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RFD for abortion debate

tejretics
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4/10/2016 10:19:18 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
I. Resolution

http://www.debate.org...

"The United States Government should make abortion illegal."

The resolution (henceforth "the res.") is simple enough. It holds that the government of the US should pass legislation making abortion illegal. I'm unsure if the res. requires any exceptions to this proposal, but since CON makes arguments against the res. in general regardless of exceptions, I'm going to assume that such exceptions exist.

II. Burdens

The burdens are shared evenly -- that much is clear. The res. is a normative one, i.e. it asks for what "should" be or "ought to" be, rather than what "is." As such, the debaters aren't debating a fact, rather whether an obligation exists. There is no burden of proof, only a burden of persuasion -- the burden to persuade the judge of their side. Any assumption that PRO has the greater burden merely on account of PRO challenging the status quo is an incorrect one, for there's no reason to believe that the status quo is self-justifying.

PRO has to show that abortion should be illegal in the United States, and give compelling reasons to think so. To do this, PRO must establish what, in general, should be illegal, and why abortion fits those criteria. CON has to show that abortion should remain legal; he should establish what should be legal, and why abortion fits those criteria.

III. Arguments

a. PRO:

PRO's arguments are as follows:

(1) The fetus is a human and therefore has a right to life (fairly strong; Pro clearly explained how abortion violates the RTL and why the government should, thus, ban it);

(2) Keeping abortion legal hurts religious sentiments (weak argument; Pro fails to explain why the government should legislate on religious sentiments);

(3) Women face psychological damage and depression from abortions (impact is strong, and can be weighed because of explanation in first argument as to why government should legislate based on this);

(4) A fetus should not be punished for no mistake of its (weak argument, since that poses no link to legality which is the topic of the res.).

b. CON:

(1) The fetus is a part of the mother's body, and women ought to have bodily autonomy (weak argument, since it isn't explained *why* women should have bodily autonomy, nor why dependence is the same as being a part of the body);

(2) The mother usually aborts because she doesn't want the child, and children have the right to grow up in homes where they will be treated well, the impact of not allowing them this being psychological damage (strong argument, but the psychological damage point lacks substantiation with a source);

(3) Making abortion illegal won't change the number of abortions, and there is a large number of illegal abortions that are unsafe and cause death of women (very strong argument, clearly illustrates the magnitude and probability; only failure being that probability lacks substantiation);

(4) Many people can't afford to keep such children, so abortion will result in financial insecurity (weak argument, because PRO's case preempts by showing that having a child is a choice; links and impacts also unclear; PRO also argues adoption, which refutes);

(5) Abortion reduces crime, per study in Freakonomics (strong argument, despite the fact that the data is likely wrong, since to be a tabula rasa judge I should not worry about external information; PRO shows both probability and magnitude here);

(6) Women who are denied abortions are more likely to get unemployed, thus increasing unemployment rate (another strong point, with both probability and magnitude).

IV. Clash

a. PRO:

(1) PRO turns CON's argument about other factors by showing that families often reject people who perform abortions (strong turn, because it is sourced vs CON's unsourced rebuttal, and easily link turns CON's point);

(2) PRO argues that, regardless of the fetus's dependancy, it is a human being (fairly strong, at least in comparison with CON's seriously under-explained point);

(3) PRO extends the point about unsafe abortions and abortions causing death (which is very weak, because CON's point about pregnancies being more unsafe easily outweighs, and CON's turn about making abortion illegal creating more dangerous abortions outweighs as well);

(4) PRO argues that having a child is a choice, so it's the woman"s fault (weak argument, because it doesn"t substantiate on the impacts of that, and how it affects the res.).

b. CON:

(1) To Pro"s point 4, CON argues something irrelevant regarding the death penalty, *completely* misinterpreting PRO's argument and thus dropping it;

(2) CON argues that not many religious sentiments will be hurt since the opposition to abortion on a religious basis is rather small per statistics (strong rebuttal, completely refutes probability; point has no magnitude anyhow, thus is subject to my discrediting it);

(3) CON responds to the RTL argument by saying the fetus isn't "truly living" because it is dependent on its mother (weak rebuttal; CON doesn't explain how dependence shows whether something is truly living); CON also responds to the RTL argument saying the RTL is not absolute, and since pregnancy is a threat to the mother"s health, the latter outweighs (strong rebuttal, except no clear link in that mothers don"t always seek abortion due to their health);

(4) CON brings up new offense in response to adoption, stating that there are other factors, such as abusive partners, social stigma associated with pregnancy in teenagers, et cetera (fairly strong, except significant lack of substantiation);

(5) CON argues that lack of abortions in women who seek abortions causes greater mental distress than having abortions (very strong point, since it perfectly represents greater magnitude and is substantiated with a study).

V. Outcome

PRO basically drops most of CON's offense. PRO drops the psychological damage caused by abortion to the child, since the child is unwanted. While that offense doesn't account for adoptions, PRO doesn"t even *mention* adoptions or any form of rebuttal to that. PRO also drops CON's strongest impact -- that banning abortion won"t reduce the abortion rate, it will only increase the number of illegal and dangerous abortions.

From PRO, the only impacts I have are that a fetus is a human and therefore has an RTL, but CON proved that the RTL is not absolute, and I weigh the RTLs of the number of women who die over the fetus"s RTL. I also have the punishing for no mistake argument, but PRO fails to sufficiently explain how that"s a reason the government should ban abortion -- there's no framework that suggests that. The psychological damage from abortions is outweighed from the psychological damage of being *denied* an abortion, and the religious argument is fully refuted.

I have the strong offense of lives lost from back-alley abortions and the psychological damage turn from CON, which outweigh everything else. CON wins, despite the forfeit.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
tejretics
Posts: 6,094
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4/12/2016 11:27:45 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/11/2016 7:46:17 PM, famousdebater wrote:
At 4/10/2016 10:19:18 AM, tejretics wrote:
I. Resolution

http://www.debate.org...

I can't view the debate. I think it was deleted.

Link fixed.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass