The Instigator
AKMath
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
BertrandsTeapot
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Abortion Is Murder!

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
BertrandsTeapot
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/14/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 435 times Debate No: 115552
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)

 

AKMath

Pro

Abortion Is Murder!
BertrandsTeapot

Con

1.There are a number of reasons why abortion, at various points along the gestation timeline, should and can not be considered murder:

2.Ample medical evidence has shown that fetuses cannot live unsupported, even with respirators, prior to 21 weeks

3.Even more medical evidence has shown that a fetus cannot feel anything like pain because they do not yet have the brain connections to do so prior to at least 24 weeks

4.Many pro-life advocates allege that every fertilized egg is a human, despite the fact that most of them do not actually make it to birth

“There has been no concerted anti-abortion effort to demand research funding into why all of these fertilized eggs die, or to find a cure. Perhaps that’s because even the most active anti-abortion advocates know the truth is that a fertilized egg is not the same as a three-year-old, and they do not genuinely believe that it has the same right to life.” - Jill Filipovic, lawyer and author of The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness

5.Often times, abortions are almost the antithesis of murder in that a being whose life and conscious status is debatable is being sacrificed for the livelihood and survival of the mother

"A fetus poses a risk to a woman, purely because she has to use her body to incubate it. And in America, she has to do so in a country with the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world."

6.If a person is not allowed to live inside one's house without their consent, why should a person (if we are calling fetuses persons) be allowed to live inside one's body without their consent.

Here are some topical quotes stated by people ranging from politicians to comedians to scientists:




      • “No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body.” - Margret Sanger





      • “How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?” - George Carlin





      • “I cannot understand anti-abortion arguments that centre on the sanctity of life. As a species we've fairly comprehensively demonstrated that we don't believe in the sanctity of life. The shrugging acceptance of war, famine, epidemic, pain and life-long poverty shows us that, whatever we tell ourselves, we've made only the most feeble of efforts to really treat human life as sacred.” - Caitlin Moran





      • "No woman wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg." - Frederica Mathewes-Green





      • “If you are against abortions, don't have one.” - Scott Andrews




Excited to hear your thoughts!
Debate Round No. 1
AKMath

Pro

For me anything with a human brain and heart counts as a life. Killing a life is murder. Just because it can"t feel pain and live on its own doesn"t deny it of life. Lobsters don"t feel pain when boiled alive at restaurants, yet we all agree lobsters are living things.
BertrandsTeapot

Con

First, I must point out the obvious and immediate contradiction in your short argument.

You open saying that you consider "anything with a human brain and heart" to be living. Just a few sentences later, you say that "we all agree lobsters are living things." There is also a lack of substantiation here. You claim, with no backup, that "lobsters don't feel main when boiled alive" yet the scientific community is largely divided on this point. See below:

"No one knows if lobsters feel pain, which makes boiling them alive rather complicated." - Popular Science
"We can't prove pain in any animal species." - Dr. Robert Elwood
"Do lobsters feel pain? Switzerland says yes." - Seattle Times

Since your only piece of actual argument besides restating your initial question in a vacuous sense (which is what you're doing when you say "killing is murder) is the lobster analogy, let's pursue that. As of March 1st, 2018, some countries in Europe are mandating that lobsters be knocked out - either by electric shock or "mechanical destruction" of the brain - before they're boiled. This legislation came as the result of a great deal of scientific research by people far smarter than you or me. If you feel that the fact that we boil lobsters is proof that abortion is murder, surely the fact that the government sanctions said boiling once the lobster is effectively numb in all senses of the term must be "proof" of the fact that completing an abortion once a fetus was anesthetized would not be "murder."

Let me also address this definition you provided regarding the brain and heart. There are many creatures, including some humans, who have lived many years without brains. By definition, it is clearly not a precondition that one have a brain in order to be considered "living". Therefore, though for you anything with a human brain and heart counts as a living thing, the majority of the respected scientific community does not believe that one have a brain in order to be alive.

For the sake of argument, however, let's assume that anything "with a human brain and heart counts as life." The heart and brain do not begin to form until the 4-6 week mark of pregnancy (Mayo Clinic, et. al.). Based on your discussion, I have to assume that you are 100% okay with completing abortions before the 4-week mark.

Allow me to lay this out using formal logic, starting with your argument:

1. Anything with a human brain and heart counts as life.
2. Killing a life is murder.
3. So killing anything with a human brain and heart is murder. (1, 2)
4. Fetuses do not develop hearts or brains until at least the 4-week mark.
5. So, fetuses do not constitute life before the 4-week mark (1, 4).
6. Since life is a prerequisite for murder (2) and fetuses, before a certain point don't constitute life (5), completing an abortion before the 4-week mark is not murder.

QED

If you are willing to change your position to, "Abortion is murder only after the 4-week mark in pregnancy," we can continue the discourse. I suspect, however, that this will not be a concession you'd like to make.
Debate Round No. 2
AKMath

Pro

Can you prove to me or show me evidence to suggest that a fetus isn't a life? And no I don't support abortions at all unless the baby is going to kill the mother.
BertrandsTeapot

Con

The proof of the fact that a fetus isn't life is drawn directly from your specific argument. I stated that it is scientifically established that up until 4 weeks into the pregnancy a fetus doesn't have a heart or brain, both of which you stated were the exact qualifications for life. I haven't even suggested a definition for "life" or "murder". Rather, I simply used your particular words and showed that they cause an inherent contradiction with your actual philosophy and claim that "Abortion Is Murder!"

There is no fathomable logical way you can deny the clear flaw in your argument since you essentially define life as not starting until 4 weeks (i.e. when the "human brain and heart" develop) yet say abortion is still murder before then. I will allow you to reframe your argument or redefine your terms, but in the service of maintaining the integrity of this debate and forum, I would implore you to not dig so deeply into your values that you ignore the unspoken rules of logical discourse.

Beyond that, your contention is that "Abortion Is Murder!" not that "Abortion Is *Unjustified* Murder!" Surely you must see that the well-being of the mother does not change the issue of whether the fetus is alive and therefore being murdered based on your specific definition of ending the "life" of any being with a "human brain and heart". Using your logic, even if the fetus being born were to lead to the destruction of the entire human race, it would still be the ending of the existence of something with a human brain and heart and so, though likely justified, still murder. You can look directly to the U.S. justice system for further evidence of this. Killing another person in self-defense is known legally as "justifiable homicide." Yes justifiable, but still homicide...still murder.

If you'd like to move the proverbial goal posts and reframe your argument as one stating that abortions are objectively immoral and unjustified unless the mother will be killed in their absence, that is certainly a course we can take. However, if not, I feel the only appropriate response would be forfeiture.

While we're on the topic, I have a few additional questions:

- Would you support abortions if the baby is going to leave the mother in a coma or persistent vegetative state for the rest of their life?
- Would you support abortions if the baby is going to kill 3 people but not the mother?
- Would you support abortions if the baby is going to financially ruin the mother and lead to a downward spiral composed of drug abuse and homelessness?
- Would you support abortions if the baby was likely to grow up and commit genocide?

I'd be very interested what your thoughts are.

**In summary, you asked for evidence that a fetus isn't life, but I provided it to you based on your own definition stating that anything with a "human brain and heart" is alive, seeing as human brains and hearts don't develop until at least week 4 of pregnancy. I further showed that it seems you actually are arguing whether/when abortions are justified, rather than claiming they are unilaterally "murder". Finally, I decided to assume you are logical enough to realize your original contention was inexorably defeated and posed a few hypothetical questions to see where you stand on the debate of when abortion is justified.**

Have a great night!
Debate Round No. 3
AKMath

Pro

No abortion is not justified murder. The freaking definition of murder is in short an UNLAWFUL killing. There is a difference between killing and murdering. No I still don't support abortion on any of your hypotheticals, the only case I would allow an abortion is if the mother will die. Now to your -'s. Here are some hypotheticals for you.
- Would you kill someone in a coma or persistent vegetative state.
- How the hell are you supposed to know if the baby is going to be a murderer at birth?
- Adoption, and would you kill a child whose parent was financially ruined abusing drugs and are homeless.
- How were Hitler's parents supposed to know he'd be Hitler when he was a baby?
With your first - your denying someone of their life, for a condition or state they are in.
P.S. Most of your hypotheticals make no sense.
BertrandsTeapot

Con

Thank you for this well-organized, grammatically-sound response. I will attempt to go through your argument line-by-line. First, however, I want to be sure the voting public has the proper context with which to understand your arguments. Typically, I have no problem allowing one's contentions and logic to speak for themselves, but I feel that there is so much baseless rambling and unsubstantiated defensiveness here that it is incumbent upon me to provide as much color as possible.

First, there is Pro's history of glaring inconsistency as shown by two separate debates he/she has started wherein it was resolved that:

1. "Creationism is true. Evolution is false. Evolution and science only go back so far."
2. "God doesn't exist"

As part of #2, Pro states, "Is the Bible, Torah, Quran, etc. more compelling evidence than science?"

It takes merely more than grade school logic to see the inherent contradiction between these two viewpoints. The posing of the hypothetical question regarding scripture being more compelling evidence than science is further corroboration of the cognitive and intellectual dissonance maintained by Pro as Creationist theory is explicitly laid out in said scripture.

Beyond that, let us just lay out some of Pro's other stances, in his/her own words, to show that the belief, "Abortion Is Murder!" is nothing more than a contention that follows a line of classic conservative ideology and in no way is composed of a single original thought or modicum of deduction.

- "Islam is a bad religion"
- "Transgenderism should be banned"
- "I think all illegal immigrants should be deported to their country of origin"
- "Semiautomatic guns such as the AR-15 are proven to be the most effective at self protection"

In addition, to further establish the absence of logic, reason, and grammatical correctness, let's look at a few of Pro's other arguments:

- In opening a statement about the reasons for accepting atheism, Pro states: "First for all who don't know what "atheism" is. in which nearly 100% of the population on planet earth doesn't, it is simply by the very definition of the dictionary." Even after one takes the remarkable amount of time needed to sort through the grammatical and syntactical errors found in that statement, one is left with the comment that "nearly 100% of the population on planet earth doesn't" know what atheism is. I beg to differ sir or madam.
- Pro also started a debate on the topic of '0.999... = 1'. I don't think it is necessary to do anything aside from linking to this debate for all to see the absurd type of "arguments" Pro makes: http://www.debate.org...

Now, on to Pro's most recent response in this thread. Let's go line by line:

1. "No abortion is not justified murder." - I would love to give Pro the benefit of the doubt and assume they forgot a comma such that their intended sentence was, "No, abortion is not justified murder." Unfortunately, based on Pro's history in this and other debates, I cannot rule out the possibility that they may have inadvertently used a double negative to contradict themselves.

2. "The freaking definition of murder is in short an UNLAWFUL killing." - As this is Pro's debate, it remains his/her responsibility to define terms, lest that opportunity fall to me. Pro has already stated the definition of murder as, "Killing a life is murder." Nowhere can be found the word, "unlawful", capitalization notwithstanding.

3. "There is a difference between killing and murdering." - Please see point #2 directly above

4. "No I still don't support abortion on any of your hypotheticals, the only case I would allow an abortion is if the mother will die." - This butchering of the English language is getting painful.

5. "Now to your -'s. Here are some hypotheticals for you." - Answering a question with an unrelated question has to be one of the lowliest, least effective debate tactics that exists among the somewhat-educated. It is as if you were on trial for murdering your wife's lover and I asked, in cross-examination, "AKMath, do you think a person should be executed for committing crimes of passion?" and then you responded, "Let me ask you something..." I don't see how this is a fathomably valid way to defend oneself.

Moving to those hypotheticals...

5a. "Would you kill someone in a coma or persistent vegetative state." - I am definitely not categorically against euthanasia, but that is a debate we can engage in another time as it is different from abortion to a degree of significance that it warrants its own discussion.

5b. "How the hell are you supposed to know if the baby is going to be a murderer at birth?" - I don't know if it's necessary to start using foul language here. This feels like a manifestation of frustration to me, but I'm not here to judge. Of course you cannot *know* that a baby is going to be a murderer at birth. This is, as Pro has correctly identified, a hypothetical question. It is a common tactic used in debates. I'll let authorities greater than myself step in here: "It is a common part of moral reasoning to propose hypothetical scenarios...asking these types of questions helps the participants formalize and understand their moral positions. Yet one common response to hypothetical scenarios is to challenge some axiom of the problem...fighting the premises of a hypothetical scenario is changing the topic to focus on something different than topic of conversation intended by the presenter of the hypothetical question. When changing the topic is appropriate is a different discussion, but it is obtuse to fail to notice that one is changing the subject."

5c. "Adoption, and would you kill a child whose parent was financially ruined abusing drugs and are homeless." - Is that a real sentence?

5d. "How were Hitler's parents supposed to know he'd be Hitler when he was a baby?" - See 5b.

6. "With your first - your denying someone of their life, for a condition or state they are in." - See 5c.

7. "P.S. Most of your hypotheticals make no sense." - See 5b.

Looking forward to hearing back. Have a great day!
Debate Round No. 4
AKMath

Pro

Sorry about that, as I was in a hurry trying to catch a plane to Helsinki.
I'm Catholic therefore I believe in God. I find it hard to believe that some people don't think a God exists. I like to see what people say when I'm the one criticizing myself. I'm a Alt Right, Conservative, Trump Republican. I have in fact said all those things. If you would like to debate me on those topics I'd love to as I'm very passionate about them. I strongly welcome you to debate me about whether God exists, and all mathematicians agree 0.999... = 1. It's not absurd at all. The thing I hate about Liberals and Leftists is they yell things with no proof or evidence of why they are correct.
1. I did in fact mean No, abortion is not justified murder.

2. The definition in short is an UNLAWFUL killing. I'm sorry I didn't make that clear earlier.

3. There is in fact a difference. A killing could be lawful and/or justified, a murder is never lawful and/ or justified.

5. Ok fine I'll answer you're strange hypotheticals that make little to no sense.

Going down the -'s from round 3.
- No
- No
- No
- No

From these answers you probably believe I have no morals. I do it's just that I strongly believe that things happen for a reason. And as every single time traveling movie says, changing the past can have disastrous effects on the present.
Ex. If Hitler wasn't born WWII probably wouldn't have happened. It's pretty safe to say that if WWII never happened we'd still be in the Great Depression.

P.S. Since you call 0.999... = 1 "absurd" I'm starting a debate with you about that.
BertrandsTeapot

Con

Let's take this one step at a time.

You start by citing your Catholicism as the reason you believe in God. I would think one should believe in God before choosing the particular religion they blindly subscribe to, but that's not the debate here. Since you seem to be appealing to the notion that the Bible forbids abortion, I offer a two-pronged rebuttal. The first will show the rather questionable nature of following the word of God so directly and the second will show that by many accounts, the Bible doesn't even consider abortion to be murder.

1. If I were to wake up tomorrow morning and claim that saying some Latin words and waving my hands over a stack of pancakes were going to magically transubstantiate them into the body of Elvis, people would call me insane. However, if I were to do basically the same exact thing on top of a cracker and say it was turning into the body of Jesus, people would just call me Catholic. Further, if someone were to tell you, as a devout Christian, that your significant other was cheating on you or that eating chocolate ice cream would give you the power of flight, I think you'd probably ask me to provide some evidence to support those claims. However, when someone told you that the book you keep by your bed was actually written by an omniscient invisible deity who will ultimately punish you in hell for all eternity in the case that you do not accept his every claim about the entire universe, you seem to have not required any evidence whatsoever.

Subnote: If you did require evidence on that last point, please do share what evidence it was that convinced you.

2. Just a few points on the notion of the Bible considering abortion murder:

"Do those opposing abortion on religious grounds know that the Bible does not consider a fetus a full human life or the killing of a fetus murder?" - Eliyahu Federman

It is also noteworthy that as early as Genesis 2:7, the Bible states that life begins at birth, declaring that God “breathed into his [Adam’s] nostrils the soul of life, and man became a living soul.” The verse implies that until Adam took his first breath he was not considered a living being.

Furthermore, you can scour the Bible with a fine-toothed comb, yet you will not find any passage that describes a prohibition or penalty for a woman who chooses to terminate her pregnancy. Not a single verse yet the anti-abortion movement continues to declare, in the name of God, that abortion is murder. It seems that God left out the prohibition of abortion or perhaps does not consider a fetus a full human life. I’ll let you decide.

"Exodus 21:22-25 describes a case where a pregnant woman jumps into a fight between her husband and another man and suffers injuries that cause her to miscarry. The miscarriage is treated differently, however — as property loss, not murder. The assailant must pay a fine to the husband. The law of a life for a life does not apply. The fetus is important, but it’s not human life in the same way the pregnant woman is." - Rick Lowery, Ph.D.

We can certainly debate whether 0.999... = 1 in the forum in which you recently challenged me. It's not an inherently absurd claim, however it's your method of arguing that reflects a complete ignorance of basic mathematics that I said was absurd.

To your enumerated answers:

1. I'm glad we cleared that up.
2. That is *NOT* the definition you gave when we started this debate (see my quoting of your own words). It is not against law or moral code to change the definition of the most important part of your argument, but it is certainly bad practice.
3. Again, I simply based these comments on your own arguments and definition(s).
5. Sarcasm not necessary, but indulgence much appreciated.

On those hypothetical questions - I suspected you might say no to all of them, which is why I asked in the first place. That reflects a complete absence of logical continuity in your reasoning. You have stated that you would allow an abortion in the case where the birth was going to kill the mother, however not in the case that it was going to kill people other than the mother. This seems a bit silly. In most cases (granted, not all), the mother was in some way involved in the conception of that fetus. Many use this fact as a basis for arguing that acting in any manner aside from abstinence opens a mother to the obligation of carrying and nurturing a child. You clearly do not agree with this, which I take no objection to. However, it seems a little unfair and counterintuitive to state that you would not save the lives of 3 individuals who were not involved or in any way responsible for a pregnancy while saving an individual that may or may not have been responsible, in whole or in part. Again, I am not arguing the point of whether an abortion should be allowed in the case of threat to the mother nor am I passing judgment on the concept of maternal responsibility for conception. Rather, I am using your own answers to hypothetical questions to show that your logic is, at best, capricious and arbitrary.

I am not here to judge whether or not you have morals, that is not the subject of the debate. I very much respect anyone who believes strongly in whatever it is they believe in. Personally, I vehemently reject the notion that some invisible overlord created the entire universe and has dictated precisely what will happen at every quantum step along the chain reaction that is our reality.

However, let's just say that "things happen for a reason." You seem to use that as justification for a pro-life stance, presumably because you argue that conception has happened "for a reason" and thus the baby should be born to fulfill its fate/destiny. Surely you must see that the invocation of such a philosophy is nothing better than illogical. For what "reason" would Boko Haram have kidnapped over 1,000 children in northeastern Nigeria since 2013? For what "reason" has the Darfur genocide resulted in the deaths of over 400,000 innocent men, women and children? Perhaps only God's children (Catholics, in your case) are protected by God in his infinite glory in power. Surely, to them, "things [would] happen for a reason." What, then, is to be made of the 10,667 instances of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic church against minors under the age of 18 between 1950 and 2002? It is hard to imagine what the "reason" would be for that happening.

Further on this point of reason, supposing that all the previous claims are somehow swept away, who is to say that the "thing" that is to happen "for a reason" in a pregnancy, especially those that are the case of rape or incest, is an eventual birth. Is it not equally likely that God wanted a woman to get pregnant for the "reason" that they have an abortion at which time a doctor uncovers a lung tumor and removes it before it metastasizes? I don't think it is for either of us to say which of these "reasons" is more "likely".

Finally, your point about Hitler not being born is well taken. In fact, that is the whole reason that I feel the philosophy of Utilitarianism is very silly. You claim, "it's pretty safe to say that if WWII never happened we'd still be in the Great Depression." First of all, I don't think ANYONE claims that we would still be in the Great Depression. Some claim that the War ended the Depression, but I don't think there is a reasonable, moderately-educated economist on the planet that thinks we'd still be in such a state without it. That all said, I do take objection to your use of the phrase "it's pretty safe to say," when in fact many scholars disagree:

"A common fallacy is that the Great Depression was ended by the explosive spending of World War II." - Peter Ferrara, Forbes Magazine

"World War II Did Not End the Great Depression" - Art Carden, Mises Institute

"No, WWII Did Not End The Great Depression" - The Corbett Report

To be clear, I am not taking a stance on the idea that WWII did or did not end the Great Depression. I am simply showing that your cavalier use of the phrase, "it's pretty safe to say," is neither valid nor constructive.

Looking forward to hearing back and chatting about 0.999... = 1!
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by NYStateofMined 5 months ago
NYStateofMined
@asta I hope you don't actually think the right spelling of that word is "conchies". Please tell me you don't.

Spelling aside, being a sleep is not remotely the same as not being "conchies". Also, people who are sleeping absolutely feel pain.

"Being asleep is not the same as being unconscious." - Medline.gov

"(Sleep is) a mandatory eight-hour period of near-total unconsciousness. - HowStuffWorks

"When we fall asleep, the brain does not merely go offline, as implied by the common phrase "out like a light." - Scientific American

"Loss of consciousness should not be confused with the notion of the psychoanalytic unconscious or cognitive processes (e.g., implicit cognition) that take place outside awareness, and with altered states of consciousness, such as delirium (when the person is confused and only partially responsive to the environment), normal sleep, hypnosis, and other altered states in which the person responds to stimuli." - NIH
Posted by asta 5 months ago
asta
Just because you don't have a brain/aren't conchies doesn't mean you should be killed. A sleeping person is not conchies, they can't feel pain. Is it okay to kill people in their sleep?
Posted by Masterful 5 months ago
Masterful
A fetus is a template, not yet a person. Biologically classified as a human, but not cognitively classified as a person, so are we really killing anyone? of course not. Lest masturbation be mass genocide.
Posted by John_C_1812 5 months ago
John_C_1812
Pregnancy abortion legislation is the direct attack on a person"s Constitutional right to vote as it places the general welfare of people into a criminal state to which they are ask to vote on. Making the voter an accessory to the admitted crime, or some-one who may be committing an intellectual crime of perjury.
The United States Constitution deserves representation under law separating itself from public self-incrimination. Female Specific Amputation is not saying a woman is officially ending life like Pregnancy Abortion. The wording of Female Specific Amputation does not self-incriminate a woman into the crime of murder.

Two important questions that should be debated about Pregnancy abortion:
1.Is it an admission to the crime of murder, or not?
2.Why do all woman need confess or admit to a crime under any condition?
Posted by John_C_1812 5 months ago
John_C_1812
Abortion is not murder it is the admission to murder made with a confession that is self-incriminating.
Posted by UseYOURname 5 months ago
UseYOURname
While I am pro-life, the debater meant to argue for my views is doing a terrible job. I will point out the faults in your arguement. You say that the fetus is alive up until it is viable. Explain to me why I can"t kill you if you are in a coma. You aren"t viable! So it"s not murder isn"t it. You then say that the fetus can"t feel pain up until 21 months. Pain is irrelevant to the status of life, if you"re going to argue on one of the four criteria necessary to establish life then we can talk about reaction to stimuli. A zygote reacts to stimuli from conception, therefore this arguement is faulty. You say that a lot of fetuses die in childbirth, so what? A lot of people die with cancer, does that mean cancer patients can be murdered. Your biggest mistake is stating that the human life starts when the fetus becomes viable, this statement is false because it can be ascribed to humans.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by RMTheSupreme 5 months ago
RMTheSupreme
AKMathBertrandsTeapotTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con wins for the simplest reason one could imagine; Pro shoots themselves in the foot when they define 'murder' for Con later in the debate than they should (they should have defined it in Round 1) and they say it's 'unlawful killing'. There are quite a few nations where abortion is lawful killing and this alone lost them the debate. Con really could have typed 0 letters from that point on and the debate was lost by Pro. Con elaborately explains why it actually should be lawful, doesn't just prove that it is.