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

Abortion Should Be Illegal

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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: 3/6/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,819 times Debate No: 87743
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (2)





1) Do not troll, please debate appropriately.

2) Have proper debate etiquette (e.g. use proper grammar, capitalization, etc.).

3) Do not use fake or satire sources. (A list of fake and satire websites can be found here:

4) Arguments must be submmited within a 72 hour period.

5) Arguments must contain 10,000 or less characters.


First round is acceptance.

Second round is for arguments.

Third round is rebuttals.

The last round is why you did better than your opponent.


Abortion - "the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy up to 28 weeks"

I (Pro) argue that abortion should be illegal.

My opponent (Con) argues that abortion should not be illegal.

Let the debate begin, and good luck to my opponent! :-)


Debate Round No. 1


NewLifeChristian forfeited this round.



OBV 1 - The BOP is shared in this debate due to the fact that this is a normative resolution. I must demonstrate that abortion shouldn't be banned in the US, whereas my opponent must prove that abortion should be banned.

OBV 2 - Since the BOP is shared this ultimately means that we must both provide a case which should attempt to prove our positions in the debate (as stated in observation 1). If we manage to prove our position to be true this means that we win the debate. Since both our positions conflict (I believe in allowing abortions; my oponent believes in banning it), this means that only one of us can prove our positions to be correct in this debate. Whoever does this wins.


My framework will be centered around libertarianism. Within libertarianism, there is controversy on abortions because it depends on if the fetus is alive. If the fetus is alive then libertarians are against abortions because libertarians are individualists and therefore value the life of the individual heavily [1]. If the fetus is not alive then libertarians advocate abortion because libertarians belief in a less powerful and restrictive government. In our first contention we will prove the fetus to be living. I will explain why we should have an abortion under libertarian belief.

Capitalism magazine explains this by saying,

“A fetus does not have a right to be in the womb of any woman, but is there by her permission. This permission may be revoked by the woman at any time, because her womb is part of her body... There is no such thing as the right to live inside the body of another, i.e., there is no right to enslave... a woman is not a breeding pig owned by the state (or church).” [2]

She is the individual that libertarians prioritize, due to their individualist beliefs [2]. Since libertarians believe in a less restrictive government, the outcome is clear. The government should NOT be involved in something so personal to the person since by intervening in this person’s choice, you are restricting them and are violating libertarian ideology [3].

You ought to buy the libertarian framework because this debate is based on a law change and a law change should be in the people’s best interest as well as the government's. With the less restrictive government the people’s choices must be respected and considered.

The Fetus Is Not Alive

Only 1.4% of abortions occur after 21 weeks into the pregnancy [3,4]. This means that that most abortions are done before the fetus is even formed. It is an embryo, and an embryo is proven to be not alive. It isn't a subject of discussion when talking about the embryo [5].

I will now address the fetus - which is mitigated due to the small percentage of abortions that occur at this period.

There are 7 categories in which life can be identified. The categories have been compiled by biologists over a long period of time with great discussion. The fetus only meets 2 of these when, in order to classify it as living, it must meet all of them [6].

Movement - The fetus can move so this part is met.

Respiration - The fetus cannot respire on its own [7].

Sensitivity - The fetus cannot sense at 24 weeks or even 28 weeks [8].

Growth - The fetus does grow.

Reproduction - Whilst it is a fetus, no it cannot reproduce [9].

Excretion - This is possible however very rare and unlikely [10].

Nutrition - The fetus cannot independently take in nutrition.

If one of these wasn’t met then the fetus would not be considered alive. The fetus was only able to meet 2. Ergo, the fetus is not living. If the fetus is not living then a termination is not detrimental to society and it does not act as a law violation (ie. murder).

Even if the fetus is alive, you still ought to presume Con.

“the "right to life" doesn’t imply a right to use somebody else’s body. People have the right to refuse to donate their organs, for example, even if doing so would save somebody else’s life.” [19]

You ought to vote Con based on this premise alone.

Illegal Abortions

When an abortion is legal there is absolutely no point in having an illegal abortion because they have been proven to be very dangerous and expensive. If abortion are legal then illegal abortions will negatively correlate [11]. These illegal abortions have been known to kill both the mother and the baby and sometimes result in extreme suffering on the mother’s part [11]. Mothers are not doctors (most of the time) so these illegal abortions also occur later than 24 (and even 28) weeks meaning that the babies suffer too [11]!

Did you know:

“13% of pregnancy-related deaths worldwide are related to complications of unsafe abortion.” [12]

This statistic is shocking but demonstrates my point very well. These unsafe abortions are illegal and this is what is currently happening because abortions are illegal in places. They have no option to a safe abortion and are so desperate for abortion that they attempt to have an unsafe abortion. Therefore, we can conclude that there are a huge number of unsafe abortions (13% of all pregnancy related deaths). From this we can then follow up an argument suggesting that making abortions illegal will not necessarily get rid of all abortions therefore rendering our opponent’s aim to be mitigated.

Underaged teenagers

“19% of teens who have had sexual intercourse become pregnant each year. 78% of these pregnancies are unplanned. 6 in 10 teen pregnancies occur among 18-19 year olds.” [12]

This statistic is significant for many reasons. If this occurs amongst 18 - 19 year olds then this is extremely bad. Having to look after and care for a child ruins their chances of going to university. Your twenties are your most important period of your lives according to many sources [13,14,15]. Whilst this is still arguably subjective there are also many reasons as to why you should view your twenties as the most important reason in your life objectively. Having to look after a child in this period of time is extremely stressful and prevents you from getting proper qualifications and more importantly, it prevents you from getting a full time job and a house [22]. Children are extremely expensive to have and having a child at the time when you should be looking for a job makes income problematic. On top of this you will have to pay huge amounts of money.

“To raise a child born in 2013 to the age of 18, it will cost a middle-income couple just over $245,000, according to newly released estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That's up $4,260, or almost 2%, from the year before.”[16]

Now let's compare this to the average income of a family:

“The typical U.S. households pulls in $51,371 per year.” [21]

Teenage parents are most likely to make a lot less than this but let's take this statistic anyway. Assuming that this ‘average’ family spend no money at all on anything. It will still cost them almost 5 times their yearly income to equate to that amount. Of course they will need food, clothes, mortgage, heating, electricity etc. on top of this sum of money.

If this seems like a lot you should double the cost of a child figures (assuming that they have another child), what will you do then? Not allow an abortion? Allow these teengagers to pay almost $500,000, earning (most likely) less than $51,371 per year.

Gender Equality

Pregnancies have a huge impact upon people’s lives - in particular the mother. As Sarah Weddington stated:

“A pregnancy to a woman is perhaps one of the most determinative aspects of her life. It disrupts her body. It disrupts her education. It disrupts her employment. And it often disrupts her entire family life.” [17]

She continued:

“[And we feel that], because of the impact on the woman, this … is a matter which is of such fundamental and basic concern to the woman involved that she should be allowed to make the choice as to whether to continue or to terminate her pregnancy.” [17]

This was a case showing that without the right to a termination, you are denying women a right and therefore what my opponent is advocating is gender inequality.

The philosopher, Judith Thomson said:

“If abortion rights are denied, then a constraint is imposed on women's freedom to act in a way that is of great importance to them, both for its own sake and for the sake of their achievement of equality .... and if the constraint is imposed on the ground that the foetus has a right to life from the moment of conception, then it is imposed on a ground that neither reason nor the rest of morality requires women to accept, or even to give any weight at all.” [17]

This emphasizes my previous point in regards to the denial of gender rights and equality.

P1: Denying women an abortion is gender inequality

P2: Gender inequality is a violation of human rights

C1: Abortion legalization stops gender inequality rights

C2: Abortions should be legalized


14000 women yearly get abortions because they are raped yearly [12]. This may seem like a small amount (and in reality it is just 1%) however these are 14000 individuals that, under the libertarian framework, should be valued and considered in society. In libertarianism, the life is valued under opposite standards to utilitarianism [12]. 1 life is just as valuable as 100. Libertarians are individualists - not collectivists [20]. Under the libertarian framework life matters, no matter how small the number the freedom of the individual should be prioritized. Government restriction should be minimal and by preventing abortions you create a restriction. Due to the libertarian framework you ought to vote con.


I have provided strong and well sourced evidence proving that if you ban abortion you violate libertarianism, women's human rights, the rights of teenagers / children and it also violates the law. I will refute my opponent's case in the next round. I thank my opponent for initiating such an interesting resolution. The resolution is negated. Vote Con!

Sources in external link which is allowed (see the rules in R1):
Debate Round No. 2



Before I begin my first arguments, I would like to apologize to everyone for not posting my first arguments in "Round 2". My opponent and I have agreed upon a new structure of the debate that would allow us to have a complete debate. We have also agreed upon reporting any and all votes that are based upon my forfeiture, i.e. any votes that deduct points from my side based upon my forfeiture will be removed by moderators.

The new structure for the debate is below:

Round 2 (Part B) - My opponent's first arguments.

Round 3 (Part A) - My first arguments.

Round 3 (Part B) - My opponent's rebuttal of my first arguments.

Round 4 (Part A) - My rebuttal to my opponent's first arguments.

Round 4 (Part B) - I ask my opponent to forfeit this round, so the debate will be even.

Putting this aside, I will begin my first argument, "The Ethics of Abortion".

The Ethics of Abortion

The truth is, abortion is an atrocity, and most people around the world (and in America) find it to be immoral. In fact, a survey done by the Pew Research Center, and reported by LifeSiteNews, found that, "the majority of the people in dozens of nations across every continent but Antarctica deemed abortion . . . morally unacceptable."[1] In addition, a Knights of Columbus/Marist poll found that, "more than six in 10 Americans believe that abortion is morally wrong".[2]

With this in mind, it becomes absolutely clear that the public views abortion to be wrong. It is something that is immoral and ultimately an atrocity, as I stated before.

Fetuses Feel Pain During Abortion Procedures

Perhaps one of the most convincing pieces of evidence against abortion is the fact that fetuses feel pain at 20 weeks, and even more shocking is the fact that (at this stage in life) fetuses feel pain more intensely than adult human beings.[3] Because of this fact, there have been many laws and efforts to make laws that would address this issue. An example would be the "Woman's Right to Know" law which was passed in Minnesota which requires women to be informed about the fact that fetuses feel pain at 20 weeks.

The 14th Amendment

The 14th Amendment was designed to protect the weakest and most vulnerable individuals within the United States. It specifically states that no state shall "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property . . . "[4] Notice, it says "person", which is to some synonymous with "human", and one would have to ignore the facts to deny that a fetus is a human being. There is a wide scientific consensus that a fetus is a human being and many scientific publications reiterate this claim. In fact, this is what one scientific textbook has to say about the debate about whether a fetus is a human being or not:

"Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being.
(Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2)

The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.
[Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3]

Zygote. This cell, formed by the union of an ovum and a sperm (Gr. zyg tos, yoked together), represents the beginning of a human being. The common expression ‘fertilized ovum’ refers to the zygote.
[Moore, Keith L. and Persaud, T.V.N. Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects. 4th edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1993, p. 1]"


When one considers the facts that fetuses can feel pain, the majority find abortion to be morally unacceptable, and the Constitution prohibits abortion, it becomes eminently clear that abortion should be prohibited by law.




Thank you for your arguments NewLifeChristian! Apologies for posting this round late. I was experiencing the HTTP 500 glitch which prevented me from viewing the debate.


My opponent provides no alternative framework to mine. As a result this means that you automatically ought to abide by the framework presented when analyzing and voting on this debate. No matter how mitigated my opponent may make my framework you still ought to abide by it because a framework is better than no framework.

The Ethics Of Abortion

My opponent fails to account for two facts. Firstly, they fail to count for the fact that this debate is not about the innateness of the “pro abortion” or “con abortion” belief. This is about whether it SHOULD be made illegal. There is no mention of quantity based in this debate.

Secondly, my opponent fails to account for the fact that they use a bias news article written by a Pro life writer. I, on the other hand, have found official statistics from a neutral source proving that 54% of people are pro choice as opposed to pro life [1].

This bares no weight regardless.

Fetal Pain

The study my opponent presents here is an old one. Shortly after that study was released they were forced to revise the issue and ultimately they concluded that only at 24 weeks nerves for feeling pain begin to form and at 28 weeks (sometimes more) the fetus is able to actually detect and feel pain [2][3]. The definition of abortion (as stated in R1) specifically says that 28 weeks is the limit. This contention bares no weight as a consequence.

The 14th Amendment

The 14th amendment refers to the fetus being living. The fetus is not living therefore it is not applicable under the amendment. My opponent’s arguments for the fetus being living is a massive appeal to authority. He begins by quoting somebody saying in a book that the combination of sperm and the egg is start of somebody becoming a human. There is massive controversy on the issue and books written by Pro life advocates are not reliable sources. Furthermore, the book (that I happen to have read) only references to the fetus being human. Humanity is irrelevant under the framework due to the fact that libertarians care about life. A dead human is still a human. A flake of skin is still human. What most people (most importantly libertarians - due to the framework) is the aspect of life which my opponent fails to account for in his first quotation.

The same as above is applicable for the second quotation. This is also a reference to humanity as oppose to life. We don’t give human rights to human skin cells for the same reason that we don’t give human rights to fetus’. Humanity is not a concern that we should be having here. Unless my opponent has anything else to add then I extend this argument.

The final quotation is also the same concept as the other two. Things that are human are not necessarily human. Establishing this difference is crucial in these debates.


I have provided clear rebuttals to my opponent’s argument negating each of them with separate rebuttals. I once again thank my opponent for their arguments. The resolution is clearly negated. I look forward to my opponent’s next round.


[3] 'Journey of An American Association.'

Debate Round No. 3



Before I begin rebuttals, I would like to thank my opponent for submitting his rebuttals to my first arguments. My opponent made many points in his second round arguments; I will attempt to address them all. Also, let it be known that I will not rebut my opponent's framework or have a framework of my own, because frameworks were not required in the rules. Good luck to my opponent and I will begin my rebuttals by addressing my opponent's first claim (other than his framework) . . .

Rebuttal: "The Fetus Is Not Alive"

The title alone is a false assertion. A fetus is alive. In fact, the Pro-Choice Action Network (a major pro-abortion group in Canada) admits that, "a fetus is certainly alive".[1] In addition to this, my opponent claims that there is a consensus, among scientists, that a fetus is not living; however, there are plenty of scientists that believe that life begins at conception. In fact, here are what some of these scientists have to say:

- “I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception…. I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life….

I am no more prepared to say that these early stages [of development in the womb] represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty…is not a human being. This is human life at every stage.” (Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni, professor of paediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania)

- “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.” (Professor Hymie Gordon at Mayo Clinic)

“after fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being.” He stated that this “is no longer a matter of taste or opinion,” and “not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence.” He added, “Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.” (Dr. Jerome LeJeune, professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris, the discoverer of the chromosome pattern of Down syndrome)[2]

Rebuttal: "Illegal Abortions"

Unfortunately, as always, people will disobey the law, but that doesn't mean that because people will break the law, that making certain crimes legal will make the situation better. There are ways to prevent illegal abortions, including, but not limited to, public service announcements, strict penalties for illegal abortions, and education from parents and schools.

Rebuttal: "Underage teenagers"

My opponent seems to completely ignore the fact that teenagers who get pregnant can always give their baby up for adoption. I don't think anything else needs to be said, considering most of his argument surrounded around the fact that kids are expensive to take care of.

Rebuttal: "Gender equality"

Yes, pregnancies only happen to women, but that doesn't mean that a woman has the right to take the life of another woman/man. Also, where is the right of the man? Remember, that baby isn't only the woman's.




I'm waiving as stated in the new structure proposed by my opponent
Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by NewLifeChristian 2 years ago
@Trollord No, I'm an INTJ . . . Nice profile picture, by the way.
Posted by Trollord 2 years ago
NewLife, you are ISTJ.

I am not shure if i have met another ISTJ yet.

Send me a message, i want to talk.
Posted by KZC 2 years ago
Your argument for "don't like abortion, don't have one" is flawed. This is like saying "don't like slavery, don't keep slaves" or "don't like rape, don't commit one". In addition, you are saying that physical appearances and properties define if a person is a human being. You saying that people who have disorders that affect their appearance are not human beings and if a person with a bodily functions that fails him/her, he/she is not a human being. Your argument for a fetus is not alive is inaccurate because all cells are alive and fetus is made up of cells too.

"As all human embryologists know, a single-cell human zygote, or a more developed human embryo, or human fetus is a human being and that that's the way they are supposed to look at those particular periods of development." 1

Posted by famousdebater 2 years ago
I am a libertarian. I'm not saying that the values of the minority should be treated as inferior to the majority. I am saying that I the minority don't want an abortion then they shouldn't get one. In biology the more abundant something is, is how we define want something is (if that makes sense).

You if slightly misunderstand. I said that the baby, infant, child and adult are all isotopes of a human so they fall under that category however the fetus in physical appearance and properties I much different so biology treats it separately o a human and when biologists analyse the fetus they determined that it is not living.

And, no. I'm not pro - murder.
Posted by KZC 2 years ago
famousdebater your profile states that you are a libertarian. Are you saying that the values of minority should be sacrificed to benefit the majority? Because the last time I checked the lp website it says "no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others." Also, I may have misunderstood your claim in round two. However, your comment makes it clear that despite being a fetus, infant, child, or adult, all are human beings just like how all the isotopes of hydrogen are just hydrogen. Now your claim brings up the question, is it okay to kill a human being? Killing a human being is just plain and simple murder. Are you pro-murder?

(You are right about me not understanding biology. I learned it last year and for most of the year I was taught evolution and how it is supported with fossils)
Posted by famousdebater 2 years ago
You fail to understand how the system of classification works (making it clear that you aren't a biologist). They system of classification is used to determine groups of living things (ie. humans). Think of it like an isotope. We view hydrogen as having 1 proton and 1 electron despite there being various isotopes of hydrogen. The same applies here. In biology and Chemistry we look for abundance. This is why when analysing whether humans are living we look at the majority and put it into this system the exceptions are fine because they are in the minority of people.
Posted by KZC 2 years ago
I would argue that you are completely wrong famousdebater. In round two you argued that the fetus is not alive by saying:
Movement - The fetus can move so this part is met.
Respiration - The fetus cannot respire on its own [7].
Sensitivity - The fetus cannot sense at 24 weeks or even 28 weeks [8].
Growth - The fetus does grow.
Reproduction - Whilst it is a fetus, no it cannot reproduce [9].
Excretion - This is possible however very rare and unlikely [10].
Nutrition - The fetus cannot independently take in nutrition.
Well I am going to argue against some of your claims.
Respiration - People on a ventilator need help breathing, so they aren't alive?
Sensitivity - Some people have disorders that inhibits their senses. Are they not alive?
Reproduction - An infant can't reproduce.
Nutrition - The elderly and infants need assistance in eating.
Posted by fire_wings 2 years ago

If you have problems with my vote, tell me in a PM.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
>Reported vote: K-Lew// Mod action: Removed<

5 points to Pro (Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: I just think the pro side used better arguments and sources.

[*Reason for removal*] Not an RFD, just a restatement of the point allocations.
Posted by famousdebater 2 years ago
Sorry for being unable to post sooner. That glitch was stopping me from viewing the debate. It's gone now so I'll be posting soon.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by fire_wings 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con easily wins, good debate though. Vote from the VU.
Vote Placed by NothingSpecial99 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: As agreed by both sides Pro's one round forfeit will not be considered for conduct points so conduct is equal. Con provided a scientific case that the fetus is not human, not even alive by using the characteristics of life. Since Pro hasn't disputed the fact that the fetus doesn't meet all the requirements for life, he concedes this argument. Pro's response to the fetus isn't living argument is argumentum ad populum and argumentum ad verecundiam both logical fallacies. Since the fetus is not living in the context of this debate, Pro's 14th Amendment is negated. Pro's ethnics of abortion argument is also argumentum ad populum. If the fetus is not living, Pro has not provided any reason that something non-living should be protected under US law. Therefore, arguments to Con