or that people should be forced to give sperm or eggs because not doing so would deny someone the right to life? The fact is, your own body is your own decision of what you want to do with it and no one has the right to take that away from you.

I look forward to your arguments next round.
Debate Round No. 1


con would have been better off providing some analogies of his own, as i requested.

and i do not wish to get into the 'personhood' debate, though it is very much relevant for the purposes of the abortion debate in general. i am sticking with analogies and arguments that have to do with the responsibitlity fo the abotion, in general.

we must simply disagree about the car accident point. im sure your view would hold up in a court of law, but if you are the cause of someone else's dying, and taking from your body is the only way they can survive, i would insist it is your obligation to do it, and it should be recognized by our laws.

the burglar point perhaps i wasn't clear about. my point, abortionists want to say the conception is like a burglar. but if you take this analogy to its consequence, why isn't the newly born child still a burglar? it's a burglar and can be aborted up to birth? i know there are restrictions generally late in pregnancy, but the point still remains. the mother could argue she was just being nice to the burglar, and not killing them. when the burglar left, the mother wants to forsake all responsibility.... so why can't she, if we follow the burglar logic?
and it isn't even like a burglar, cause the mother took too many proactive steps to faciliate a pregnancy, and 'caused the accident'. the purpose of intercourse is pregnancy. that is what it is designed for. it should be of no surprise, even if there is an accident, that soemone gets pregnant if you are taking all the otherwise proactive steps to cause it.

plane analogy. so you blame the pregnancy on the man? that's a new one. maybe i'm missing you and you just insist the pregnancy was unwanted. but how does that not make it her fault? is it not at its essence an accident that was caused by teh parents? failed contraceptives doesn't mean it isn't the parent's fault.
it doesn't eally seem like you addressed the island accidet scenario, specifically, how isn't it like causing a plane accident and the victim falling onto your island? you seem to just say 'i simply disagree and my counter is the mother didn't want the pregnancy'. well duh, neither did the person who caused the plane accident want the person falling on their island. how are you really making any distinctions?

kidney analogy. i didn't use the violinist analogy. i modified it, if you read it again. in this case, someone is driving a car, causes an accident, and the victim is then some how phsyically attached to the person that caused the accident. this analogy is only slightly more bizarre than the original violin argument you posted. isn't it the person who caused the accient's fault? so how could any sane person say the wrong doer should be able to kill the victim, espeically when it is not ven close to a permanent attachment?


My analogies were in my second paragraph, such as the tadpoles and the choice between killing a fetus or a child. I apologize if they weren't clear enough.

For the burglar analogy, you seem to be saying that a mother shouldn't be forced to have the responsibility of keeping the baby after birth, since she was just being nice to the "burglar". I agree with you, and if a mother doesn't want to keep the child, she has the right to put it up for adoption. However, she should also have the right to get rid of it prematurely by killing the burglar. If there was someone in your home that you didn't want, yes I suppose you could be nice to them and let them stay for a while, but it wouldn't be unreasonable for you to tell them to leave right away.

"The purpose of intercourse is pregnancy"
That may be its biological purpose. But most people who have sex don't do it to get pregnant, but because it feels good.

"The mother took too many proactive steps to facilitate a pregnancy"
Just because they had sex they're facilitating a pregnancy? Pregnancy is a risk associated with sex, but I stress the fact that people who have sex don't necessarily want to become pregnant. By the same argument, by going out at night you are facilitating getting raped. By going into water you are facilitating drowning. We shouldn't be forced to resort to abstinence as the only form of birth control, because apparently any other method is facilitating a pregnancy.

"Failed contraceptives doesn't mean it isn't the parent's fault."
I personally disagree with this. If they tried to avoid becoming pregnant but the contraceptives failed, how is it their fault? Yes, they were the ones who made the child, but that was purely an accident that they didn't want. To say it's their fault that they got pregnant even though they used contraceptives is like saying it's your fault for drowning because there was a leak in the boat. The person who went on the boat assumed it would prevent them from sinking, just like the person who puts on a condom assumes it will prevent them from getting pregnant. However, when the condom fails, it's suddenly the person's fault?

I'd like to bring in a related analogy to these arguments. Imagine if there were people-seeds in the air. By opening your windows, you risk one flying in and growing in your carpets. To avoid having children, you cover your windows mesh screens to prevent them from entering your home. However, it is possible that one of these screens might be defective. So is it her fault that she has a people-seed growing in her home because she risked it by opening her windows? Just because she allowed this possible risk, she shouldn't be able to get rid of this intruder in her home?

I'll address the island and kidney analogy as one since they are both pretty similar. First of all, both of them rely on the pretense that they caused the accident. But like I said above, the parents should not be blamed for causing the pregnancy when they took actions to prevent one. And even if they had unsafe sex, just because a person is irresponsible about their body does not mean that they should lose all responsibilities to their body by forcing them to keep a baby. At the end of the day, it's still their body, no matter what. Everybody has a right to bodily autonomy, meaning that no one can force you to do or give anything that is your own body. Yes, if you detatched them from your kidneys you would end up killing them, but the right of bodily autonomy is greater than the right to life when it infriges on your bodily autonomy. And you could say that anyone who refuses to donate an organ is indirectly killing someone who dies because they did not get that organ transplant. Does that make all of us all murderers? Absolutely not. The government should not be able to interfere with people's lives so much that they are forcing them to give up organs to someone else to keep them alive. As for the moral obligation, we must keep in mind that morality is subjective. If you believe that you should keep the person alive by allowing them to use your kidneys, then you can do so. But you can not tell someone to give up their kidneys to someone else when they don't want to. If you don't believe abortion is right, then don't get an abortion. However, people who don't share the same view as you shouldn't have to give up their right to one because of your view.
Debate Round No. 2


dairygirl4u2c forfeited this round.


I extend my arguments. Since this is the final round and my opponent won't have the opportunity to post again, I'll end with a closing statement to conclude this debate. I'd like to stress that a woman has the right to bodily autonomy. This means that no one can take or do something to your body that you don't want. The government has no right to tell us what we have to do with our bodies. Some people will argue whether it is justified for the fetus, but I think I've already demonstrated that removing the fetus is as inconsequential as removing a tumor and it can't be considered "life" when it has not yet lived. As for any moral qualms, it is not right to impose your beliefs onto other people. If your religion tells you that you can't dress a certain way, that doesn't mean everyone can't dress that way. Only you. We live in a world where people can get ridiculous amounts of plastic surgery and tattoos to the point where they barely look human anymore. But when a woman wants to get a procedure that protects her from health risks, financial burden, and the responsibility of raising a child that she can't support, people suddenly draw the line. This simply begs the question: why? And if your answer falls in the lines of: abortion is murder; it is against my religion; or a fetus is a person; I hope my argument has helped you reconsider your position.

I realize that this debate is of a controversial issue, so I ask the voters to remain impartial and give a fair judgement to both sides, regardless of their position. Thank you for this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 2 years ago
wish i could have got the last round in. con seemed to get the debate, and was a formidable adversary. not that i agree with him, of course.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 2 years ago
another analogy will be...

someone causes an accident in while planes are in mid air. the planes crash on the island of the person who caused the crash. the person who caused the crash should not be able to evict the victim, by tossing them to sea, or killing them.
you could replace planes and islands, with cars and the wrong doers home.
Posted by Mray56 2 years ago
Yeah what are you arguing exactly?
Posted by sengejuri 2 years ago
so are you arguing pro-abortion or anti-abortion? It's not that clear based on your round 1 entry....
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm giving conduct to Con for Pro's forfeit. I'm not awarding arguments though, as Pro set this up to be a warring analogies debate, and Con didn't really seem to participate--Con DID provide the tadpole analogy, but I feel it was clear that Pro was looking to set up competitive analogies and argue, sort of indirectly, through those, rather than picking apart the analogies she presented. I do think Con's arguments were stronger, I just don't think Con addressed the debate in the manner it was intended to be addressed. As such, I'm nulling the rest. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.