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The Contender
Con (against)
9 Points

Abortion before the third trimester

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/13/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 13 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,838 times Debate No: 372
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (6)




Abortions before the third trimester should be considered legal and under the protection of the 14th Ammendment and Due Process clauses stating that a womam has the right to due process when she has in interest in life, liberty, or in this case property. Since the fetus is not considered to be "viable" outside the womb until after the second trimester or somewhere around there, then it is not a person, and therefore denied the rights listed in the constitution.


First off, I will concede this debate to you on the grounds that it is
unwinnable from either side of the arguement. My reason for that point
of view is that, abortion is a moral issue imposed upon by law. And,
the law is set and straight forward and any woman or individual performing
an abortion is protected by the law if it is strictly followed.

Therefore, what points of law could I argue that would give me an advantage?

The law, however, does not and cannot make a moral issue right or wrong.
That is determined by the ethical and religeous beliefs of the society in
which one lives. And, those morals and ethics are reinforced by every
individual in that society.

As an example: I think you would more than likely agree with me that
cannablism is morally wrong. It is, at least, looked at in our society
as being both morally and legally wrong. (a case in which both the law and
morality agree.) There have been, and may still be, countries in which
chasing down an individual in a neighboring tribe, smashing his head in
with a club, and having him for dinner was perfectly O.K. And this point
of view was shared by every member of the society. But that fact does not
change our belief that it is not morally right to do that. And, we even
find it repulsive. After all, we are an enlightened society, right?
(I sometimes wonder if that is true?)

And, so, that brings me back to my view on abortion. Simply because the
law says it is legal does not make it morally right. I would venture to
say that if a pole were taken, most individuals would feel it is morally
wrong. But, that has not prevented nor changed the law and I doubt that
it ever will. The reason I feel that most individuals would feel it is
morally wrong is because most individuals believe in a supreme god, and
their religion believes it is morally wrong.(I would point out here that
I am an agnostic and my moral point of view comes from my old fashioned
upbringing and old fashioned world. In other words, before todays moral
decay set in.) And from a religeous point of view, abortion, in a sense,
would be murder. And that is both morally and illegally wrong in our
society. But, since those individuals in charge of the law (the Supreme
Court) have chosen to declare it legal, most individuals who practice it
have also chosen to view it as morally right.

The Supreme Court in making it legal chose to arbitrarily set standards
to determine why it should be legal. One of those standards was, "when
is the fetus viable?" There choice was that the fetus is viable after
the third trimester, and, therefore, to perform an abortion, it must be
done before the third trimester. Some abortions now are performed on
fetus' by reaching in with tongs and smashing the skull before delivery
so that the fetus is not viable after delivery.

So let's look at what viable means. Webster's dictionary defines viable
as: 1. capable of living: esp.: born alive with such form and development
of organs as to be normally capable of living. :2.capable of growing or
developing. :(such as viable seeds or viable eggs)

Now I dout very much that you will find any biologist and, more than
likely, if you are honest with yourself, that would not agree that most
eggs produced by women and most sperm produced by men are viable. In
other words, if we put a female egg with most male sperm we will get
conception.(the beginning of life) and that in and of itself meets the
second criteria of viability listed in Webster's dictionary.

From that point of view, the Supreme Court had to totally ignore the
second definition of viability and impose the one in which the organs
were developed.

But let's dig a little deeper. What exactly is viability? Viability
from the very beginning of conception depends on the mother providing
nurishment to the developing fetus. And that need does not end after
birth. A baby is not even aware of its own existance until it is around
six or seven months old, as observed and attested to by most
psychologists. But even then it is only viable when provided with, by
someone else, the necessities of life. Left to fend for itself, it
would die within days or weeks. This need extends over a period of
five or six years.

Now let's extend this idea to rediculousness just as it is with
murdering the fetus. If a child is not taken care of outside the womb,
as it is inside the womb, it is not viable until it is five years old.
Therefore, by the definition of viability provided by the Supreme Court
one should be able to murder a child before it is five years old,
because it is not yet viable.

You and I both know that that is rediculously outrageous. But just as
that logic is rediculously outrageous, so is it rediculously outrageous
to destroy a fetus in the womb, when, if left to the natural laws of
nature, it will become the child outside the womb. And viability has
nothing to do with it, nor does it justify it. All the rhetoric
surrounding abortion is nothing more than an attempt to justify murder.
That is my opinion, of course.
Debate Round No. 1


First, a summation of what you are saying:

A: Neither side can win this debate, so you concede it to me

B: Laws have no say in morality because morality is based upon societal concensus

ex. is cannabalism

C: The Supreme Court arbitrarily defines "viable"

Point A: Yes, we can. Though morality is subjective to each and every person, people share their beliefs and try to convince the other of the superiority of their own beliefs, as we are doing now during this debate. It is up to those who will vote to decide who has the superior position, so yes, one side can and WILL win this debate, so I would very much not like you to concede, though you really aren't because you did present arguments. It is important that we do participate, so please don't just give up.

Point B: Our laws DO define morality, but just in a generic sense so that we can have somewhat of a base morality so people can't just go around killing people because to them they are morally justified. You see, whenever our society originally drafted the Constitution, they obviously had morality in mind, for there is really nothing else. Since laws regulate what we can and cannot do (ideally), they are the ultimate moral justifiers because everything we do is justified morally to us, and we would be obliged to follow the societal paradigm else we would be rejected from the group. Take your example of cannibalism. In OUR society, cannabalism is not accepted because we find it morally wrong, for example, because of the killing, just like they would have when the Constitution was drafted. So then, our founding fathers made it a point to make laws against killing others, but of course not just for cannabalism. My point is that a society's values are the reason for laws; they are not disconnected.

Point C: First, I will say that it is the Supreme Court's function to interpret the Constitution for specific instances such as abortion, and they do it according to not only what they believe would have been the founding father's ruling, but also according to political realities. You see, they define "viablility" as not only being alive, but (specific to the context of conception) being able to survive outside the mother's womb, albeit with some support. The main idea, though, is that it is fully functioning as far as all the organs work, or at least with reasonable artificial support. My point here is that the Supreme Court's "arbitrary" definition is one specific to a scenario involving abortion, and it is certainly more appropriate than Webster's.


1. Point A: As I stated already, this entire debate is like comparing
apples to oranges. On the one side is morality, ie., law. Your
grounds for debate are that the two are, in essence, the same. My
view is that they are not. In the end the winner of the debate will
depend on the number of individuals voting from one point of view or
the other, ie., the moral side or the law side.

2. Point B: Your position is that laws and morality are not disconnected.
The very fact that we are debating abortion points out that they are.

From societies point of view, abortion is immoral. As a proof of that
I would give the results of a Time Magazine poll. In he poll 91% of
the individuals polled said they believed in the existance of a god.
And, 71% said they believed that God had a part in the creation of man.
But, suprisingly, 68% said they believed that aetheists had morals even
though they did not believe there was a god. I am of course assuming
that those morals of aethiests would normally condem abortion.

I am an agnostic and I do not believe in abortion because I consider
it morally wrong. Besides that, I am a very morallistic individual
and my morals have nothing what-so-ever to do with the law. It is
simply that most of the time the law agrees with what I believe morally.

3. Point C: First, "viability" and the Supreme Court. You say that the
Supreme Court uses the gauge of viability outside the womb and that that
viability is the requirement of fully functional organs.

My point of view was the fact that the Supreme Court arbitrarily set
that as a basis to declare abortion legal. By setting that point they
could ignore the entire process that takes place before it and impose a
position of acceptable morality. After all, they must bring morality
and the law as close together as possible to get society to accept their

My point and usually the point of all those that disagree with the law,
is that from the moment of conception (the actual beginning of life)the
egg and the sperm are provided with all the organs necessary to provide
a living, breathing, human being. If we were to ignore all that happens
before the third tri-mester, we would not have a viable fetus to worry

Second: The difference and similarty of law and morality.

Many laws are not only similar to moral points of view, but, often
re-enforce them. In other words, it's wrong to steal and it is illegal.
It is wrong to kill and it is illegal. Most individuals agree with that

Where the rub comes in is when the moral issue does not closely agree
with the legal issue. (abortion is one of those issues.) What happens at
that point is it becomes a political issue and in the political arena the
politician sells his honor and his morals for what is most convenient to
his political gain. And, again, abortion is one of those issues.

Abortion is one of the most rationalized issues in our society. There is
hardly any individuals you can stop on the street that will not
rationalize it in one manner or another.

The phrase used more than any other is, "I am against it, but I believe
a woman should have the right to choose for herself." I is the position
I have taken and is the position of most of the people I personally know.
But that does not make it morally right.

4. When morals and laws disagree: It isn't that often when morals and
laws disagree, but, when the do, morals are usually set aside for the
sake of the law.

If there is a small disagreement what usually happens is that the law is
enforced in the courts and people protest or complain. As the issue
grows and the number of people who get behind it increases, the law is
usually repealed. Our laws during prohibition is an example of societal
pressure although not a good example of morality. Although most individuals
don't consider moderate drinking to be immoral. Even Christ created wine.
And so, the more grievous the issue between the law and the moral the more
likely the law will lose out.

5. Law and moral: We abide by our morals willingly. We may not like
them sometimes, but, we know in our hearts that it is the proper thing to

We obey the law because we have to. We may not necessarily believe in it,
but, to disobey it requires paying a price and only those inividuals that
are anti social usually disobey the law on purpose. Most of us fight to
change the law while at the same time obeying it.

A law requires three things:

1. Social efficacy
2. Proper promulgation
3. Permissable content

A moral requires four things:

1. Understanding its benefits
2. Willingness to abide by it
3. Being taught by elders
4. Accepted and promoted by ones society
Debate Round No. 2


Point A: We are in agreement

Point B: Just because we disagree on the matter doesn't refute my position that the basis for laws lie in societal morality. As for your statistics citing the beliefs of many to believe abortion is immoral, I first say that those statistics are actually those who believe in God, and you assume that they are against abortion. That means by no means that they are against abortion, and even those who are probably aren't against abortions as we are defining them in this context as before the third trimester. If THAT isn't enough, people's ideals fluctuate all the time, so until you prove that the general populace was always against abortion, then your argument doesn't refute my own.

My position is that the basis of laws lies in societal morality because the people who made our countries put what they believed to be right in our Constitution so that those values would be protected. Just because your views or my views, or even the majority of society's views that abortions are immoral in the context of religion or personal belief doesn't mean that, when put in the context of society, should be illegalized because the fact of the matter is that it IS protected by the Constitution that was made for the greater good of our society, and so to violate that protection by illegalizing abortion before the third trimester would be like spitting on our forefathers.

Point C: Once again, the Supreme Court doesn't just randomly suggest some definition from nowhere; it is determined by political realities as well as how they believe the founding fathers would have thought. Who are you to say that they just randomly pick a definition, especially when you don't provide a better one? As I do recall, you cited Websters, and also didn't disagree with me on my point that the highest authority on constitutional matters, the Supreme Court, has probably the most viable definition seeing as it is their job to decide such matters.


Point A: I will concede to you on that, that we agree.

Point B: I still disagree with you that the basis of laws lie in societal morality. If we go back to the introduction of law, sometime before the time of the Greek era, we find many writings on the concept of law and morality. Greek thinkers such as Aristotle, Sophocles, Plato and others wrote extensively on the difference between what lawconsidered right and what
seemed natural, or moral. One who is well read has at one time or another read these writers.

In the first appearance of law it was assumed that the law was the desires of the gods. The average citizens were willing to obey the law because they thought that was whattheir gods expected of them. But when they looked around at what was really happening, they found that law did not follow the natural flow of things in most cases and that the law was more a tool of the rulers or the upper class to control the lower class.

When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. Most individuals feel that what is legal is legitimate.

In the case of Roe vs Wade (Jane Roe whose real name was Norma McCorvey) Roe
was pregnant, but never did get an abortion. She had had two children prior to seeking an abortion. When she went to the clinic to seek an abortion, the clinic had closed. In the process of attempting to find another clinic, she was referred to two female lawyers that were liberal feminists looking for a patsy to try an abortion case in the Supreme Court. Roe then lied and told the Supreme Court that she had been raped and that she needed the abortion. She did this, of course, because she never appeared before the court herself. It was all done through her lawyers. So, the Supreme Court passed out a
ruling on a case that was a lie from the very beginning.

Roe herself was actually a homosexual and a drug addict. She had numerous
relationships with other women and at one time maintained a relationship with one woman for almost two decades. She gave birth to her third child. She had put her first two up for adoption.

She later went to work in an abortion clinic where she met with and talked to women on a daily basis who were getting abortions. She eventually became Catholic and regretted what she had done in the Roe vs Wade court case and applied to the Supreme Court to have the ruling reversed. The court refused her hearing on the grounds that her case was moot.

Jane Roe A.K.A. Norma McCorvey eventually formed a foundation called "Roe no More'to fight abortion and help women understand the trauma and heart break they suffer as a consequence of abortion.

Thousands of women tell of their experiences after abortion. Some tell of waking up in the middle of the night hearing children crying, feeling depressed and not knowing why, feelings of regret and having difficulty having children later when they want to. But most complain that no one told them about what the consequences would be later.

As far as statistics go, I am citing a poll conducted by Zogby. I like Zogby because I consider him to be more impartial than most. He is a bipartisan pollster. One of his polls on abortion can be viewed here:

As far as the context of the debate being in the first trimester or the last, it makes no difference. I conceded to you in the very beginning of the debate that there was no way to win that argument, since it has already been legalized by the Supreme Court.

I will agree with you on the context that most opinion is subjective and in that context, if we look at polls that have been conducted over the last thirty years, we find that the opinion of the public is moving more and more to the right and individuals and new generations of individuals are taking the view that Roe vs Wade may be wrong and may pressure the Supreme Court to reverse its decision. Only time will decide the outcome. The original decision was a 5 to 4 decision and today it still teeters on a 5 to 4 precipice.

As far as abortion being protected by the Constitution, I must disagree with you. Nowhere in the Constitution is the subject of abortion mentioned. And, in fact, I would venture to say that if the founders of the Constitution were here today and one was to suggest to them that abortion was protected under it, they would be appalled at the idea. The Supreme Court has stretched the Fourteenth Amendment to the limit in order to legalize abortion under a persons right to free choice. It is a wonder that trial lawyers have not used the ruling to justify the murder of other people, by their clients, because they are making a free choice as guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment. Of course we know that is ridiculous, so why isn't the murder of a baby in the womb ridiculous? Because it is not politically expedient.

I will agree with you that the Supreme Court does not just randomly pick something out of the air when they are making a decision. I am quite aware of the process they go through. It is a process of debate in which each and every justice involved in the case expresses his point of view and how he arrived at it. In the end they decide whether it is protected or prohibited by the Constitution.

The rub comes in when they apply the Constitution. Each justice, just like each individual and scholars, looks at the Constitution in one of two different ways. It is either a static or living instrument. Most liberals look at it as a living instrument, whereas, most conservatives look at it as static. As a living instrument most liberals feel that they can imply what it means when it is necessary to accomplish what they want. Just as you do when you say that abortion is protected under the Constitution, when it plainly is not, since it is not mentioned there. By stretching the meaning of ‘the right to a free choice' in the fourteenth amendment you can imply that it is.

As a static instrument, it would be impossible for the justices to find the act of abortion legal. That is why four of the justices dissent. Their view of the Constitution is that it is a static instrument and nowhere does it protect the right to an abortion.

And, yes, I agree, just because they are legal does not necessarily make them wrong.

Point C: You stated that I did not provide a better definition when I criticized the Supreme Court on theirs. I thought that I had provided a definition. As you point out from the beginning, it will be up to those who vote as to which is the best. I pointed out that I felt, as many do, that life begins at conception, not at the thirdtrimester. If we look at the fetus just sixty days after the blastocyst attaches itself to the wall of the uterus it is almost as big as a kidney bean. It has a head, a rump and hands with webbed fingers. It is clearly developing into a human being and has all the necessary DNA and tools to finish growing into the viable individual that the
Supreme Court gives a woman the right to kill, before the third trimester, of course.

You say that I agree with you on the Supreme Court being the authority on what is viable and what is not. I agreed with you that the Supreme Court is the appointed authority on Constitutional Law. From a moral and religious point of view, I would have to say that the individual and God would have to be a better choice of what is viable and what is not. God said, "I am alpha and omega, the beginning and end of all things." He also said, "I am the same yesterday, today and tomorrow." In other words, if it was wrong a thousand years ago, it will be wrong a thousand years from now.

The Bible speaks of abortion in only one place. If I remember right, it is in the King James version in Exodus 21: 22-23. It speaks only of the price one must pay for damage to a fetus.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by SumIDLtalk 13 years ago
johnwoodington1, I agree with you 100%. I find it
interesting that most men feel that way. Could it
be that it is because we don't have to pay the
consequences afterward.

Humans have free choice in all things. It is the
one thing that no one can take away from you, not
even a tyrant. But, it is like your last dollar,
everytime you spend it, you have to be careful of
what you buy.
Posted by johnwooding1 13 years ago
Abortion is a woman's right to have they deserve that option regardless if they choose it or not.
Posted by SumIDLtalk 13 years ago
I appologize that the script does not look good and
is difficult to read. This is my first time to enter
a debate and I have much to learn about what the
software will do and what it will not do.

I am a very windy person and will try to limit myself
in coming debates. So please do not be discouraged by
my first entry.

Since I was limited in the amount of characters that
I could use in my responses, please take the time to
visit the following URLS, I did not have enough space
to enter them in my response, but, I feel they help
to back up some of my statements:

I am sure that you know all you have to do is to cut
and paste these into your browser, since this format
does not support HTML formats.

Thank you

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