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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/27/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,365 times Debate No: 24877
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (21)
Votes (2)




Abortion is defined as the removing and/or expelling of a fetus/embryo.
1. This debate will be done Lincoln-Douglas Style. Round 1: Definitions/Rules Affirmative Constructive/Negative Constructive for Round 2. Round 3: Cross-Examination. Round 4: Affirmative Rebuttal 1/Negative Rebuttal 1. Round 5: Affirmative Rebuttal 2 and Conclusion/Negative Rebuttal 2 and Conclusion.


I will accept the debate. I'm assuming the resolution is along the lines of "abortion should generally remain legal" or "abortion is generally moral." It would help if Pro could clarify this in the comments or in the next round so I know, precisely, what he wants to debate.

I also believe that abortions to save the life of the mother are morally justifiable, as long as the child is not viable (in that case, a caesarian section should be done to save both mother and child). So I will be arguing that all other abortions are immoral/should be illegal (depending on which direction Pro wishes to take the debate).

I have decided to take the debate with this style, as I'm planning on having my first in-person Lincoln-Douglas style debate in a few months, so this will be good practice.

Just a quick addendum to the definition of abortion. Abortion is generally defined as the termination of a woman's pregnancy that results in the death of the embryo/fetus. It's not enough to say it's simply the expulsion of it because in most cases, you are actually killing the embryo/fetus in order to remove it (the only exceptions being taking a pill that prevents the embryo from implanting into the womb).

I look forward to our next round, and to Pro's opening argument.
Debate Round No. 1


We are debating "Abortion should remain legal." Anyways, let me start.

P.S. The Affirmative Constructive and Negative Constructive will only have their case but won't refute arguments (in case you didn't know that).

Contention 1: Embryos/Fetuses have no rights!

I'm going to present my 1st argument for the choice of abortion. "There is no such thing as a "right to live" when the embryo/fetus is in a woman's body. The embryo/fetus has no right to be in the woman's body. It is only there by the woman's permission. Permission is not a right and it can be revoked as in the case of the embryo/fetus being killed.

The 14th Amendment also says only "born citizens" have the right granted to individuals by the U.S. Constitution which means the embryo/fetus doesn't have the right to life. Thus, his life is not protected by any part of the Constitution and has no rights! Well, the 14th Amendment clearly says that all people born or naturalized in the USA are citizens and thus have the right of life. Without being born, an embryo/fetus is not a human being.

There are two traits that rights derive from. If something doesn't have one of these two traits, it's does not have the right to live. Those two traits are personality and rationality. "Without awareness, expectation, belief, desire, aim, and purpose, a being can have no interests; without interests he cannot be benefited; without the capacity to be a beneficiary, he can have no rights." This indicates to having a personality (belief, desire, aim, purpose) and having rationality (awareness). Having both of these traits gives human beings rights. An embryo/fetus doesn't have any personality nor does it have rationality which is why it does not have the "right to life". The fact is that the embryo/fetus has no rights.

Contention 2: A pregnant woman has rights.

My 2nd argument will be about a women's reproducing rights. A woman has reproducing rights which includes the choice of ending a pregnancy. A woman also has the right to her own body. That being is a product of the woman which gives her the right of abortion. As the woman has the right to reproduce and to her own body, so the embryo/fetus has no rights which means that the woman can do what she wants with the embryo/fetus as long as the embryo/fetus is still in the uterus.

Contention 3: Banning abortion doesn't stop abortion but instead harms people who want abortions.

My 3rd and final argument is that banning abortion doesn't stop abortions from happening. If abortion is illegal, abortions are still going to happen except they are homemade. Without trained professionals using safe and secure procedures, women will go to individuals who have no adequate medical skills. World Health Organization has measured up to 20 million unsafe abortions in unintended pregnancies only. 14% unsafe abortion out of all abortions would increase so badly and increasing maternal deaths. There are also some very unfortunate statistics such as 8 maternal deaths per hour due to unsafe abortions and according to WHO, a woman dies from unsafe abortions each 8 minutes. Thus, banning abortion won't stop abortion from happening, it will just cause more maternal deaths and disabilities for Americans.

Back to Con for his Constructive. After that, the refutations begin. ;)


I wish to thank Pro for offering the challenge and his willingness to debate this topic.

I believe that abortion should become illegal, and that's the case I will be supporting here. I have basically two main reasons for believing abortion should generally be illegal (leaving an exception in case the mother's life is in immediate jeopardy, and the child could not be delivered and be saved).

Contention One

We are the same entity in the womb as we are outside the womb.

Embryologists, who are the experts in the field, consistently agree that life begins at fertilization. For example, from the most-used textbook on embryology, the authors note: "Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a 'moment') is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte." [1]

Another embryologist has written the following: "Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual." [2]

On top of that, the more sophisticated pro-choice philosophers, like Judith Jarvis Thompson (who came up with the famous analogy of the violinist), and Peter Singer, accept the full humanity of the preborn. Peter Singer has noted, “It is possible to give ‘human being’ a precise meaning. We can use it as equivalent to ‘member of the species Homo Sapiens’. Whether a being is a member of a given species is something that can be determined scientifically, by an examination of the nature of the chromosomes in the cells of living organisms. In this sense there is no doubt that from the first moments of its existence an embryo conceived from human sperm and eggs is a human being.” [3]

Additionally, pro-choice philosopher David Boonin writes: "Perhaps the most straightforward relation between you and me on the one hand and every human fetus on the other is this: All are living members of the same species, homo sapiens. A human fetus after all is simply a human being at a very early stage in his or her development." [4]

It's simply common sense. We know the preborn are alive because they grow. Non-living and dead things don't grow. They also exhibit the other signs of life, such as metabolism and cell division. The preborn have human DNA, and they are the product of human parents. Creatures reproduce after their own kind; dogs have dogs, cats have cats, and humans have humans. At no point in human development is a member of humanity a "non-human."

This is also different from saying that a hair follicle has human DNA, so it is wrong to pluck them out. Zygotes/embryos/fetuses are unique individual humans, developing from within, made up of all the individual parts. A hair follicle must stay plugged in to the parent organism to function. However, the parent organism can still function even if he/she loses parts of their body. The zygote/embryo/fetus is a full human organism made up of individual parts of which it develops from within, not constructed like a car.

Essentially, you didn't come from an embryo, you once were an embryo. Since we are the same entity in the womb as outside, if a morally justifiable reason is required to kill someone outside the womb, an equally morally justifiable reason is needed to kill someone inside the womb. Since killing someone outside the womb without moral justification (e.g. self-defense and just war are morally justifiable reasons) is illegal, then killing someone without moral justification inside the womb should also be illegal.

Contention Two

Roe v. Wade is the single worst piece of legislation ever passed. The Supreme Court had no justification for passing it. However, rather than defending that contention here, I will wait until my rebuttal round (since most of what I have to say on this matter directly conflicts with Pro's first contention).

I look forward to our next round.

[1] Ronan O'Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.
[2] Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition, Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. p. 16.
[3] Peter Singer,Practical Ethics, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 85-86.
[4] David Boonin, A Defense of Abortion. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003) 20.
Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for his fabulous response and for following the set-up. I will start my cross-examination.

1.A. Are you saying that you're the same entity you were when in the womb?

1.B. Google defines entity as "A thing with distinct and independent existence." You obviously have personality and rationality. When you were in the womb, did you have a personality and rationality and were you independent as in relying on yourself to survive?

1.C. If no, then how are you the same entity as in the womb? If yes, how so?

2.A. Where do rights derive from?

2.B. What right does the fetus have?

2.C. Which federal law protects that right?

3.A. Does a woman have the right to her own body?

3.B. Does a woman have the right to reproduce?

3.C. Since the fetus is part of the woman's body and part of her choice to reproduce, doesn't the woman have the power to revoke its presence inside her body?

4.A. Is the fetus a human or a human being?

4.B. Can the fetus live without the mother?

4.C. If yes, how so? If no, doesn't that mean that the fetus is human but not a human being due to it not being independent?

That's it for my cross-examination! To the Con for answering these cross-examination questions and to give me them! After that, the rebuttal starts with me. Thanks everyone!


I wish to thank Pro for his thought-provoking questions. As he will have to answer my questions and give a rebuttal in the next round, I'll try and limit the number of questions I ask him so he'll have adequate room to respond to my opening argument and answers to my questions.

1a. That is what I'm saying.

1b. By Google's definition, the universe is also an entity, as are animals. The pro-life position is that we are the same substance as we were in the womb, and a substance is something that maintains its identity through change. I have changed quite a bit since I was an embryo, or even an infant, but through all these changes I remained the same entity.

I think we can see that fetuses have a personality, at least at a very rudimentary level, if you define personality as "the visible aspect of one's character as it impresses others." [1] Fetuses can certainly be observed performing some tasks, such as sucking their thumb and rolling over when they're trying to sleep (they can even enter REM sleep, so it's likely they dream, as well). So at least in a visible sense, it can be shown that at least fetuses (from about the fifth month of gestation on) have a rudimentary personality.

However, it's not the present capacity to have a personality or be rational that makes us valuable. It's the inherent capacity to fulfill these functions, in which the unborn qualify because they have the same inherent nature that makes all of us valuable. People who are asleep, in reversible comas, or under anesthesia for surgery also do not have the immediately exercisable capacity for a personality or rationality, so if this were what makes us valuable it would be morally permissible to kill someone for any reason you please while in these reversible states. Personhood would be "episodic," which means you would lose your personhood every night you fall asleep, and every time you would enter these other reversible states.

Finally, I did not rely on myself to survive while in the womb, but neither did I rely on myself to survive as a newborn. I relied on my mother's breastfeeding me and giving me formula. I didn't rely on myself as a toddler, because while I was working on becoming more indepdent, I was still reliant on my parents to keep a roof over my head, clothes on my body, and food and water to keep me alive.

1c. I am the same entity I was in the womb because I was the same entity (or substance) through all these changes. As I showed in the first round, the unborn are living human organisms from fertilization. At no point did I suddenly go from "non-life" to "life" or from "non-human" to "human." Human life is a continuum, so even before I became self-aware (which doesn't even happen until sometime after you're born), I was still "me."

2a. Ultimate, rights derive from God. Morality is objective, meaning independent of the human mind. Morality is not left up to humans. When we say an act, like rape, is objective wrong, we don't simply mean we don't like rape. We are making a statement about the act itself. Rape is objectively wrong, regardless if someone believes their right to personal gratification outweighs another's right not to be sexually assaulted.

By contrast, morality is not relative. It is not left up to the individual, otherwise we'd have no right to call another person's actions wrong. Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler would be no morally different from each other. In fact, they'd be morally the same because they were both acting based on their moral code. But Hitler was definitely wrong for killing all those Jews, and the only way we can consider him as being wrong is if morality is objective.

Morality is also not left up to society, otherwise morality would be constantly changing. Abortion is illegal in Ireland. That would mean abortion is immoral in Ireland, but moral in the United States. Plus, abortion used to be illegal in the United States, as did slavery. That means that abortion and slavery used to be moral. What's more, slavery abolitionists were not heroes, as they were leading a charge for immorality by trying to change what the state has decreed is moral. Even more confusing, some states were free and some were slave states. Let's say you had one foot on one side of the Mason Dixon Line, and one foot on the other side. Were you a slave or free? Was slavery moral or immoral for you?

2b. The fetus has a right to life, as we all have. This is a natural right, one that we have based on our common human nature. This is not to be confused with a legal right, which is granted by the state and usually comes through ability or maturity, such as the right to drive or vote.

2c. The Fourteenth Amendment protects it. Before Roe v. Wade, the unborn were persons legally protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. [2] The right to life is the most fundamental of all rights. Without it, we can't enjoy any other rights. It's pointless to have freedom of speech if we're not alive to speak in the first place.

3a. Yes, as we all do, to a certain extent. She does not have the right to punch someone without just cause, nor does she have the right to take some drugs or drive without wearing her seatbelt.

3b. Yes, a woman has a right to reproduce. But once she is pregnant, she has already reproduced.

3c. The fetus is not a part of a woman's body, unless you're willing to accept that a pregnant woman has four arms, four legs, two heads, and roughly half the time, a penis and two testicles. The unborn has a different genetic code, and often a different blood type than the mother. Plus, a white baby can be created through IVF, be implanted into a black woman, and would still be born white. The unborn is not a part of her body. She does not have the right to revoke its presence because in the vast majority of cases, she is responsible for creating a naturally needy child. She bears a responsibility for caring for that naturally needy child.

4a. The fetus is a human being.

4b. The fetus can live without the mother once it reaches viability (at about 24 weeks' gestation).

4c. No. See my response at 1b.

Questions for Pro

1. Do you believe abortions should have any restrictions at all? Why or why not?
2. If abortions should have some restrictions, do you see a problem with restricting them? For example, if a woman has a right to her own body, wouldn't that be true all the way up until birth?
3. You seem to think viability has some bearing on our being considered human beings. Could you please explain why?
4. Scott Peterson was convicted of two murders for killing his wife and unborn child. Was it okay for Laci (his wife) to kill her child if she wanted to, but not okay for Scott to?
5. Thalidomide was a drug in the 1950's and 60's prescribed to ease morning sickness in pregnant woman. However, it was later discovered that this drug caused severe fetal defects (resulting in children born without arms and legs). It is illegal for pregnant women to take. Let's say she acquires Thalidomide illegally and takes it, resulting in her child being born with no arms. Do you believe that she did anything wrong? Would you excuse her actions based on her right to bodily autonomy?

That does it for me. I look forward to Pro's answers and his rebuttal.

[2] Francis J. Beckwith, Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice, (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, New York, 2007), p.22.
Debate Round No. 3



1. I believe that abortions should have restrictions. The reason there should be restrictions on abortions is because homemade abortions could cause maternal injuries and maternal deaths.

2. Well, I do see a problem with restricting abortions because the only abortions I want to restrict are homemade abortions due to their lack of safety. Also, I would say I support the woman's right to her own body until the point where the fetus can live outside of the uterus.

3. A fetus must be able to be functioning independently to be a human being. To live outside the uterus makes a fetus a human being. The reason is that a human being must be capable to live on its own. Being human does not make a fetus a human being until it can survive outside of the womb. I'm not talking about living without being fed or clothed but instead talking about being able to physically live outside of the womb.

4. As I've said, it was a homemade abortion so both people should not be able to commit abortion but instead get an abortion.

5. I don't see how this relates to the ca and because it is irrelevant, I will ignore it. However, I would say that her right to her own body does not include being able to take illegal drugs.

Rebuttal 1:

I'll try to keep this brief so my opponent can both argue against my opening round my rebuttal.

My opponent basically claims that a fetus is a human being. However, Joyce Arthur, a abortion rights activist, believes that this is false. She says: "Biology, medicine, law, philosophy, and theology have no consensus on the issue, and neither does society as a whole. There will never be a consensus because of the subjective and unscientific nature of the claim, so we must give the benefit of the doubt to women, who are indisputable human beings with rights."

It is impossible to prove whether a fetus is a human being because there is no absolute agreement from any of the listed subjects that a fetus is a human being. This is exactly like the issue of Uniformitarianism and Castrophism, Jesus being Son of God, and the existence of a god.

It will always be disputed with various types of evidence confirming and destroying different arguments. These issues don't have a certain agreement and will be going on forever. However, women are undisputably human beings. Having the right to her own body makes sure that she can revoke the presence of the fetus in her body.

Joyce Arthur continues to say: "Fetuses are uniquely different from born human beings in major ways, which casts doubt on the claim that they can be classified as human beings. The most fundamental difference is that a fetus is totally dependent on a woman's body to survive. Anti-choicers might argue that born human beings can be entirely dependent on other people too, but the crucial difference is that they are not dependent on one, specific person to the exclusion of all others. Anybody can take care of a newborn infant (or disabled person), but only that pregnant woman can nurture her fetus. She can't hire someone else to do it."

As I said, a human being must be able to survive on its own as in not depending on one person and it can't be anyone else. Also a fetus doesn't just rely on the woman but resides in her. A human being are separate individuals and a fetus is not separate from the woman's body or it will die. They don't gain the status of human being because of living inside the body of another human being.

I'd also like to say being human doesn't make someone a human being. Having human DNA and showing signs of life doesn't make it human. Also formerly being an embryo doesn't make me currently an embryo. Since I was unborn, I was essentially not the same entity.

For Contention 2, I don't see any need to have a rebuttal for it and I look forward to future elaboration due to no justification for the claims that Roe vs. Wade was "the single worst piece of legislation ever passed" and the Supreme Court having "no justification for passing it."

I look forward to my opponent's rebuttal.



I thank Pro again for his response. Let's get to it. I'll respond to his arguments in order (opening, cross-ex, and rebuttal).

Contention 1

All humans, including the embryo/fetus, have a right to life. The reason the embryos' right to life trumps a right to a woman's bodily autonomy is because in the vast majority of cases, she (and the father) are responsible for its being there. They are responsible for the creation of a naturally needy child, so they bear a responsibility for caring for it. Say you come a cross a button on a wall that says "baby-making machine" that offers a pleasurable experience, that has a 1/100 chance of creating a baby. Say you press the button and receive your pleasurable experience, but a baby pops out. You are not justified in just walking away and letting the child die. You must now take responsibility for that child.

The Fourteenth Amendment only says one must be born in the United States to be a citizen. The Amendment says that the state shall deprive no person of life. We are not justified in killing illegal immigrants, neither are we justified in killing the unborn simply because they are not citizens. Additionally, before Roe v. Wade, the unborn were persons, legally protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. [1]

The embryo/fetus has rights, despite not having interests at the moment. Someone who is asleep or in a coma does not have an interest in remaining alive, but one is assumed. Also, newborns do not have awareness, expectation, etc., but we still believe it is immoral to kill them (with the exception of some pro-choice philosophers who support infanticide). That's why it's illegal to kill someone who is asleep or in a coma. Plus, if personality and rationality were traits that bestowed a right to life, then humans would not be inherently valuable, personality and rationality would be. This would mean it would be morally justifiable to kill someone if it were possible to bring about two people with these inherently valuable traits.

Contention 2

Once a woman becomes pregnant, she has already reproduced. Abortion is not about reproduction rights, but the right to end the life of an innocent human. A woman does not have absolute right to her own body. She cannot take illegal drugs, she must obey seatbelt laws, and she cannot strike someone without just cause.

Contention 3

Banning rape, murder, and theft doesn't stop all rapes, murders, and thefts from happening. But we should not legalize them anyway. Pregnancy is not inherently dangerous. A woman has less than a 1% chance of dying in childbirth or in pregnancy. [2] The reality is that even before Roe v. Wade, the vast number of pregnancies were still done by licensed medical professionals, not unsafe "home" abortions. Dr. Mary Calderone, medical director of Planned Parenthood, stated, "90% of illegal abortions are being done by physicians. Call them what you will, abortionists, or anything else, they are still physicians, trained as such... They must do a pretty good job if the death rate is as low as it is... Abortion, whether therapeutic or illegal, is in the main no longer dangerous, because it is being done well by physicians." [3] That was in 1960, thirteen years before Roe v. Wade was passed.

In fact, the numbers of illegal abortion deaths was greatly inflated by the pro-choice side. Dr. Bernard Nathanson, former abortionist and founder of NARAL, has written: "How many deaths were we talking about when abortion was illegal? In NARAL, we generally emphasized the frame of the individual case, not the mass statistics, but when we spoke of the latter it was always 5,000 to 10,000 deaths a year. I confess that I knew the figures were totally false, and I suppose the others did too if they stopped to think of it. But in the morality of our revolution, it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics? The overriding concern was to get the [anti-abortion] laws eliminated, and anything within reason that had to be done was permissible." [4]


Pro says he only believes homemade abortions should be restricted, but goes on to say that he believes a woman's bodily autonomy does not justify abortion after viability. There is some conflict here, since he apparently believes late-term abortions should be restricted. There is further conflict, since if a woman has ultimate right to her bodily autonomy, then the fetus would not be safe after viability. The woman, under bodily autonomy arguments, has no obligation to keep the fetus alive until the point of birth. She can "unplug," as the euphemism goes, at any time she wants.

Perhaps Pro can clarify a bit next round.

According to scientific understanding, the unborn are living human organisms (human beings) from fertilization. The problem about viability is it's a moving target. Currently, viability is considered to be at about 24 weeks, but 50 years ago it was at 28 or 29 weeks. Are we to assume 24 week fetuses are human beings now but that same human would not have been 50 years ago? Viability is a moving target that changes with advancements in technology. Plus, according to Pro's criterion, people on life support are not human beings. It would be morally permissible to end their lives for any reason, even if they have a good chance of survival. I don't see any reason not to consider pre-viable embyros and fetuses human beings, especially since the viable fetus is the same entity as the pre-viable one.

He has ignored my question about Thalidomide, but it is definitely relevant. If a woman has a right to her bodily autonomy, then there should be nothing wrong with taking Thalidomide which will cause birth defect, despite the fact that her child will be born without limbs.


Using Joyce Arthur is a fallacious appeal to authority on Pro's part. First, just because there is no consensus does not mean that everyone is wrong or that no one is right. Second, there is scientific consensus on when human life begins. It is at fertilization (I gave a scientific case in round one, and also gave quotes by embryologists, the experts on human embryology, that human life begins at fertilization). It's simply false to say that no one knows.

Also, if no one knows, the benefit of the doubt should go to life. If you don't know there whether there is anyone inside a condemned building, it would be utterly irresponsible to blow it up anyway. You would check to make sure there is no one alive in the building before blowing it up.

Joyce Arthur simply appears ignorant of the scientific facts. Being dependent on only one person does not mean that someone is not a human being. That's simply bad reasoning. Plus, if you are the last one out of a pool but you hear a splash and, upon investigating, there is a toddler in the pool drowning, totally dependent on you for survival, are you justified in walking away and leaving the child to drown or are you responsible for saving the child?

Pro's reasoning is bad. Having human DNA and showing signs of life makes you a living human organism. Pro has not offered any compelling reason for not considering the unborn human beings. As I illustrated, viability is not adequate. Being a living human organism from fertilization is sufficient for being a human being. To claim otherwise is semantic nonsense.

I don't have room for my second contention, so I'll go ahead and drop it. But my case against abortion succeeds anyway, and I have shown why Pro's case for it fails.

I look forward to our next round.

[1] Francis J. Beckwith, Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice, (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, New York, 2007), p.22.
[3] Mary Calderone, American Journal of Public Health, July 1960.
[4] Bernard Nathanson, Aborting America, New York, Doubleday, 1979, p. 193
Debate Round No. 4


I thank Con again for his response and a lovely debate.

Contention 1:

I would first like to look at different definitions of a human being or a human. Defined by The Free Dictionary, human being is "a member of any of the races of Homo sapiens; person; man, woman, or child". Now child is defined by the same source as "a person between birth and puberty." Basically, that means a fetus in hot a human being. We can check other definitions too. says a human being is "any individual of the genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo sapiens." It defines individual as "a single human being, as distinguished from a group." Again, a single human being is not a fetus.

Why? A fetus technically is a part of it's mother until it is able to live outside the uterus. I believe I have proved that the embryo/fetus is not a human being which is why it doesn't have the right to life. They two people responsible have the power to revoke their own product. Thus, they aren't baby-making machines. Also another fallacy is that you believe that the person who pressed the baby-making machine must take the child. However, this is not the case with abortion. It is not a child yet. It was not born yet. It is being slowly formed and the parent has the right to revoke its existence.

My opponent doesn't understand that the unborn don't have the right to life due to them not having the access to the Constitution. Illegal immigrants are already born and have the right to life. However, they don't have the right to stay in the USA because of the Constitution.

To be clear, I believe that personality and rationality are needed for human beings to be considered human beings. I would not like to go into euthanasia right now. However, the main reason why a fetus's presence may be revoked is because they are living inside a human being. The idea is so ridiculous that the condition is obviously that the human being can revoke the presence of the fetus. We aren't arguing on the morality of abortion. We are arguing on the fetus being a human being.

Contention 2:

Abortion is about the recognized right to reproduce against the fetus's right to retain in a recognized human being's body. A woman has the right to her own body as long as it's not illegal and it doesn't infringe on another's right. A woman's confirmed right to reproduce beats the controversial debated right to life by the fetus.

Contention 3:

Illegal abortion rates since 1960 will obviously increase. Today, abortions are very common and if it were made illegal, illegal abortions would be extremely common. My opponent has committed a fallacy assuming that illegal abortions in 1960 will affect us today if abortion was illegal since 52 years have had much change.


Viability causes the right to life which overrules the right to reproduce. The unborn are not human beings but are human. I would say that each time of viability is unique and to not assume that it's based on weeks but instead at the time when the fetus is viable. Also this isn't a moral debate. The reason I ignored your question about the illegal drug is because it's illegal which is why it is wrong to take the drug.


I'd like to say my opponent has made several appeals to different people and that if I use Joyce Arthur and it's an appeal to authority, then my opponent has done much more of what he accused me of doing. Also I would like to state that nobody knows for certain. They do believe that they know but it's not confirmed and people will always disagree as I've made the argument. Also the benefit of doubt should go to confirmed life which is the mother and her right instead of the fetus.

I'd also like to state that your analogies are irrelevant as the fetus is not a human being but a human within a human being. Being human doesn't equate to a human being.

I'm sorry about this case. I was very busy especially with school starting. I apologize for my case. Great job to Keytar. Vote Pro.
Sources: being being


I would likewise like to thank Pro for a riveting debate.

Contention 1

Pro's definitions are largely irrelevant. I have made a scientific case for why the unborn are human beings, which Pro has not refuted. I have also given quotes by embryologists, the experts in the field, and Pro could not produce one embryologist that dissented. Of course, I expected as much because embryologists consistently agree that a new human being exists at fertilization.

Also, it should be noted that according to the second definition of child that Pro provided himself, the definition is "an unborn infant; a fetus." So even according to the dictionary, a fetus is a child and by extension, also fits the definition of "human being" that Pro, himself, provided.

I have proven in spades that the unborn is a separate human entity from fertilization. The fetus is not part of its mother until viability. If this were the case, the pregnant woman would have two heads, four legs, four arms, two noses, and roughly half the time, a penis and two testicles. Also, the unborn embryo/pre-viability fetus has different fingerprints than the mother and often a different bloodtype. Also, you can conceive a white embryo through IVF and implant him into a black woman, and the child will still be born white.

I have committed no fallacies, and Pro, unfortunately, did not point out which fallacy he believed I was committing. Pro admits that the person who made the baby in the baby-making machine is now responsible for the child. By extension, if a man and woman engage in an act they know has a chance of producing a child, they now bear responsibility for that child.

I contend that it's Pro who actually doesn't understand the Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment is about citizenship, not the right to life. Illegal immigrants still have a right to life, despite not being U.S. citizens. The unborn also have the right to life, despite not yet being citizens (and as I pointed out previously, prior to Roe v. Wade the unborn were considered persons legally protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Pro asserts that rationality and personality are needed for human beings to be considered human beings, but they are baseless. He offers no reasons to support his claims so we can reject them. Conversely, I have offered plenty of evidence that the unborn are human beings from fertilization. I have also shown why the woman does not simply have the right to "revoke" the presence of the fetus from inside her body. She bears responsibility for bringing a naturally needy child into existence (the man does, too, of course). If you bring a naturally needy child into existence then you bear responsibility for caring for that child.

Contention 2

Pro does not give strong justification for why the woman's right to reproduce trumps the fetus' right to life. I have already shown that the fetus is a full-fledged human. One's right to reproduce does not trump one's right to life, which is the most fundamental of all rights. Additionally, once fertilization happens she has already reproduced.

Contention 3

I have committed no fallacy here (and Pro has not mentioned which fallacy he believes I am making). Pro also gives no sources to back up his claims here, so they can be rejected. I believe that women are generally law-abiding citizens, so I'm not convinced they would all flock to abortionists to have illegal abortions. But even if they did, that doesn't mean that abortions should stay legal. After all, murder and rape happen even though they are illegal. That doesn't mean we should legalize it.


Pro has still offered no reason for why viability should give a right to life. The entity before viability is the same entity post-viability. Why is it that a being must be able to live independently that gives it a right to life? This would mean that a born person on life support would not have a right to life, even if they have a good chance of recovering. Also, as I have shown viability is an arbitrary line to draw. Viability decreases as technology improves.


The reason Pro's reference to Joyce Arthur is an appeal to authority is because he gave no reasons to support his claims. He used Joyce Arthur as his argument, rather than supporting it. I gave actual scientific and philosophical reasoning to support the case that the unborn are full-fledged humans from fertilization. Plus, Joyce Arthur is not a scientist. Specifically, she's not an embryologist. I gave quotes by embryologists, who are the experts on human embryology to support my case.

Pro also ignores my analogies, so I extend them. It's simply ridiculous not to answer them for his reasons. I might as well say Judith Jarvis Thomson's violinist analogy is irrelevant because you're plugged into a violinist, you're not pregnant in the analogy. This is simply a ridiculous objection. That's the exact purpose of an analogy, to show a comparison between one thing and another, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.

Once again, I'd like to thank Pro for this intriguing debate. I believe I have made my case and defended it from scrutiny. Thank you for reading.
Debate Round No. 5
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by KeytarHero 6 years ago
Viper-King: For future reference, when you start a debate you can set it to require an RFD whenever someone votes.
Posted by Viper-King 6 years ago
@Acvavra. Not that I'm upset with your vote but can you please give an RFD for your vote?
Posted by drafterman 6 years ago
"Abortion is defined as the removing and/or expelling of a fetus/embryo."

So... giving birth is "abortion?"
Posted by Zaradi 6 years ago
So.....Lincoln Douglas without a framework. So like a PF debate.
Posted by KeytarHero 6 years ago
Ah, okay.
Posted by Viper-King 6 years ago
I meant "case"
Posted by KeytarHero 6 years ago
What did you mean by number 5. "I don't see how this relates to the ca..." What does "ca" stand for?
Posted by Viper-King 6 years ago
I tried to keep it brief because you have to answer both my rebuttal and the original case by me. Go ahead and do the same thing if needed.
Posted by Viper-King 6 years ago
I tried to keep it brief because you have to answer both my rebuttal and the original case by me. Go ahead and do the same thing if needed.
Posted by KeytarHero 6 years ago
Viper, for the next round if answering my questions *and* giving a proper rebuttal will take more than the allotted amount of characters, you can feel free to continue on another debate page or another document and source to it.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by logicalrobot 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made a false appeal to authority and lost the argument over when life begins. If he had argued that better, he could have won.
Vote Placed by acvavra 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:03