The Instigator
gabbsmcswaggin
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Stonewall
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

should abortion be legal at all

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/24/2013 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 780 times Debate No: 39400
Debate Rounds (3)
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gabbsmcswaggin

Pro

I think it should because if a woman is raped she shouldn't have to have the baby.
Stonewall

Con

Thank you for the opportunity to debate this topic.

It goes without saying that rape is an absolutely horrible thing. It would be unfortunate if, on top of this rape, a pregnancy were to occur. But that does not, by any means, demean the life of the child inside the woman. Hypothetically, if you found that you were the result of a rape gone wrong, would you wish you never existed? Perhaps, for the sake of your own mother, but it does not mean your life is worth less, or nothing at all. Just because you were an "accident" does not mean that you can't be of worth on this planet. Your life's value does not drop to zero based solely on the fact that you were not intended. Considering that your life is merely an extension of the one inside your mother's womb, doesn't your life still have that same worth?

In worst case scenarios, the option of adoption is always there as well. A mother, if she cannot bear the reminder of her rape, can still give her child to an orphanage, where many eager parents would love the opportunity.
Debate Round No. 1
gabbsmcswaggin

Pro

Foster care is often very awful for the children. Abuse is ery common.
http://m.ktvu.com...
http://www.kvue.com...
http://www.azfamily.com...

And what about Abortion in cases where it could danger a mother"s life

What happens in a situation where the mother could die from the pregnancy? If abortion is banned, the most obvious answer is that she will die. Whether this will or will not occur a majority of time is erroneous, but claiming that abortion should be outlawed all together would give no choice to the mother in this situation if it did actually happen. These are just a few facts on how many pregnancies can be fatal.

"Globally, an estimated 287,000 maternal deaths occurred in 2010"

"Of all pregnancies anywhere, 15 percent will have a potentially fatal complication. In the developing world, having a baby will be the riskiest thing a woman will do. "

Is a fetus really a human life?

The fetus is in fact is a life. That point cannot be argued or disputed. The next logical question one may ask is whether or not it is a human life.

So how do we define what makes us human. I would argue for the fact that the fetus would have to exhibit pain, feelings, emotion, and conscious. It must have some type of senses. If ending a life were considered murder, we could be put on trial for stepping on an insect. An insect is a life, and almost anything we can imagine is in fact living. This is in fact almost impossible to show and prove at what stage it develops these qualities, which is why it is such a controversial issue. This varies from state to state and is also a huge reason that late term abortion is banned. One of many studies shows this.

"Anand argues that because fetuses can respond to stress or other stimuli at 20 weeks, abortion after that point causes them "severe and excruciating pain." The bulk of the scientific literature on the subject, however, finds that the brain connections needed to feel pain are not in place until at least 24 weeks, which is also the earliest possible time a fetus becomes viable outside the womb. Anand's testimony has been used to justify state and federal laws banning abortions after 20 weeks; those efforts have passed in nine states since 2010."

"Dr. Kanwaljeet "Sunny" Anand, a University of Tennessee professor of pediatrics, anesthesiology, and neurobiology who has promoted the idea that 20 weeks post-conception is the point when a fetus begins to feel pain. None of this evidence follows or aligns with almost any other scientific research done on this subject"

While a fetus may be a life, it does not start to develop characters that humans share until around 20-24 weeks.
In fact, 88% of all abortions in the United States are obtained within the first 12-13 weeks.

http://www.prochoice.org...
http://www.aafp.org......
sltoday.com
http://thelawdictionary.org......;
http://www.princeton.edu......
Stonewall

Con

"Of all pregnancies anywhere, 15 percent will have a potentially fatal complication. In the developing world, having a baby will be the riskiest thing a woman will do. "

You remember in high school during sex ed, where the teacher would go through a list of things that can go wrong from having sex? Having a baby, getting STD's, etc.? Death should be chalked up right next to those. Pregnancy can be potentially dangerous, and it's safe to assume that most people know this. The same goes for cigarette smoking and drinking and eating fast food- we are all well aware of the risks involved, and we take those into account. Perhaps this sounds callous, but it's true.

"Is a fetus really a human life?"

I predicted that this point would come up sooner or later. The simplest way to answer this entire question is to show the fact that the murder of a pregnant woman is two counts of homicide. If a pregnant woman is killed in a car accident, it is considered two counts of manslaughter. This is the Unborn Victims of Violence Act at work. (1) If a murderer killed his pregnant wife and provided more than enough evidence that she and she alone was going to have an abortion, would the judge and jury simply nod their heads and say, "Well, if she was going to abort the child anyways..."? No, of course not. This would be comparable to saying, "They were going to kill themselves anyways." The murderer would still face the same two counts of murder- one for the mother, one for the child inside of her.

"If ending a life were considered murder, we could be put on trial for stepping on an insect."

This would be a comparable example if the insect had the potential to grow into a being like you or I. This is practically impossible. Any human fetus, on the other hand, has about a 100% chance of growing to become a human being like you or I. If you could show me such positive evidence that an insect had the potential to become a rational, emotional, thoughtful and intelligent human being, you can bet I wouldn't step on it.

"While a fetus may be a life, it does not start to develop characters that humans share until around 20-24 weeks."

The amount of days or weeks at which an unborn baby can feel this, that or the other is irrelevant. Sometimes, a person in a deep coma cannot feel pain. When taken off their tubes and life support, they too can die. Should we treat this person as we would a fetus? Of course not (although sometimes we do); that would be barbaric. We should treat them as human beings, again with potential to become fully functioning ones again. Writing them off on something as simple as whether or not they can feel pain or survive by themselves is not a good measure of human status.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
gabbsmcswaggin

Pro

". Any human fetus, on the other hand, has about a 100% chance of growing to become a human being like you or I."

My opponent's argument is that we are extinguishing the unborn child's potential. This is true, but is not a reason to outlaw abortion. If potential life was that important then we would all be horrible people for not having sex constantly because we would be denying the life and potential of all the unused sperm and eggs. Since this would clearly not be to our benefit, the importance of potential must not be very big.

One of the main problems with outlawing abortion is the use of unsafe "back alley" abortions. "Unsafe abortion is believed to result in approximately 69,000 deaths and millions of injuries annually. The legal status of abortion is believed to play a major role in the frequency of unsafe abortion. For example, the 1996 legalization of abortion in South Africa had an immediate positive impact on the frequency of abortion-related complications, with abortion-related deaths dropping by more than 90%. Groups such as the World Health Organization have advocated a public-health approach to addressing unsafe abortion, emphasizing the legalization of abortion, the training of medical personnel, and ensuring access to reproductive-health services." [1]. Since legalizing abortions would reduce deaths, I am actually saving real lives, unlike my opponent.

I beleive a woman has a right to her body and to dictate what goes on with it, and that it is inevitably the choice of the mother in order to decide whether she wants to have the baby or not.

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org...
Stonewall

Con

"If potential life was that important then we would all be horrible people for not having sex constantly because we would be denying the life and potential of all the unused sperm and eggs."

Except a sperm or an egg by itself only has the potential to give potential. Sperm and eggs are only as useful as a lung cell or a skin cell by themselves. It's only when these cells are applied that it gives birth (literally, sometimes) to something much greater.

My opponent also fails to mention how not wasting our sex cells, "would clearly not be to our benefit". I assume she means in something like overpopulation. Considering her main goal is, as she says in my third point, "saving real lives," overpopulation is clearly not on her mind. After all, only 6% of abortions are for the health of the mother (1)- such a thing would negate that notion of killing unborn children to keep us in population check, so to speak.

"One of the main problems with outlawing abortion is the use of unsafe 'back alley' abortions."

It goes without saying that back alley anything is hazardous to one's health. There are people who get back alley drugs. Odds are that some of these drugs are dangerous. Should we just legalize every drug just to stop people from selling/buying it in secret? Of course not. Just because something's done illegally does not mean that we should just make everything legal so that the crime/death rate goes down. Just like with drugs, people know the consequences of having a back alley abortion. I'd like to think nobody gets an abortion from somebody who's doing it in secret because what they're doing is illegal. Obviously, this is not the case. Such acts are not safe, people have the knowledge it isn't safe, and yet continue to do it anyway, just as they would with drugs or smoking.

"Since legalizing abortions would reduce deaths, I am actually saving real lives, unlike my opponent."

What do you mean "real lives"? As my opponent said herself in Round 2, "The fetus is in fact is a life. That point cannot be argued or disputed." The fact that you're using blurred lines in definitions to benefit whatever your particular argument is is essentially doublespeak.

My opponent made some valid points on the side of pro-choice (or at least pro-life with the exception of rape and health of the mother). But much of her argument hinges on those that face complications of those who are pregnant- We musn't forget that just like having a child or an STD, death is one of the adverse side effects for those who become pregnant. This sound harsh, but we should face this fact like we would with drugs or smoking or drinking or even fast food. My opponent cited a source that said, "In the developing world, having a baby will be the riskiest thing a woman will do." We should treat it as such.

1. http://www.birthmotherministries.org...
Debate Round No. 3
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