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

Abortion is immoral

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/9/2020 Category: Health
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 722 times Debate No: 123999
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

Kirii

Pro

Before I give out my argument, I want to make my stance on abortion as clear as possible.
I am against all abortion with a few exceptions, These exceptions are cases of rape, Incest, And when the woman's life is in danger. Now with that out of the way, Let's move on to the actual argument.

Abortion is immoral because it is essentially the murder of another living being, Bluntly put. There are people who say that these fetuses are not yet alive, But this is far from the case. There are those who confuse being "alive" with being "self-aware", Bacteria are not self-aware but they are very much alive. They are single-celled organisms, With their own ways of staying alive.
Now that we've established that things can be alive without being self-aware, If you look at sperm cells and egg cells, We can see that they are also alive. They each have a function in the entire network of cells that make up ourselves as organisms. When sperm cells and egg cells combine, They form a zygote which multiplies and makes more cells of itself, Eventually making a human baby. The zygote is alive, Otherwise it would not be growing or multiplying, Forming complex organs for it's survival such as the brain and the heart.

Now here's something really no one wants to hear, Most abortions are done out of convenience and not because of reasons such as rape, Incest, And endangerment of life. In 2016, Unmarried women accounted for 86% of all abortions. Abortion absolves women from the primary consequence of sex, Which is pregnancy. 74% of all abortions were done out of convenience to the mother, Reasons such as financial or emotional issues.
However, These are hardly reasons to kill another living being, No matter how convenient it may be.

When you choose to have sex, You are doing so with the knowledge that you may have a child, If you become pregnant, Then you should have been completely aware that there was a possibility you may have a child. If you know you cannot financially support a child, Or are not ready for a child, You shouldn't be having unprotected sex. The contraception argument isn't valid either. When you have sex, Even with a contraceptive like a condom, You"re risking pregnancy. You're significantly lowering the risk, But it's still a risk that you've knowingly taken. The failure of contraception doesn't justify murder. Oral contraceptives, The most widely used reversible method of contraception, Carry failure rates of 6 to 8% in actual practice

Additionally, The cases of rape, Incest, And endangerment of life where a woman should have an abortion are rare. Take for instance, Rape, Less than 0. 5% of women reported getting an abortion because of rape. Not only that, But 0. 1% of women reported getting an abortion due to an incestuous relationship. Induced abortions usually result from unintended pregnancies, Which often occur despite the use of contraception. Which means that almost all abortions are due to the irresponsibility of the would-be parents and failure to gauge the risks of unintended pregnancies.

Sources: https://abort73. Com/abortion_facts/us_abortion_statistics/
https://www. Guttmacher. Org/sites/default/files/pdfs/pubs/psrh/full/3711005. Pdf
TheUnexaminedLife

Con

Abortion if practiced by a medical professional following correct procedure cannot be defined as murder since murder is defined by the judiciary powers of government. Doctors are not put on trial for murder for practicing their profession. Your claim that abortion is essentially murder is thus false. Your claim that an organism has a right to live simply by being alive I will also dispute.

"when they focus on the moral status of the foetus, Abortion looks immoral, But when they switch attention to the rights and interests of its host it looks permissible" (Nigel Pleasants, The Structure of Moral Revolutions)

If we concentrate on the mother it is wrong to keep her as though some human incubator, Deprived of choice about what is happening to her body. Just because she became pregnant does not mean that she no longer has any say about what happens to her and what will indubitably have a large effect on her life and the lives of other people she is a part of. It could be argued that since her body contains two lives that she does lose some autonomy over her body since the developing organism inside her also has some theoretical 'right' to her body. Yet since this organism has no ability to choose (it has no autonomy) this could only ever be an external power controlling the mother by claiming to be acting on the best interests of a person unable to voice their say. It is comparable perhaps to those who try to defend animal rights by protecting their ecosystem. Yet unlike a pregnant woman a national park for instance is not able to have a preference and make decisions about the organisms living within it.

If the developing organism within a pregnant woman is not self-aware and has not developed the material capacities from which such phenomena as the sensation of pain emerges then the termination of this organism will not subjectively affect it at all. It will simply cease to be without experiencing its death (since it has not yet developed the ability to experience).

Your anaology between foetuses and bacteria is problematic. I agree that both are 'alive'. But this appellation does nothing to further your anti-abortion position since people typically find it acceptable to extirpate living organisms (particularly when these organisms are doing so harm or their death serves some utility). Of course a zygote and embyro are prior stages of a foetus's development and are - physically described - just a single-celled organism or small clusters of cells. Being simply 'alive' is clearly an insufficient reason why certain human agents cannot cease the conditions that keep particular living organisms alive. It is permissable to cease the harmful microrganisms which cause aliments to humans. Many find it permissable to cease certain types of animal for nourishment. Trees (multicelluar organisms) are chopped down in mass every day. In war people are killed and it is not called murder.

Your argument is mostly social and statistical. You present your case without any empathy about in considering individual persons themselves and what they might be going through but focus on the numbers. "In 2016, Unmarried women accounted for 86% of all abortions. " I see neither the relevance of this statistic nor the relevant country and demographic considered in this study described. Why does it matter whether a woman is married? She's an individual person who has found out she is pregnant and has to decide what she wants to do regarding this fact. That you completely disregard the emotional and financial and social problems of the pregnant woman when considering her pregnancy evinces a complete lack of empathy for other human beings and a complete lack of understanding of these women. The primary consequence of sex is not pregnancy but pleasure and human connection. You have a lot of sex without pregnancy ensuing. Pregnancy is only one potential consequence of sex - one people deliberately choose or which they don't.

If women who do not want a child - who have reasons in their lives, Complex and diverse - choose to act on their preference and terminate what is gorwing inside of them they do have to face the consequences of their pregnancy. Abortion is not easy for many women emotionally or psychologically. Many can regret it even if it was the right decision for them to do. It becomes a great maybe in their life. There is a lyric by Joanna Newsom in a song about abortion in which she sings: "And at the back of what we've done, There is that knowledge of you".
https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=8-Mj3wKU-wg

That abortion somehow "absolves" the woman and eradicates all consequences of becoming pregnant as you suggest is completely absurd. It neglects the experiences of most woman in processing and coming to terms with their abortions and how this affects their relationship to others (the woman's partner for instance or perhaps her family). The experience can be haunting itself even if much preferable to all the suffering and turmoil to what the woman and child could have faced in giving birth. A woman who does not want a child forced to raise it may be resentful of it. That child may suffer from this maternal dynamic and grow up to carry this suffering within their personality and how they relate to others and the world. A child in poverty might have to suffer hunger and the mother have to feel chronic guilt about not being able to provide enough - living without any quality of life in just trying to work to keep her and the child alive. She might struggle to even look after herself - have anorexia for instance - and is struggling with uncertainty about how she could raise a child. Her partner might be physically abusive. She might want to focus on other things in her life (her career or ambitions) and not have to go through the full pregnancy. Such reasons - and there are almost innumerable reasons why someone may want an abortion - cannot simply be brushed aside without consideration. I find it disturbing that you imply that if a woman wants to have an abortion they ought to be raped or engage in incest first - asif these reasons were the only reasons that mattered making the medical procedure of abortion permissable.

But as Nigel Pleasants says, If we focus on the developing organism within the mother and attend to that organism to the neglect of all other factors important in its development then a case can be made against abortion. A child is a mother's investment in the future: they can bring joy and comfort in the continuance of life even after one's demise. But more importantly they can also experience joy and accomplish important things in the world and live making decisions and self-determining how they want to live in the world. This however is simply stating that one's own life is important and that you love being alive. Such a counter-argument is merely the arguer saying they dislike the idea of being prevented from being born and because of this they then project onto what is developing in a womb the same status as themselves: the potential for living as a human in the world and experiencing life. Yet the developing organism cannot experience anything until a certain stage in its development. Aristotle called this point of development the quickening. It is amibigious when this occurs which is why most laws around abortion make it illegal to have an abortion (under most conditions) quite early on in the organism's development (in the UK 24 weeks).

I will concede that it is an interesting moral conundrum to ask whether we as a society can forfeit the interests of the living to the interests of those who may be alive and self-aware in the future. Climate change is a good example of this: is there a moral imperative to do everything we can possible to prevent further harm to the environment for the benefit of future generations not yet born? Each new child born will likely (living under certain capitalist-societal systems) simply by living contribute to the damaging of the environment (Mother Earth) which all humans ultimately rely on. Yet is there a duty also to prevent any harm coming to such children? They might be part of changing societies around the globe for the better. I'm not entirely sure what I think about this line of reasoning.
Debate Round No. 1
Kirii

Pro

"Abortion if practiced by a medical professional following correct procedure cannot be defined as murder since murder is defined by the judiciary powers of government. Doctors are not put on trial for murder for practicing their profession. Your claim that abortion is essentially murder is thus false. "
I can dispute this notion by using history as a base example. In the past, It was not considered murder to kill a slave because they were considered property in the eyes of the law, Even though they were other living human beings as well, We now know that this is considered murder. The notion that since the law doesn't consider something murder means that it isn't murder isn't true.

"If we concentrate on the mother it is wrong to keep her as though some human incubator, Deprived of choice about what is happening to her body. Just because she became pregnant does not mean that she no longer has any say about what happens to her and what will indubitably have a large effect on her life and the lives of other people she is a part of. "
I find your choice of words interesting, Especially the one about "deprivation of choice". The reality is, No, The mother actually had a choice, She had the choice to have sex, The choice to potentially get into a pregnancy, It was her responsibility to weigh the risks and the benefits. If she became pregnant, Then that is entirely by her own free will, She had a lot of choices leading up to that.

"It could be argued that since her body contains two lives that she does lose some autonomy over her body since the developing organism inside her also has some theoretical 'right' to her body. Yet since this organism has no ability to choose (it has no autonomy) this could only ever be an external power controlling the mother by claiming to be acting on the best interests of a person unable to voice their say. "
The organism does have a right to her body because as I stated before, The mother had a lot of choices that led up to this point, Which means a lot of choices to not have a baby as well. The only reason this organism is growing inside her in the first place is because of the mother's own life choices. Furthermore, Even if the organism cannot speak for themselves, Doesn't make it any less immoral to end it's life. By this logic, We can murder people in comas because they are unconscious and have an inability to speak for themselves as well.

"If the developing organism within a pregnant woman is not self-aware and has not developed the material capacities from which such phenomena as the sensation of pain emerges then the termination of this organism will not subjectively affect it at all. It will simply cease to be without experiencing its death (since it has not yet developed the ability to experience). "
Once again, Because something is unable to be self-aware and cannot experience pain doesn't make it any less immoral to end it's life. If this were the case, Then we would have no problem killing people in comas and killing the mentally disabled people who fall under this same category.

"Your anaology between foetuses and bacteria is problematic. I agree that both are 'alive'. But this appellation does nothing to further your anti-abortion position since people typically find it acceptable to extirpate living organisms (particularly when these organisms are doing so harm or their death serves some utility). "
Earlier in my argument, I said that I am for abortion if the fetus endangers the woman's life. However, If this is not the case, Then the fetus is not doing any harm to the mother, And the death of them doesn't serve as a utility. Additionally, Just because the majority of people find something acceptable, Does not make it right to do. That's the appeal to popularity fallacy.

"Many find it permissable to cease certain types of animal for nourishment. Trees (multicelluar organisms) are chopped down in mass every day. In war people are killed and it is not called murder. "
When you cease the life of a fetus, The mother does not receive any type of nourishment, And trees are cut down in order to make land for more buildings for people to live in or use, When someone does an abortion, This isn't the case. In war, People are killed for reasons such as acquisition of new land, Spreading a religion, Overthrowing a government, But in the case of abortion, None of these things are accomplished.

"'In 2016, Unmarried women accounted for 86% of all abortions. ' I see neither the relevance of this statistic nor the relevant country and demographic considered in this study described. Why does it matter whether a woman is married? She's an individual person who has found out she is pregnant and has to decide what she wants to do regarding this fact. "
The relevance of this statistic is to show that unmarried woman are less likely to be in a stable relationship or in a stable financial/emotional situation, And therefore, Should not have been pregnant unless they know they could support a child and a home for it as well. The country for this statistic is the United States and the demographic is all women who are post-abortive.

"That you completely disregard the emotional and financial and social problems of the pregnant woman when considering her pregnancy evinces a complete lack of empathy for other human beings and a complete lack of understanding of these women. The primary consequence of sex is not pregnancy but pleasure and human connection. "
If you choose to partake in sex, Then you should also be ready to possibly be involved in a pregnancy, If the pregnancy happens, Then that's entirely your own decision. However, You shouldn't have the decision to decide what happens to someone else's life, The baby isn't part of the woman"s body. If it was, It would have the same exact DNA it doesn't. It has its own unique DNA, Therefore it is not part of its mother"s body. It is a completely separate person. Additionally, I do agree with you that pleasure and human connection are consequences of sex, However, A pregnancy is the primary consequence of sex because that's the most life-changing aspect of sex.

" A woman who does not want a child forced to raise it may be resentful of it. That child may suffer from this maternal dynamic and grow up to carry this suffering within their personality and how they relate to others and the world. A child in poverty might have to suffer hunger and the mother have to feel chronic guilt about not being able to provide enough - living without any quality of life in just trying to work to keep her and the child alive. She might struggle to even look after herself - have anorexia for instance - and is struggling with uncertainty about how she could raise a child. Her partner might be physically abusive. She might want to focus on other things in her life (her career or ambitions) and not have to go through the full pregnancy. Such reasons - and there are almost innumerable reasons why someone may want an abortion - cannot simply be brushed aside without consideration. "
Yes, That last thing you said is correct, These reasons cannot be brushed aside without consideration. These are things that the woman having sex should have considered before, Well, Having sex. If you know for a fact that you have all these financial or emotional issues, Or if you have an abusive partner, Or if you have an aspiration for a certain career choice, Then you should have sex with that knowledge in the back of your head. After that, It's not fair to trivially take the life of someone else just because you failed to take these reasons into consideration.

" I find it disturbing that you imply that if a woman wants to have an abortion they ought to be raped or engage in incest first - asif these reasons were the only reasons that mattered making the medical procedure of abortion permissable. "
I never stated that a woman "ought" to be raped or engage in incest first, I just stated that the only cases of abortion that are truly permissible are cases of rape and incest.

"Such a counter-argument is merely the arguer saying they dislike the idea of being prevented from being born and because of this they then project onto what is developing in a womb the same status as themselves: the potential for living as a human in the world and experiencing life. Yet the developing organism cannot experience anything until a certain stage in its development. "
A fetus doesn't have a potential for living because of the sole fact that it is already alive. And like I've stated before, The mere fact that it cannot experience anything yet doesn't make it morally right to end the life of it.

Yes, I have no problem with rights and choices and such, But when exercising your autonomy means denying the autonomy of another living being, Then I am completely against it. Not to mention there are other alternatives, Such as putting the baby up for adoption at it's birth, That unborn baby is there because of your actions, Which places it within your responsibility. It is a life of its own that came about due to your past actions, Saying that you have the right to terminate it just for your convenience, Is like gambling at a casino and once you lost, Not wanting to have to deal with the consequences. The fact that the fetus may not be sentient is a poor excuse. Not having sentience doesn't work as a justification for killing the unborn if it doesn't work for grown up humans. It would be immoral to take a person in a coma off life support if you knew they would wake up, The problem with abortion is that it sacrifices the right to live of the fetus for the right of choice for the mother, Which is entirely immoral. Adoption is a very real and welcome alternative to abortion, Adopted children are more likely to live in neighborhoods that are safe, That have amenities and are in good physical condition than are non-adopted children.
Source: https://www. Americanadoptions. Com/adoption/adoption_stats
TheUnexaminedLife

Con

Right let's get into the nitty-gritty of rebuttals then. . .

"In the past, It was not considered murder to kill a slave because they were considered property in the eyes of the law, Even though they were other living human beings as well, We now know that this is considered murder. The notion that since the law doesn't consider something murder means that it isn't murder isn't true. "

I agree that history is useful insofar as it allows us to see how things have been otherwise and may differ again in the future. But you are positing something more like a moral fact: something which is true regardless of what historical period and context you live in. Could you formulate this as a moral maxim for me so I do not impose on you what I think you are trying to express? It is not that you think that all killing of human-based lifeforms is always wrong since in your perspective abortion is just this but permissiable in certain situations. What someone defines as murder and what is not murder is open to debate (stabbing someone, Yes, Shooting someone in a just war, No). What are your justifications for calling it murder and not the termination of a embryo?

I already rebutted your counter-argument insofar as the analogy between slave-fertilised egg is false. The latter is not a lifeform capable of experiencing phenomenon like pain and self-awareness and autonomy. The former is. A person who is going to be born in one hundred years I think ought not to have the same moral protections codified into law than people currently living. They do not exist yet. Similarly a zygote or embryo is not a person yet. They have not developed the necessary physical substrates through which it is possible to experience things like mammals do. This occurs later in pregnancy than abortion is legally sanctioned. Developing organisms in the womb are identical to micro-organisms and clusters of cells because - that's what they are until they become more complex lifeforms!

No one is demanding a baby be born; there are a surfeit amount of human persons coming into this world. When a birth is going to cause harm both to the mother and those around her - when the child is going to be forced to grow up in an environment which and which they will damage - when the pregnancy was not intended and the mother is not ready to have the biological and lifestyle choices of motherhood in her life - abortion ought to be permitted. What about empathy and forgiveness? Just because someone has made a mistake and got pregnant when they did not intend to why must they suffer for their entire lives and the entire lives of their offspring?

"By this logic, We can murder people in comas because they are unconscious and have an inability to speak for themselves as well. "

We do (although it's not called murder)? Those who are brain dead and who are on life-support - with no possible chance of being a functioning human being again - are given over to medical professionals and sometimes family members who - with biopolitical power - choose whether or not to continue that life. I'm not arguing something so obviously outside of common sense such as the idea that it is permissible to kill mutes and people while they are sleeping (because they're not self-aware). I have not claimed that self-awareness and linguistic capacity are necessary conditions for an organism not to be killed by another. I'm arguing more that multi-celluar lifeforms forming in the womb and developed foetuses and neonates are fundamentally different kinds of life and that how we ought to try these kinds of life fundamentally differs as well.

I wrote that developing organisms in the womb are not yet able to experience "such phenomena as" being self-aware and able to physically experience pain. That means those two things are examples of but not exhaustive of all the phenomena I am describing which makes a cluster of cells so qualitatively different than children and adults (i. E. A different kind of lifeform)".

" She had the choice to have sex, The choice to potentially get into a pregnancy, It was her responsibility to weigh the risks and the benefits. "

Decision-making does not suddenly end when you have sex. The decision to have an abortion is exactly that - a decision - in which it is possible to choose whether or not to terminate the developing organism within you. Just because you had sex does not suddenly render all your future possible decisions non-existent. This is an 'is' statement and not an 'ought' one. People can choose not to give birth when pregnant; their simply being pregnant does not stop them from making this choice. Your argument is more that if you are pregnant that you ought to give birth to the child (except in some circumstances).

"the fetus is not doing any harm to the mother"
Pregnancy completely changes one's biochemistry. It causes mood changes. It prevents the mother from engaging in types of work and makes her more reliant on those around her. Childbirth. This is well-reported to be one of the biggest bodily traumas that a human being can go through. By what criteria are you excluding these experiences from your definition of harm?

What about how a child completely restructures the life of the woman? What is achieved by abortion is the removal of innumerable responsibilities of the mother towards a child they do not want. Nothing is achieved by getting your decayed tooth pulled out except the future absence of pain and suffering. Should all women be forced to raise the unintended consequences of sex? Or perhaps sex ought just to be for married couples and Christian chastity enforced (by who exactly)? Who is going to raise all the children put up for adoption because the mother could not or did not want to raise them yet was forced by a state authority to give birth?

"unmarried woman are less likely to be in a stable relationship or in a stable financial/emotional situation, And therefore, Should not have been pregnant unless they know they could support a child and a home for it as well. "

Yes grandma. This bit of American conservatism that only Christian wed bourgeois couples should have children is the ethics of self-superior individuals who think they know better and can tell others how they ought to live. It completely neglects the reality that millions if not billions of children are born every day to mothers in dire circumstances and a range of problems in their lives. That a pregnant woman in some nations can choose to obviate the future suffering of her and her loved ones and the potential child by making a choice about what happens to her body is a sign of real concern and care for human beings - not a desire to do them harm.

Relationships in the 21st century are not like this. The instution of marriage is not as it was under the Catholic church where divorce was not a possiblity. The rates of divorce are incredibly high and short-term marriages commonplace. Being married does not mean that the domestic situation you in is necessarily more likely to be financially stable and emotionally stable. Why don't we just ignore domestic abuse and couples struggling to make ends meat? Could you please back up all the asserted propositions in the quoted statement above please with thought if not evidence? How exactly are you establishing that married people are more likely to be in a generally stable situation than unmarried people? I would agree perhaps only with the idea that the more people who live together (in a couple, With their parents, With friends) are more likely to have more money as each member of the domestic unit pulls in economic resources.

"The baby isn't part of the woman"s body. "
The developing organism within the mother is not part of the mother's body I agree. But it is completely dependent on it - like animals are on their ecosystem.

"pregnancy is the primary consequence of sex because that's the most life-changing aspect of sex. "
When having sex pregnancy is typically conceived of something to be avoided or something one is actively trying to achieve. Most sexual intercourse does not have the aim of reproduction as its ends. Most sex is just an activity one does because it is pleasurable and fun and because you want to do it with certain persons. To ask women to consider whether they would be suitable mothers every time they have sex is unreasonable.

"when exercising your autonomy means denying the autonomy of another living being, Then I am completely against i"
The zygote/embyro/foetus does not have autonomy as I've already established. The only autonomy being denied in anti-abortion debates is the autonomy of the mother and those around her. The only autonomy the developing organism has is potential - well after birth.

Taking consequence for your actions is something I have already argued against too. An abortion is facing up to the consequences of your actions. It is often an unpleasurable and traumatic experience but it is a choice freely made and often for good reasons. The consequences of pregnancy aren't necessarily that you will have a child. It's not like avoiding paying someone you owe. You have a choice whether or not to consent to an abortion and the developing organism literally is just a ball of cells and has nothing in terms of bodily physical structure (an autonomic nervous system - capacities to experience - etc. ) to be harmed. You cannot harm something physically incapable of experiencing harm.

"A fetus doesn't have a potential for living because of the sole fact that it is already alive. " - yes but not as "a human in the world and experiencing life" as I wrote.

"Just because the majority of people find something acceptable, Does not make it right to do. That's the appeal to popularity fallacy. "
So do you think it morally impermissable to take antibiotics to kill harmful bacteria in a human? Do you think it is wrong to cut down trees - to eat some kinds of animal?
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by missmedic 1 year ago
missmedic
Pro position is based on emotion not knowledge. . . Which is typical of America's young people.
Posted by missmedic 1 year ago
missmedic
Pro's argument fails. A women's life is in danger every time she gets pregnant.
Posted by missmedic 1 year ago
missmedic
So your argument is that abortion is murder except when you say it is not.
You further argue that the responsibility of the risk of pregnancy is the women's until she gets pregnant and then it's your responsibility. You seem uniformed.
Further, Pregnancy has a major effect on a person's body and emotional state, And every pregnancy carries some risk of serious complication or death. The crucial decision to take on that risk"no matter how small"can only be decided by the pregnant person themselves. Not you. . .
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