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Abortion in the early stage of pregnancy should be legal

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/6/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 975 times Debate No: 99634
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)




Debate Structure

Round 1 - Acceptance only, No arguments
Round 2 - Arguments/rebuttals
Round 3 - Arguments/rebuttals
Round 4 - Rebuttals to things in previous rounds, No new arguments.


Abortion in the early stage of pregnancy should be legal = By this I mean abortion should be legal for a woman to choose in the embryonic period of pregnancy.

Abortion - is the end (termination) of a pregnancy. A low-risk surgical procedure called suction aspiration or suction curette is generally used for first trimester abortions. Medical (non-surgical) abortions using medications such as mifepristone (RU486) are available in some clinics.

The embryonic period in humans begins at fertilization (penetration of the egg by the sperm) and continues until the end of the 10th week of gestation (8th week by embryonic age).

If you have any problems with the debate, use the comments section so we can agree to terms before we start the debate.


Okie Dokie
Debate Round No. 1


I thank SJM for accepting this debate.

Freedom not restricted unless justified

Freedom is our starting point.

As such anyone who wants to restrict freedom, like denying a woman the choice to not contiune a pregnancy needs justification that can hold up under critical scrutiny.

The right to life/right not to be killed as an absolute is false & not all killing is murder

The right to life/right not to be killed is often invoked as justification for not allowing abortion, killing is wrong, abortion kills, ergo abortion is wrong/murder.

Notice those who use such reasoning don't them self believe in the right not to be killed in the ABSOLUTE SENSE, the most common view where killing, even killing unquestionably post birth, self aware, intelligent, human persons is justified is self defense (or some variation of). Then we have issues of drone strikes, war, dropping the A bomb, law enforcement using lethal force, etc.

The logical point being even granting abortion kills something human, it does not NECESSARILY follow then that abortion is murder because something human is killed, and thus the most common argument that abortion is murder cause something human is killed is not justified.

Bodily rights/autonomy

(The limits to the right to life in the context of ones own body)

Consider Judith Jarvis Thomson's bodily rights argument via the violinist analogy [1]. In this analogy you are kidnapped in order to keep some violinist alive by having your body connected to theirs so your kidneys can filter poisons out from the violinist, If you were to unplug from the violinist they will die.

I know of no anti-abortion person who says that you can't choose to disconnect in the violinist analogy, as rejecting such a bodily rights/autonomy means everyone would live in danger of say a kidney being taken against their will if it could save some one else. Like wise it is argued, a pregnant women can take action to be unplugged from the embryo inside of her.

What this shows among other things, even granting a "right to life", there are limits as to what said right can be used to justify. The right to life does not grant a person the use of some one else body to keep them-self alive against the other persons will.

(Inalienability of the will & your own body)

Grape argues as follows..."If I agree to take you on an airplane ride under the obligation that I will not "ask you to leave" at 20,000 feet, I cannot change my mind and toss you out because I have given up my ownership of the airplane to that extent. With bodies, this is not the case: it is not possible for me to give up control of my body. For instance, I cannot contract the use of my arm to you because my control over it is totally and uniquely mine. Our ability to exert or will over our bodies prevents us from ever being forced to uphold such a contract. If I agreed to work for you for a year for free and then change my mind, the most you can do is demand material property as compensation; you cannot enslave me without aggressing against my rights"

"In using a mother"s body against her will, a fetus carries out exactly this kind of aggression. It may have the rights of an adult, but surely we would not permit an adult to use another person"s body as a life support system against her will. Such action would warrant violent self-defense even if it were carried out without malign intent. The mother therefore may remove a fetus from her body if it is violating her rights in this fashion. Neither she nor anyone else is bound by the fetus"s inability to survive independent of the mother; it does not have a positive right to life." [2]

No conflict of rights/interests in the embryonic period

The argument here is that rights most plausibly derive from interests/desires.

We support general rules of not killing cause of our interest/desire in going on living, we support property rights cause we don't want our stuff taken from us, we support freedom of speech, etc etc. In the embryonic period the human organism has no current capacity to have an active or ideal desires, as there is no organized cortical brain activity.

David Boonin writes..." organized cortical brain activity refers to electrical activity in the cerebral cortex of the sort that produces recognizable EEG readings. As I noted in Section 3.5.3, there is no evidence to suggest that this occurs prior to approximately the 25th week of gestation, and ample evidence to suggest that it does begin to occur sometime between the 25th and 32nd week" [2]

Unjust burden/double standard of forcing a woman to continue a pregnancy in the early stage

Sometimes right/interests conflict and we seek to manage such conflicts such as imposing various burdens upon people.

Never the less those burdens have to be justified and be proportional to interest/conflict concerned. For example we don't consider it an unjust burden to demand & enforce that people don't poison the water supply, but we would consider it an unjust burden to force people to give up a kidney, even if it would save the life of a self aware, intelligent, suffering, human.

Now consider the burden being argued to be imposed on a pregnant woman from the moment of conception, that being she should be forced to continue the pregnancy even against her will, incur the pain/suffering of said pregnancy and be subject to the risks of complication that can occur in a pregnancy, complications that can result in serious injury even death for the pregnant woman.

So here is the logical point, if we are not justified to imposed a burden on billionaires of the world to give up all their wealth except a few million (still leaving them richer than most) to save thinking, feeling, self aware, suffering, post birth humans, then it would be laughable & a double standard to then argue that we are justified to force women to give up more, their bodily autonomy and the sufferings & dangers of pregnancy in order to save less, non thinking, non feeling, non self aware, human embryos.

A case for unequal value

(5 year old child vs 100, 3day human embryos)

Consider the following, you arrive at a burning building, behind one door is a canister of 100, 3 day human embryos, which are perfectly viable and will remain so as long as they are immediately removed from the building and returned to cold storage. Behind another door is a 5 year old child, there is only time to rescue the canister or the 5 year old but not both.

Who do you try to save first ? if any and all human organisms are of equal moral worth then it's simple arithmetic, all things being equal you should try to save 100 over 1. But as I argue they are not equal, and even Pro-lifers would have a hard time choosing to save 100, 3day human embryos over one 5 year old child.

If early abortion is murder (reducto argument)

Consider a rapist, after raping a woman he tells her, if you end up pregnant and you have an abortion in the embryonic period your worse than I am, I am a rapist but you would be a murder.

Also consider if such an abortion is viewed as murder the rapist gets convicted of rape, but following after is the woman who he raped is now in court because she had such an abortion and thus gets convicted of murder. The woman now will be doing more years (or death penalty where applicable) than the rapist.

I argue that the early abortion is equivalent to murder premise is shown false, as when it is applied logically & consistently leads to absurdity.

I look forward to Cons reply.






didnt have time. pass next round so i can respond in like 5 hours
Debate Round No. 2


Obvioulsy at this point in the debate my previous arguments have not been rebutted.


Is the human organism in the embryonic period a person ? Well that depends on the criteria that one is using (if any), to make a distinction between person vs non person. Suffice to say different proposed criteria get you to different results of where the line is drawn between person vs non person.

My first point is that Con has not presented any argument that establishes that the early human organism is a person.

Secondly, there is an argument to be made that person vs non person is at least better defined compared to the alternatives on a mentalist criteria. By mentalist criteria I mean that such a distinction of personhood is based on the criteria of whether the thing in question currently has the current capacity for such things as self awareness and/or intelligence.

But why accept such a criteria ?

1) It's non racist & non sexist.

2) I'ts non speciesist (Allows self aware, intelligent non human life to be regarded as persons)

3) It's non materialist (Allows for things which although do not possess a material body, if they possess self-awareness/intelligence regards them as a person, Eg God, Gods, Angels, Demons, Ghosts,)

The human organism in the early stage of pregnancy has no such current capacities of self awareness and/or intelligence and thus under this criteria of person hood is not a person.

I look forward to Cons reply.


My case

Observation 1: Opponent has the burden of proving abortion should be legal
Observation 2: Opponent has to prove abortions exist

My opponent has not proven the premise that abortions exist anywhere in their case, therefore we can not proceed to the rest of their case.

Conclusion: Nothing has been proven.

P.S. no this was not a last second response due to the fact that i totally forgot to respond to this.
Debate Round No. 3


I have nothing to add.


The main reason to vote for me:

If a voter votes for my opponent, they would have to explain in the rfd where in this debate did my opponent prove abortion was real.

My opponent conceded my observation which said the burden of proof was on my opponent and also conceded the fact that they didn't prove abortion was real.

Therefore you vote off the fact that the resolution wasn't ever proven true because my opponent did not provide sufficient reason to think abortion was real. Thus not fulfilling their burden needed to win this debate.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by illegalcombat 1 year ago
You assume that agreeing to sex some how makes null and void the woman's bodily rights, that's is a very questionable assumption. Why does a woman lose her bodily rights to such an extent that she must now be forced to continue a pregnancy against her will ? cause you say so ?

Your future Dr argument works in reverse too, kill the early human organism might prevent the next Hitler.

In stead of worrying about potential lose of a future Dr, maybe you should worry more about actual lose of post birth humans right now, and how there is a few people in the world who have outrageous wealth that could be directed into saving lives and reducing suffering of post birth, self aware, intelligent humans, you know an actual Pro life measure not just some Pro fetus, masquerading as pro life.
Posted by AmericanDeist 1 year ago
The violinist analogy is only relevant toward rape cases. The kidney donor did not agree to be plugged into the violinist. They were kidnapped and forced to be plugged in. The same with a woman that was raped. She did not choose to have unprotected, consensual sex. It was forced on her.

If you could do something that would save the lives of thousands of people, would you do it? I ask because killing a baby could rob the world of the one future doctor or scientist that might cure cancer, hepatitis, AIDS, etc.
Posted by TruthSeeker87 1 year ago
I disagree.

And murder is a legal term for unlawful killing. Abortion is the lawful killing of an innocent human being, therefore not considered to be murder...
Posted by Mike_10-4 1 year ago
At human conception we have a living human entity with "unalienable Rights" according to a physical law of nature known as the constructal law:

Relative to man-made laws and cultural norms over the extermination of human life, is a function of philosophy. No man-made laws or philosophy can change any physical law of nature for they are omnipotent.
Posted by illegalcombat 1 year ago
Hold that thought.......
Posted by CosmoJarvis 1 year ago
I'm surprised that nobody has shouted "BUT THAT'S MURDER, YOU HEATHENOUS BASTARD!"
Posted by slightlyirategentleman 1 year ago
I don't think you're going to find anyone who disagrees with you, to be frank :P
Posted by canis 1 year ago
Abortion.. What is it ? nobody will get harmed...In life.
No votes have been placed for this debate.