The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Abortion is First Degree Murder

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Debate Round Forfeited
Capitalistslave has forfeited round #4.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/5/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 2,288 times Debate No: 101723
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (0)




Pro will be arguing that the abortion of a human embryo is 1st degree murder.

Con will be arguing that abortion is not 1st degree murder.

Definitions for the Debate

Abortion: The deliberate removal or action to cause the expulsion of an embryo from the womb of a human female, at the request of or through the agency of the mother, so as in fact to result in the termination of said embryo.

Human: A genetically distinct living being of the species Homo sapien.

Embryo: Any developmental stage of a human after conception, from zygote to birth.

1st Degree Murder: "Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Every murder perpetrated by poison, lying in wait, or any other kind of willful, deliberate, malicious, and premeditated killing. . .or perpetrated from a premeditated design unlawfully and maliciously to effect the death of any human being other than him who is killed, is murder in the first degree" (1).

Primary Issue of The Debate

This debate is concerned with the biological identity of a human fetus during embryonic development. I contend that a human embryo at any stage of development is in fact a genetically distinct living human being, and thus the willful termination of said being is murder in the 1st degree. My opponent must argue that an embryo does not fall within the biological definition domain of "living human being" until a certain stage of development. "The central legal aspect of the abortion conflict is whether fetuses have a basic legal right o live, or, at least, a claim to live. The most important argument with regard to this conflict is the potentiality argument, which turns on whether the fetus is potentially a human person and thus should be protected" (2). The scientific demonstration of a human embryo as "living" or not will determine the victor of this debate.

Rules of The Debate

Round 1 - Acceptance
Round 2 - Opening Arguments (No Rebuttals)
Round 3 - Rebuttals (No New Arguments)
Round 4 - Defense of Arguments ( No New Rebuttals)

*No logical fallacies
*Only science arguments
*No philosophical or moral arguments


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I would like to ask: what country/society are we talking about? This is important. I would assume America since most people on here are from America, or at least a western nation since I'm pretty sure everyone on here is from a westernized nation.

If we aren't talking about a western nation, I'm not sure I would want to continue the debate.
Debate Round No. 1


It seems that Con has indicated in the comment section that he intends to argue that since abortion is legal in the U.S., it is therefore not 1st degree murder since such a charge entails the "unlawful" killing of a human being. My objective in framing this debate was not to argue that abortion is illegal under current judiciary law as it is obviously not, rather, I purposed to argue that it is illegal if the 1st degree murder law as given is accurately applied to abortion. If it is found that a being fits the description of lawful candidate for a 1st degree murder charge, regardless of any change in the judiciary identity of said being, it can rightfully be maintained that the killing of such a being is murder in the 1st degree. With that said, allow me to establish my argument as originally intended and see where Con decides to take it from here.


I'd like to thank Con for his acceptance of this debate and the prospect of an informative exchange. To answer my opponents question, yes I live in the United States of America where abortion has been legalized upon Roe v. Wade and maintained in subsequent rulings. This however does not change the language or meaning of murder in the 1st degree, nor does it alter the definition domain of "human being." Truly, if it can be demonstrated that a human embryo at any and all stages of development, from zygote to newborn baby, is in fact a human being, my case will be proven. If, on the other hand, Con is able to establish even a zygote's non-humanity against my given evidence, he will without question be the winner of this debate. With all that said, I will begin by establishing my main arguments. To make my point I will be defending the humanity of even a zygote which will in turn address at once all stages of embryonic development.

Argument #1 - A Zygote is The Offspring of a Human Being

If three zygotes are shown to a biologist under a microscope, where one is a bird's, another is a fish's and the third is a human's, he will be unable to make sense of the taxonomic identity of these creatures without describing them according to the fruition of their genetic code, that is to say, their parent organisms. The bird zygote may be a Vultur gryphus (Andean Condor), the fish zygote may be a Amphiprion percula (Clown Fish), and thus the human zygote must be classified as Homo sapien. Since the human zygote contains the 46 chromosomal genome of a human being, the zygote itself is thus a human being. The offspring of a bird is a bird, the progeny of a fish is a fish and the offspring of a human is a human. To argue otherwise renders biologists unable to discern any given organism's offspring.

Argument #2 - A Zygote is The Organism of it's Genetic Identity

Since what differentiates any organism from another is ultimately its genome, any contiguous living system such as a unicellular zygote must be identified by its genome and thus must actually be the being of said identity. The zygotic organism of a human being must itself be defined as a human being by necessity of its genetic identity. Adequately refuting this claim entails the arbitrary requirement of identifying a zygote by something other than its genome. A zygote is a living human organism at the earliest stage of development.

Argument #3 - The Zygote is a Genetically Self-Sufficient Living Organism

Unlike the removal of a single cell from a human being, a human zygote is a genetically self-sufficient living organism since it exists independently without the need for other cooperating cells. A single human cell taken from any tissue will not survive on its own nor can it continue to develop into the human organism from which it was derived. A zygote however is able to survive and is the framework for which a human is able to further develop. Therefore a human zygote is qualified as a living human being with the capacity for genetically self-sufficient life. To defend the contrary, one must demonstrate the biological evidence for a zygote's equality with any other human cell.


Since intentional abortions take place after the mother is made aware of her pregnancy, and current urinary and blood tests require more time to be able to give an accurate result than it takes for a zygote to be formed, said abortions are the willful, deliberate, premeditated, malicious murder of a human in its earliest stage of development and are thus the murder in the 1st degree.


I feel like this debate was misleading because you seem to want me to argue that fetuses are not humans as evident by what you said here "If, on the other hand, Con is able to establish even a zygote's non-humanity against my given evidence, he will without question be the winner of this debate.", when the resolution is that abortion is first degree murder, so I would only need to prove that abortion is not first degree murder acording to it, but now you say that I need to prove fetuses are not human. These are two completely different things.

Further evidence that pro wants me to do this is that their entire argument is based on establishing the humanity of fetuses/zygotes. I would argue that this isn't sufficient to prove it is first degree murder though, because there are clearly other parts to the definition of first degree murder that pro provided.

Due to this, I don't think I will be continuing the debate and I would like to ask to have this debate deleted, if pro is only wanting to make this debate about the humanity of fetuses. If, however, I can argue from a different standpoint that shows abortion doesn't fit the definition of first degree murder, then I will write something next round.
Debate Round No. 2


Con says, ". . .the resolution is that abortion is first degree murder, so I would only need to prove that abortion is not first degree murder acording to it, but now you say that I need to prove fetuses are not human. These are two completely different things." I fail to see how the humanity of a developing fetus is unrelated to the legality of abortion. Quite simply, if a even a zygote is found not to be human, then abortion would not be murder since I'm arguing that the abortion of even a zygote is 1st degree murder. I am making it easier for Con as I am allowing him to address a fetus at any stage of development. Why is the abortion of even a zygote not 1st degree murder?

Con claims, ". . .
there are clearly other parts to the definition of first degree murder that pro provided." I assume my opponent is referring to the "unlawful" part of the definition as he has hinted to in the comment section. I am not arguing that abortion is illegal in light of judicial rulings, rather, I am arguing that abortion, according to the definitions of "human being" and "malice aforethought" qualifies as murder in the 1st degree. Abortion is the killing of a human being and 1st degree murder is an unlawful act, but lawful murder is an oxymoron. This is my point.

In taking issue with my line of argumentation, Con says, "If, however, I can argue from a different standpoint that shows abortion doesn't fit the definition of first degree murder, then I will write something next round." You may argue whatever you wish. It is up to the voter to determine whether a particular argument is valid or relevant. If you wish to address my arguments by demonstrating how they are irrelevant to the issue at hand, you may do so. If you wish to argue that, because abortion has been legalized, the killing of a fetus is therefore not 1st degree murder, you may.

I extend the debate to Con. . .



Alright. Well, I am going to make a stand with the definition of first degree murder you made, because it seems like you want to ignore one of the parts of it, or almost all of it except for the human being part.

First, please note that the definition of first degree murder that my opponent provided says that it has to be unlawful killing of a human being. Abortion is legal in the United States as of Roe V Wade, and it's legal in most western nations, so by western standards, abortion would not be first degree murder for this reason.

Second, notice that the definition says "with malice aforethought" and is "malicious". A mother can simply have the thought of having an abortion because they know they wouldn't be able to give the child a good life. Maybe she recognizes she would be a terrible mother and doesn't want to subject the child to herself, or perhaps she is unable to properly provide for the child and doesn't want the child to have to go through a terrible life. In many ways, dying or not being born at all is a better alternative to having a terrible life. And finally, maybe the baby was going to have such a severe birth defect, that the mother didn't want to make the baby be born and be subject to that terrible defect.

There are many reasons a mother may get an abortion, and many of those reasons are not done out of malice.

I contend, therefore, that abortion is not first degree murder according to the definition my opponent provided.

I rest my case.
Debate Round No. 3


Con claims, "Abortion is legal in the United States as of Roe V Wade, and it's legal in most western nations, so by western standards, abortion would not be first degree murder for this reason." For the U.S., the ultimate law-of-the-land is its Constitution. Interestingly enough it is the 14th amendment which condemns the ruling of Roe v. Wade, a ruling which itself was based on a misapplication of the same amendment. In Section I we find that no law shall be passed which shall, "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws" (1). Where is the equal protection for a developing human's life? That inappropriate precedent has been set does not negate the validity of an unborn human's right to life. What crime has any fetus committed against its mother that it should deserve the death penalty. Obviously such an idea is ludicrous, as an unborn fetus is has not attained a moral standing to be held accountable to.

Roe v. Wade erroneously claimed that abortion was protected by the 14th amendment's "right to privacy" clause interpreted from the "due process" statement. Granted all U.S. citizens have a right to privacy, however, this right is lost when a citizen violates a person's right to life. Life takes precedence over privacy! This is why the right to have an abortion is not a fundamental right, as it has not been shown that abortions fall under the right to privacy clause (2). Roe v. Wade's ruling on abortion fails the strict scrutiny analysis for substantive due process:

What compelling reason is there to infringe on the developing human's right to life? A woman's right to privacy certainly does not meet any compelling standard to subvert a person's right to life any more than a serial killer's right to privacy override his victim's right to life. As demonstrated in my opening argument, a fetus from the very first zygotic stage of embryonic development is a biologically distinct and genetically unique human being biochemically separated from the mother (as the mother's immune system attempts to attack the fetus as a foreign intruder). Therefore a woman has no right to privacy if she attempts to engage in the killing of her unborn child. My case remains unaddressed by Con's argument as the ruling of Roe v. Wade is critically undermined by the Constitution to which its judicial officials are bound.

Con erroneously claims that a women may not be guilty of malice aforethought as perhaps, "she recognizes she would be a terrible mother and doesn't want to subject the child to herself, or perhaps she is unable to properly provide for the child and doesn't want the child to have to go through a terrible life. . .maybe the baby was going to have such a severe birth defect, that the mother didn't want to make the baby be born and be subject to that terrible defect." While proposed sympathy for the potential hardships of a yet to be born human being are often touted as valid justification for abortion, the mother's concerns for her progeny are simply irrelevant. It is not for her to decide the fate of her child; no person can decide to end another's life for them, much less without their express consent.

To be fair and address these potentially honest concerns, there are many people and organizations who would gladly take-in a child whose mother has deemed herself unfit as a parent. As for children born with potentially painful birth defects, medicine has come a long way in being able to treat such cases and even perhaps cure them. If treatment is not an option, medical professionals can at least attempt to make pain more tolerable with drugs or other forms of treatment. The point is, there are options, especially here in the U.S. Life is to be fought for as an unalienable right protected by the Constitution.

Imagine a mother whose 2 year-old child fell off a slide in a playground and damaged her neck in such a way that her prognosis is that she will suffer debilitating pain for the rest of her life. If the mother of this child were to take her daughter's life for fear of her future suffering, she would be prosecuted of murder in the 1st degree as she had the mal-intent of killing her daughter, contemplating it and then carrying it out. It is clear to see that the murder of any human being with malice aforethought is murder in the first degree. Sympathetic rational does not negate aforethought of murder as "malicious." The act of taking another's life without justifiable reason is by nature malicious as a person's right to life is the most fundamental right protected by the Constitution and no doubt unalienable (3).

The contention stands: abortion is properly unlawful and malicious in nature.


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This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Capitalistslave 3 years ago
CreationTruth: if you come on before the time is over and post your arguments, I'll be unable to post my arguments on time unfortunately. I'm taking a break from DDO for at least a week, due to school, work starting up a youtube channel, and desire to do things with friends. I've neglected my social life to be on here and I need to cut something.

If you're interested in redoing this debate, we can start up again in a week or so, and then we can just copy and paste our arguments into the new debate.
Posted by creationtruth 3 years ago
Capitalistslave - No problem, sure.
Posted by Capitalistslave 3 years ago
I apologize, I just used round 3 for my main arguments. Since I wasn't sure what you were permitting in the debate, I didn't have a chance for a main argument since I had used round 2 to clarify things. I probably should have commented instead of posting it in the debate rounds.

I would like to ask if you would be willing to have a modified debate structure:

Round 2 is your main arguments and I basically waived this round since I didn't offer any arguments
Round 3 is you waiving that round, since you didn't really rebut anything I said since I didn't have main arguments. For me, round 3 is my main arguments. Then round 4 is both of our rebuttals to the other person's main arguments.

Neither of us would get a defense, but I hope this is acceptable to you.
Posted by John_C_1812 3 years ago
Abortion is a word describing a premeditated choice to end human life used by the Supreme Court ruling, abortion cannot be shared openly in the public, the death is caused by altering a State that has, or will occurs, in a human life cycle. A self-incrimination confession is a confession describing the type of evidence, pointed out from other possibilities by a statement made by any number of people.

Row Vs Wade is not about the confession made by the word abortion, as the documented reason of ruling was based on a woman"s United States Constitutional Right to privacy, a woman can break this Right, or a woman"s can have this Right Broken, this all can happen on any witnesses choice of wording including her own. When does the woman privacy break, is it always when the word abortion is used, yeah; is there a group of words that do not break the right to privacy when used. Gender Specific Amputation meets that quality, the term abortion can never stop the self-incriminating confession that it is relating publicly, and was the base subject matter of Roe Vs Wade.
Posted by John_C_1812 3 years ago
Female Specific Amputation is also an expectation within reason to public privacy expected to the self-incrimination of abortion. Using the term abortion is making a prediction based on one person"s self-incrimination that is then transferred by knowledge in how the event is performed, to the world abortion gives privacy always by making a claim, the official stopping of life. As long as this goes on abortion will never provide privacy.

The difference, once any self-incrimination confession is removed any Emergency medical treatments is no longer taking the same instant self-incrimination of a felony crime, nor is any person allowed to exploit a rule of privacy without notice. This has a medical Danger as pregnancies are only covered by Roe Vs. Wade if evidence does not suggest the intentional planning of the start of human life.
All of this does not address all changes made in Science due to a value put on Deoxyribonucleic Acid D.N. A. a scientific advancement in chemical research in Medical Science.
Posted by John_C_1812 3 years ago
In defending the United States Constitution.

Row Vs Wade is expressing that a self-incriminating confession to abortion is legal. The confession in this case has to be legal due to the fact it is a confession, and can be made before the crime happens. It is not effecting the legality of the actual crime just the self-incriminating confession made.
The legal test is proving that a Female specific amputation is or is not the abortion described by the confession being made.
Posted by John_C_1812 3 years ago
Maybe it should be rephrased like this. A confession has always been legal to make. Passing a law that is saying a self-incriminating confessing is legal in an intellectual way only, making only sound smarter. The legislated law doesn't make the crime legal only unenforced in Court.

Do away with the self-incrimination of the confession, then pass a law with a depth of limitation. Gender specific amputation or Female specific amputation are both Constitutional confession with no self-incrimination.
Posted by John_C_1812 3 years ago
FYI A State and Federal Houses only legalizes the confession made to particular felony crime when legislation is passed in regards to abortion. Not the Crime. This is the danger in passing laws not based on Constitution. The intellectual interpretation acts like an insulation hiding the actual criminal charge not vindicating it like claimed.
Posted by John_C_1812 3 years ago
abortion is a confession to murder only. It is asking for public permission and can not be legalized only left vindicated or not under Judicial Separation. it is a publicly cleared violation of the United States Constitution. there is no clear reason to believe that woman have not had a Gender Specific Amputation or Female Specific Amputation, and are, or have been improperly provided Constitutional representation. Be it by Self-Representation or by Legal Counsel.

This Statement is in defense of the United States Constitutions as a person always reserves the right to confess to a felony crime. A document like the United States Constitution falls under the Freedom of Press and has no self-value stated to defend itself publicly.
Posted by creationtruth 3 years ago
Aj110 - That the foreseen suffering of a malformed child is deemed as justifiable reason for the abortion of a fetus has absolutely no bearing on whether or not the termination of the embryo's potential for perpetuation of life is murder in the 1st degree.

Nonetheless, if you find that your loved one develops stage 4 cancer, do you murder them in the name of compassion? If however you find murder of your loved one to be most desirable in said situation, you will find that US law (at least) will find you guilty of malice aforethought and thus first degree murder. You may find yourself innocent of malice but the law would say otherwise as the disregard for potential life is rightfully deemed malicious, regardless of perceived potential quality of life.

Malice Aforethought - n. 1) the conscious intent to cause death or great bodily harm to another person before a person commits the crime. Such malice is a required element to prove first degree murder. 2) a general evil and depraved state of mind in which the person is unconcerned for the lives of others (
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