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

Abortion is medically equivalent to murder

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/23/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,337 times Debate No: 55329
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




First round for acceptance
Second round for presenting arguments
Third round for rebuttal and closing remarks, no new material may be presented.


I have accepted your debate.
Debate Round No. 1


First we must define murder. Murder is defined as the intentional termination of a human life ( termination meaning the prevention of that life's continuance [definition excludes extenuating circumstances such as defense of self or another person]). That being said, I as the Pro must clearly show that: a.) The human embryo/fetus is medically classified as "living" b.) Abortion prevents said embryo/fetus from continuing be medically alive

a.) The seven signs of life are as follows:
The ability to gain energy from a food source
Taking in and using food

A human embryo/fetus exhibits the following signs of life:
The ability to gain energy from a food source
Taking in and using food

A newborn baby exhibits the exact same signs. Therefore an embryo/fetus is just as alive as a newborn baby

b.) The entire purpose of an abortion is to terminate the gestation of a human embryo/fetus. Since the intention is to destroy the embryo/fetus and keep it from developing, I propose that abortion is the same as killing a newborn baby.


Oxford definition of murder: "The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another."

Oxford definition of a human being: "A man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance."

Before I describe the rationale for my position, I would like to say that during inception, the prime mover for many people's opinions and beliefs begin with an emotion based inauguration. By this, I mean that the initial comprehension of a position is brought on by either an emotional attachment to a certain aspect or an emotional attachment to the individual(s) who relayed the knowledge. I believe that this subject encompasses a strong disposition for the abortion opposition to allow emotional blockage (if it is indeed present) to disrupt logical reasoning. So, I would hope that any of my objective arguments do not yield the emotional response that is too often linked to the anti-abortion population.

My take on the topic is somewhat relative to how my opponent has approached it but in slightly different form. Above, I have given the Oxford English Dictionary definitions of both "murder" and a "human being". Please use these for referencing some of the specific points that I will be outlining.

How would we define murder and be able to correlate it to abortion? Well, we first look at the definition of murder and determine if the criteria for murder are congruent with the common abortion. Premeditation will be the first component we analyze. In order to carry out an abortion, this requires (in most instances) calculated planning and consent prior to the procedure. This would certainly pertain to one criterion of murder as it pertains to the definition provided by Oxford.

Next, it is important to understand what components are needed in order to fall under the definition of a human being, since a human being is required to be both the victim and killer under the definition of murder. A human being requires superior mental development (or a brain), the power of articulate speech (or the ability to generate words through thought processes), and upright stance (or bi-pedal). This is simply not enough to determine whether or not a fetus qualifies as a human being. I will illustrate in the next segment how to differentiate when and how a fetus falls into this qualification.

During the first five weeks after conception (conception begins 2 weeks after intercourse) the fetus has only developed one of the two vital organs necessary for survival, that being the heart. It is not until the fifth week that the fetus develops the head and the brain. Coming back to the components necessary to qualify as a human being, it would seem illogical to qualify a fetus without superior mental development, which requires a brain. In conjunction with this, the power of articulate speech is derived from the brain and a fetus cannot possess this power without the necessary formation of the brain and head. I would take it one step further and say that the absence of a brain points to the absence of a possibility for rudimentary consciousness. Now, once it is confirmed by a physician that the fetus has formed his/her head and brain, this would meet all the necessary criteria to comply with Oxford's definition of a human being.

If, in fact, a fetus has fully developed the two vital organs necessary for survival, I would conclude that abortion is medically equivalent to murder. If a fetus that has not yet reached this developmental stage, which would complete the definition of a human being, and further complete the definition for murder, we cannot logically deduce that abortion has reached the equivalency of murder. The issue that remains is when we have dismissed all situational discretion and have assumed that every situation where an abortion occurs meets the definitive criteria for murder. Ultimately, this issue is a double edged sword, just as differentiating between murder and self defense contain only very fine details that separate the two. These fine details are what prevent irrational thought and allow our civil and social evolution to flourish.
Debate Round No. 2


My opponent has stated that at the time when two vital organs are found in the embryo, then the abortion would medically be considered murder. I wish to clarify that the oxford definition would be referring to a normal, fully developed person, with no deformities. The definition would classify paralyzed persons as "not human" if it were taken as a definition without exception. I propose that since an embryo is made entirely of its own unique human DNA and that because said embryo is exhibiting signs of life as well as the potential to form all vital organs, then exterminating said embryo and thereby stopping it from exhibiting signs of life, is the equivalent of murder. I point out that even though there is no brain function for some time, there is a coordinated effort in which all the cells of said embryo operate together to create a fully functional human being. That fact classifies the embryo as an intelligent being.

I thank my opponent for a clean debate, completely free of opinion and fallacy. I ask anyone judging this debate wether they be Pro or Con to cast aside all prejudice and opinion and judge strictly by evidence and arguments presented. Thank you for your time.


First, I would like to thank the opposition for being objective and adhering to what I believe to be a universal truth in debate. No solutions have ever brought forth change with subjective understandings. So, again I thank he/she for maintaining that ability.

My opponent has defined murder in much of the same way that I have. That being said, there are a few elements that are unmistakably synonymous but the way in which we both have dissected them is much different. The term used was "termination", and this term is synonymous with the term used under Oxford's definition, which is "killing". In both definitions, they refer to "termination of human life" and "killing of one human being to another". There should be no double meaning for these terms and the associating noun that the verb is describing is more important than the verb itself. The focus for my opponent was to sub-define termination without regard to the noun it is referring to. Without human life as the noun, terminating would only refer to "life, as it occurs in many contexts" and not specifically "human life". So making an attempt to describe the seven signs of life is irrelevant because life is a universal occurrence. Abortion is specifically linked to human life in the context of this debate, therefore we would need to understand the signs of human life. So we cannot conclude that "termination" is specifically referring to human life, since it is referring to all life. I would not think that stepping on an ant is considered murder even though it exhibits the 7 signs of life. I have defined what a "human being" is and how this is important in deciphering the constraints that defines murder. To make a comparative example, I will illustrate a situation where I am attempting to figure out what a mini van is, knowing almost nothing about it. I try to find the characteristics of a mini van but can only find the characteristics of an "automobile". The 7 signs of an automobile are as follows:

1. Uses gas
2. Has a steering wheel
3. Has four wheels
4. Has an engine
5. Has front and rear lights
6. Has a break and gas pedal
7. Has seat belts

Now, knowing what an automobile is does not get me any closer to understanding what a mini van is, even though they share the same 7 signs. I would need to understand what is specific to a mini van and not what the majority of automobiles in the world possess. My opponent has described an "automobile" and I have described a "mini van".

I was going to rebuttal against my opponent's rebuttal but I do not think that would be appropriate considering he/she does not get a chance to respond back. Thank you very much for the informative topic and I love being able to learn from people!
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Logi 7 years ago
"Murder" is an English term and therefore eligible to be used in any conversation in English. This debate is to show that abortion terminates the life of an embryo/fetus and thereby should be classified as "murder". I would like for you to note that using the state as a metric for ethics is an absolutely horrible idea considering that under the laws of past and present governments the following have been or are legal: The Jewish Holocaust, slavery, rape ( sharia law doesn't technically say it is right but if a woman gets raped it is considered her fault for dressing "provocatively") false imprisonment, etc.
Posted by Burncastle 7 years ago
"Murder" is not a medical term, so "medically equivalent to murder" is a nonsensical sentence. Plus, murder is defined as the "unlawful taking of life", so any country that allows abortion does not equate abortion with murder, by definition. Also, murder implies that the goal is to kill the subject, whereas the goal of abortion is to terminate the pregnancy (therefore targeting the mother).
Posted by DeletedUser 7 years ago
I agree
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by greencanon 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I have to say, this was a VERY close debate for me. I could find no grammatical or spelling errors in either persons arguments, so I have to say well done to both of you for the amount of time spent on revising your debate. But, in my opinion, Con just had arguments that I found convey his points better. Both contributors had great points, but Con won in my perspective. But don't worry Pro, you are also a great debater, keep working at it!

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