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


Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/25/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 922 times Debate No: 65786
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)




Abortion is the ending of pregnancy by the removal or forcing out from the womb of a fetus or embryo before it is able to survive on its own. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is often called a miscarriage. It can also be purposely caused in which case it is known as an induced abortion. The term abortion most commonly refers to the induced abortion of a human pregnancy. The similar procedure after the fetus may be able to survive on its own is medically known as a late termination of pregnancy. There are two kinds of abortion in the U.S. " in-clinic abortion and the abortion pill.
Abortions are very common. In fact, 3 out of 10 women in the U.S. have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old.
If you are pregnant, you have options. If you are trying to decide if abortion is the right choice for you, you probably have many things to think about. Learning the facts about abortion may help you in making your decision. You may also want to learn more about parenting and adoption.
If you are under 18, your state may require one or both of your parents to give permission for your abortion or be told of your decision prior to the abortion. However, in most states you can ask a judge to excuse you from these requirements. Learn more about parental consent for abortion.
Only you can decide what is best for you. But we are here to help. A staff member at your local Planned Parenthood health center can discuss abortion and all of your options with you and help you find the services you need.
The debate over whether or not abortion should be a legal option continues to divide Americans. The abortion debate is the ongoing controversy surrounding the moral and legal status of abortion. The two main groups involved in the abortion debate are the self-described "pro-choice" movement (emphasizing the right of women to choose whether to abort a pregnancy or to grow it to term) and the self-described "pro-life" movement (emphasizing the right of the embryo or fetus to gestate and be born). Both of these ascriptions are considered loaded terms in mainstream media where terms such as "abortion rights" or "anti-abortion" are generally preferred. Each movement has, with varying results, sought to influence public opinion and to attain legal support for its position, with small numbers of anti-abortion advocates sometimes using violence.

I believe a women should be able to decide, without consequences, whether to end the life of their unborn child or proceed with motherhood.


Thanks Pro for opening this important topic. I'd like to begin by affirming the emotional sensitivity of abortion. My hope is to have a respectful and constructive discussion without offending either side.

I disagree that an abortion can occur "spontaneously." A miscarriage is not an abortion, because the term "abortion" implies a degree of intentionality. As such, I will not include miscarriages in my argument. I agree that abortion most commonly refers to induced pregnancy termination, and that's what I will focus on. Since no BoP was established, I assume it is shared.

The issue here is whether a woman should be allowed to abort her unborn child "without consequences." I am arguing that by and large a woman should NOT be allowed to make that choice. Assuming that terminating human life is wrong, the central point of this issue is whether a fetus should be considered a human life. I believe it should.

Before we consider what human life is, we must first examine the characteristics of life in general. I will examine multiple different definitions of life across numerous disciplines and determine if an unborn child can be included within each definition.

I will start with the dictionary. Two definitions of life according the Merriam-Webster dictionary are:

1) The ability to grow, change, etc., that separates plants and animals from things like water or rocks

2) An organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction

Starting with the first definition, we must ask if an embryo has the ability to grow and change. The answer is undoubtedly yes. Pregnancy tests cannot detect a pregnancy until week 4 or later. By this time, a fertilized egg has already implanted in the uterus and is dividing cells. At the very earliest moment a woman can know she's pregnant, a fertilized egg has already begun to grow and change. Therefore, it fits our first definition of life.

For definition number two, does an unborn child possess the capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction? Yes. An unborn child can absorb and metabolize nutrients, they grow, they can detect light, sound, and touch stimuli while in the womb. While they obviously cannot reproduce, they begin developing sex organs within a few weeks and females produce eggs during week 16. They are growing the capability to reproduce, which will not be fully actualized until puberty. Once again, an unborn child seems to fit into the definition of life.

Let's move on to another category. Medically, life is defined as "The energy that enables organisms to grow, reproduce, absorb and use nutrients, and evolve... [1]." Do the unborn possess this energy? Yes.

What about in the legal realm? American law recognizes an unborn fetus as an individual with individual rights at every point in pregnancy. In 2004, the federal government passed into law the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which makes it illegal to harm (either intentionally or unintentionally) an unborn child. The law defines "unborn child" as follows: "the term 'unborn child' means a child in utero, and 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." This means that if drunk driver hits a pregnant woman who, as a result, loses her baby, he can be charged with homicide even if the mother survives. This remains true whether the mother is 4 or 40 weeks pregnant. The fetus is protected by law as a member of the Homo sapiens species at every stage of development. [2]

Therefore, according to numerous definitions the unborn are living things. Now we must take it one step further and ask if it's a human life? There are biological and philosophical considerations that can help us answer this question.

Biologically, 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 in the zygote 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. [3]"

Even if an abortion happens immediately after pregnancy can first be confirmed (4 weeks), the embryo has already begun developing a brain, spinal cord, and heart. By week 6, the arms, legs, eyes, and bones develop. The heart also begins beating [4]. These are all distinctly human organs. The brain and spine of a fetus do not belong to some separate, sub-human species. They are genetically fully Homo Sapien - just at an early stage of development.

Philosophically, in order to call an embryo "non-human," then there must logically be some point at which it does become fully human. This distinction is very difficult to make unless you draw it at the moment of birth. But even drawing the line at birth presents philosophical problems. Is a baby really not fully human until the second it leaves the womb? How about 30 seconds before? 3 hours? 3 days? What about after leaving the womb but before the umbilical cord is cut (since the baby is still attached to the mother)? What about after the cord is cut, since the baby is still completely dependent on others for survival and its brain is still not developed? I am interested to hear where my opponent draws the line of human life and why.

I am not going to address cases of rape or life of the mother. People love to bring this up, but these cases make up only a minute fraction of total abortions performed. To have a real discussion about this issue, we need to focus on the bulk of abortion cases.

I look forward to Pro's explanations.

[1] Mosby's Medical Dictionary (8th Edition, Elsevier, 2009).


[3] O'Rahilly, Ronan and Muller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. (New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996), 8-29

Debate Round No. 1


mzjazz1978 forfeited this round.


I was looking forward to this debate, so I'm willing to ignore the forfeit in hopes that Pro will post an argument in the next round.
Debate Round No. 2


Well we can discuss the issues of abortions and whether women have the right to do so without consequences for days. I still feel that we should have the right to decide with out consequences. We believe there are many reasons to abort such as fear of having or raising a child, rape, or not having enough money. But whatever the situation, there is never an acceptable reason to get an abortion according to some. Some important reasons why women should not abort have to do with human values, religious values, and values of conscience. Manu feel as though women should not have an abortion is related to basic human values. Women need to think about their unborn babies who are not responsible for this situation. These unborn babies should have the privilege to live and grow into a normal person. Others may feel as though women should not abort has to do with religious values. In almost all religions, a woman is not permitted to have an abortion, but under whose authority to tell her not to. I not religious, but he will forgive those who ask for his repentance. I mean its enough to have to go through the procedure in itself, but the emotional and psychological effects is just has hard. The emotional side effects of an abortion will vary from one woman to another. Some women report a sense of relief after having an abortion. The reasons for relief also vary from woman to woman. Emotional and psychological effects are more common than physical side effects and can range from mild regret to more serious complications like depression. It is important to discuss these risks with a trained professional who can address your questions and concerns. Abortion and emotional side effect are just as real as physical side effects.


While I am pleased that my opponent was able to post something, I'm greatly confused by their final argument. I'm not sure Pro even read my Round 1 argument, and if they did they failed to respond to it. All my opponent wrote was that some people favor abortion, and some people do not favor it.

Since Pro didn't really make an argument or give rebuttals, I ask the vote go for Con.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by gomergcc 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: While I personally agree with pro, pro failed to win this debate. They forfeited a round and made no attempt to make up for this loss of a round. They failed to give con a rebuttal. Pro simply gave two opening statements.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff a round, so conduct to Con. Pro dropped several of Con's arguments, so arguments to Con. Only Con had sources.