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

Abortion (Should it be legal)

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/9/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 588 times Debate No: 76340
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




Abortion is fundamentally wrong. The first major error in the logic of pro-choice is that a person is not a choice, their a human. If a mother could choose to kill their child because they did not wish to become pregnant, we might as well allow parents to kill their grown children because they dislike having their kids around. A fetus isn't a potential human, their a human with potential. It is not reasonable to deny a child the right to live because their parents don't want them. Abortion also can cause anywhere from diarrhea to death in the mother who aborted. 1.21 children are not given the chance to live because of abortion yearly in the U.S. Choose to let kids live, not to let the choices of a pro-death (synonym for pro-choice) mother govern their lives.


Con's fundamental approach to the issue is wrong; "human" is merely a biological classification based on DNA. However, DNA is just a meaningless string of atoms, so having a certain genotype is not enough to grant an organism any sort of moral significance. It is the *characteristics* of human beings which distinguish them from the rest of the amoral universe and grant them ethical relevance. The most common characteristics which are named as being as being the prerequisites for personhood are:

1. Consciousness / Self-Awareness
2. Reasoning
3. Self-motivated activity
4. Ability to feel pain

Within the first several weeks of conception, a human fetus possesses *none* of these characteristics, and therefore it cannot reasonably be considered a morally significant person with any sort of "right to life". Thus, abortion does not involve rights violations, and the government does not have any reason to make it illegal. The resolution is affirmed.
Debate Round No. 1


The first mistake in pro's defense is that he defines DNA as a meaningless string of atoms. DNA is the genetic code that makes a being an individual, without it no one could be an individual. Moral significance is derived from being an individual, and DNA is fundamental to this.

Pro also incorrectly defines personhood.'s definitions are: the state or fact of being a person and the state or fact of being an individual and this leads back to my earlier statement, that an individual has different characteristics than any other being.

This leads to the question: is it right to kill a human life because the parents did not intend to create it? No! How many parent would kill their born child because they had regrets?

The most important point to make is that every person deserves a chance to succeed and become more than they are, and this is denied by abortion. The mother does not get to decide if a child can live or not, because it isn't just between a women and her body.


Con claims that DNA can give a being moral significance, but his logic is nonsensical. What exactly is meant by "being an individual"? A lot of things are "individuals" -- a tree, a bacterium, a rock. Having the property of oneness (i.e. the definition of individual) has no link whatsoever to morality.

Con for some reason seems to believe that Dictionary.Com is the ultimate authority on ethics. We are discussing personhood in a philosophical sense, which is different from how the word may be used in everyday life. The possible criteria for personhood which I put forth are the characteristics which fundamentally distinguish human beings from the rest of the inanimate universe, and have been proposed by numerous ethical philosophers throughout the ages.

All of Con's arguments presuppose that a fetus is a person, but his genetics-based criterion is completely meaningless. My criterion have a far stronger ethical basis and they falsify that presupposition. The resolution is affirmed.
Debate Round No. 2


I wish to re simplify the core issue. Abortion is defined as: Biology. the arrested development of an a more or less early stage. All I must prove is that that an embryo deserves to live, regardless of a mother's wishes. In effect, I must prove that the embryo is self aware.

The Embryo is alive, can feel pain, ad can react to loud noises (These are a few examples.) It is only self aware with intelligence. An embryo can have it's intelligence measured, but every embryo is intelligent. Human intelligence is why humans are superior to animals. Humans are set apart because they can change their environment and circumstances, something animals are not capable of. My opponents grants that fetuses are human, and they have intelligence, then the combination of those facts produced them as humanly intelligent and self aware. This means that an embryo is humanly capable and therefore deserves to be acknowledged as life at birth. Resolution is disproved. BoP now rests with Pro.


Con drops his entire case and changes his approach, now attempting to demonstrate that an embryo *does* meet two of my possible criteria for personhood -- reasoning and self-awareness. However, all he does is give bare assertions... he provides no sources to back up his claims. In reality, the fetus does not undergo sufficient neurological development to possess self-awareness until the 24th week of pregnancy [1], and reasoning does not come about until long after birth... It's clear that Con is blatantly wrong in his claims, and that fetuses do *not* meet any of the criteria for personhood. Therefore, abortion is morally permissible and should remain legal. The resolution is affirmed.

Debate Round No. 3


msl101 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


msl101 forfeited this round.


Romanii forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Envisage 3 years ago
Foetuses make for excellent fertiliser. Unfortunately demand outstrips supply, we need more abortions to help rectify this issue.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by voxprojectus 3 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Pro chose a very interesting and well-backed argument, Con flailed badly, especially by the last round.