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


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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/19/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 859 times Debate No: 42639
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)




1. The first round is for acceptance.
2. A forfeit or concession is not allowed.
3. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed without asking in the comments before you post your round 1 argument.

Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed in the middle of the debate.

Debate Structure

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Presenting all arguments (no rebuttals by con)
Round 3: Refutation of opponent's arguments (no new arguments)
Round 4: Defending your original arguments and conclusion (no new arguments)

I will argue on the side of pro-choice and how it's a basic human right.



I accept.

Best of luck.
Debate Round No. 1


I am now going to successfully argue why abortion is not immoral.

The single most important factor for women's advancement in society is our ability to control our fertility. Without that, we are trapped by the realities of pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing; rather than a privilege and a gift, these aspects of being female become an unbearable burden. Attempts to limit women's reproductive freedom are no more than a gambit to keep women "in their place"-- a gambit in the guise of religious moralism. True, the guise can run deep, and many so-called "pro-lifers" genuinely believe that killing a fetus is equivalent to killing a human being. But such religious feeling has no place in the public policies of a country that claims to separate church and state. In the words of supreme court justices O'Connor, Kennedy and Souter: "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life." No one wants to plan an abortion. But the best way to prevent abortions is to prevent unwanted pregnancies: through sex education, improved distribution of birth control, and general empowerment of women to shape our own individual lives.

Read this carefully.

10. Laws against abortion do not stop abortion; they simply make it less safe. The number of women who get abortions does not change when it goes from being legal to illegal, or vice versa. The only thing that changes is more women die. Every year, 78,000 women die from unsafe abortions.

9. If people want to stop abortion, they should turn to methods that do work. These include comprehensive sex education and safe, affordable contraceptives. Unfortunately, as illogical as it sounds, the people who are most against abortion are also often most against these preventative measures. If they truly wanted to reduce the number of abortions that occur, they would embrace these methods.

8. The politicians “pro-lifers” so ardently support are only after one thing: self-interest. The majority of them are not “pro-life” because they agree with you; they are because they know you will continue to vote for them—and they know that making women remain pregnant not only takes away their power, but it also keeps them busy, in line, controlled, as well as a baking factory for their failing economy. The more people they have to rule over, the more they have to work and buy. Period.

7. Religious ideology is no foundation for any law. Freedom of religion is guaranteed to any citizen in the United States; so why would the beliefs and values of one religion mandate actual laws for all citizens? It would be unfair, unjust and immoral. We do not have laws against eating fish, nor do we have laws that declare it is legal to sell one’s daughter, rape someone, or keep a person as a slave—all things that are promoted in religious text.

6. Reproductive restrictions do not end with abortion. Many people also argue that contraception itself is wrong—another mainly-religious philosophy—and will deny women the protection they need based on this belief. There are legislative acts that allow actual pharmacists to deny women their birth control because of their beliefs; does this not violate the Hippocratic Oath, especially if thousands of women are on birth control because their very lives depend on it (see #2)? Also, since it is my belief that men should not rape women, if I were a pharmacist, would I have a right to deny a man his Viagra just in case he uses it to rape? You never know.

5. Most people who are against abortion will never even become pregnant. If a law would never, in any circumstance, apply to a man, a man creating that law is preposterous. It is akin to men creating laws that ban women from voting, owning property, or showing skin in public—only much more deadly.

4. Women who are raped or victims of incest should not be forced to carry out a pregnancy. Odds are that 1 in 3 women will be victims of sexual violence in her lifetime. Does this mean that 33% of all women should be forced to carry out a pregnancy from this violation? Considering how many people are killed during childbirth (see #2), should we allow this further risk to endured on top of what has already been done?

Many would argue that these women could endure the pregnancy, spending nearly a year of her life simply re-living the rape and its effects over and over again, to give up a baby at the end of it for adoption. However, we all are aware of the fact that there are millions of unwanted children awaiting adoption as we speak who remain unclaimed; in fact, UNICEF estimates that there are 210 million orphans in the world right now. If they have no one willing to be their parent or guardian, why would another baby have a better chance?

My theory is that people who spend so much time, energy, and money on anti-abortion campaigns should instead spend it on the precious children they say need saving so much—the ones who are alive and parentless. Imagine if all the funds spent on all those billboards and flyer's and campaigns were instead either spent adopting or donating to places that are overrun with orphaned children… perhaps some actual credibility would be given to these people who claim to love children so much.

Also, there is the fact of the matter of the more than one million homeless youth in America alone. The number one factor for a child being homeless is physical or sexual abuse at home. Perhaps these “child-lovers” should step in and care for these already-born children as well.

3. Reproductive choice can be the only thing that stands between a woman and poverty. There is a reason that the 1 billion poorest people on the planet are female. In sub-Saharan Africa and west Asia, women typically have five to six children, which leaves them powerless to provide for not only their own families, but themselves.

2. Reproductive choice can be the only thing that stands between a woman and DEATH. Women who face deadly consequences of a pregnancy deserve to choose to live. Teen girls, whose bodies are not yet ready for childbirth, are five times more likely to die. Not only do 70,000 girls ages 15-19 die each year from pregnancy and childbirth, but the babies that do survive have a 60% higher chance of dying as well.

During my own pregnancy—which had been unexpected though joyful up to this point—I was horrified to learn that I had preeclampsia only 25 weeks in. While they were able to save both my daughter and me, she was born at 1 pound, three months premature, and was a medical miracle. Most babies at that weight do not survive; and if they do, they suffer severe complications—as do the mothers, including myself. I was then informed that my risk of it happening all over again was extremely high, and that if there were a next time I may not be so lucky. I am fortunate to have access to birth control, but many women—especially young ones—do not. Preeclampsia alone affects 10 to 15% of all women! There are hundreds of other complications that arise besides preeclampsia that can, and will, result in death as well.>

1. Doctors, not governments, should always be the people to make medical recommendations and opinions. Would you allow the government to tell you if you could have a kidney transplant or a blood transfusion? Of course not. The fact that we even consider, let alone allow, governments to regulate a medical procedure is both illogical and foolish.

How can you say that one is immoral due to a choice affecting their life?


ATTENTION: I would like to point out to the voters that Pro plagiarized every argument in her first speech from this site, quoting it word for word and doing nothing to credit the author:

As dictated by the rules, I will not be presenting any rebuttals in this round. I shall be making only three contentions.

1. The zygote/embryo/fetus is a human life
2. There is a moral obligation to preserve innocent human life
3. This moral obligation is of the highest order

Throughout this debate round, "unborn" may be used to mean an unborn human at any of the three stages of zygote, embryo or fetus.

Contention #1 - The unborn is a human life
The standard, biology textbook definition of life is 1) the ability to grow and 2) the ability to reproduce.[1] In other words, if something grows and possesses the ability to reproduce at some point in its life cycle (barring some sort of defect), then it is considered by the scientific community to be alive.

By this standard, the unborn can be considered to be a life. But what if we use a more advanced definition such as the one below?

        1. Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state; for example, electrolyte concentration or sweating to reduce temperature.

        1. Organization: Being structurally composed of one or more cells â€" the basic units of life.

        1. Metabolism Transformation of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components (anabolism) and decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.

        1. Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of anabolism than catabolism. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter.

        1. Adaptation: The ability to change over time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity, diet, and external factors.

        1. Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism to external chemicals, to complex reactions involving all the senses of multicellular organisms. A response is often expressed by motion; for example, the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun (phototroism), and chemotaxis.

        1. Reproduction: The ability to produce new individual organisms, either asexually from a single parent organism, or sexually from two parent organisms.[1][2]

Once again, the unborn meets all the criteria for life.

However, this is somewhat irrelevant. After all, bacteria and blades of grass are also alive, and we feel no moral qualms about killing them. Why, then, is the zygote/embryo/fetus different? Put simply, because it is a human life. By definition, a product of reproduction is of the same kind as its 'parents.'[3] I offer this Merriam-Webster definition of fetus as further proof: "a human being or animal in the later stages of development before it is born."[4]

Contention #2 - There is a moral obligation to preserve innocent human life
Man is a moral agent, a being with free will whose actions have moral import. Because of our freedom we are bound by duty to act morally or, if you prefer, ethically. Morality may be derived from either philosophy or religion. I shall be making a philosophical case for the moral obligation to preserve human life using Kant's three Formulations of the Imperative.

The First Formulation of the Imperative

"Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction." Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of Metaphysic of Morals[5]

Clearly we would not want the justified taking of innocent life to become a universal law without contradiction. This would result in chaos, bloodshed and (depending on your interpretation of this First Formulation) the extinction of the human race.

The Second Formulation of the Imperative

"Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end but always at the same time as an end." Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of Metaphysic of Morals[6]

The taking of innocent life violates this Formulation because it disregards and devalues the free will of the victim and sees them as an end in themselves.

The Third Formulation of the Imperative

"Therefore, every rational being must so act as if he were through his maxim always a legislating member in the universal kingdom of ends." Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of Metaphysic of Morals[7]

To explain this Formulation, I quote from an article on deontological ethics by the Seven Pillars Institute for Global Finance and Ethics:

Using reasoned judgment we can apply this formula to any maxim and discover whether it is morally permissible under deontological ethics. Let's take, for example, the act of picking flowers from the local park. The flowers are very pretty, and one may want to take some home. Essentially, this requires adopting a maxim that supports doing whatever one wants to do. Using the formula of the universal law (categorical imperative), there are a few irrationalities and contradictions that arise from the adoption of such a maxim as law. If everyone were to do this, there would be no flowers left in the park, and the act contradicts the original motive for picking the flowers. The better option is to go to a shop and order or plant one's own flowers.[8]

The taking of innocent life unarguably carries moral implication on far grander and more devastating scale than the picking of flowers.

Contention #3 - This moral obligation is of the highest order
As can be evidenced by the Formulations of the Imperative, ignoring this moral obligation results in greater devastation than the violation of any other moral obligation can (including such hypothetical consequences as the extinction of the human race).

Clearly, then, it supersedes any other demands upon our free will.

6. Ibid.
7. Ibid.
8. Ibid.
Debate Round No. 2


vaporizeislands forfeited this round.


"2. A forfeit or concession is not allowed."

As stated in my opponent's rules, I have now automatically won the debate.
Debate Round No. 3


vaporizeislands forfeited this round.


"2. A forfeit or concession is not allowed."

Again, this means an automatic win.
Debate Round No. 4


vaporizeislands forfeited this round.


Not only did my opponent plagiarize, but she broke her own rule against forfeiture.

Please vote Con without hesitation.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by OtakuJordan 5 years ago
After the debate, would you please write a comment and tell me how I misused it? I've only been studying Kant for a couple of weeks now so I'm sure I've got a lot to learn.

That being said, even if Pro dismantles my Kantian framework, the conclusion I reached with said framework can be supported by any deontological system of ethics, and is accepted the majority of humanity. I doubt that Pro will refute my conclusion even if she refutes my method.
Posted by ModerateLiberalism 5 years ago
There is no doubt that Con is both the superior debater and one of greater integrity, developing his own arguments for the most part. However, a flaw exists in his Kantian framework which Pro, if cognizant of Kantian ethics, could possibly exploit.
Posted by JacobAnderson 5 years ago
Minus the fact that no sources were sited, Pro, as pointed out by Con, literally copied verbatim another person's arguments. (A punishable crime, I might add.) I would say that although I am on Pro's side, I discredit their arguments because of this.
Posted by ModerateLiberalism 5 years ago
I only hope that Pro catches this gross misapplication of the categorical imperative.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Spamkybones 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con pro forfeited
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Shocking, even plagiarism of the personal accounts. Thanks for pointing this out Con, you deserve full points. Pro not cool.
Vote Placed by Matt_L 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had better conduct only because of Pro's forfeit. Con also wins with regard to convincing arguments beacause Pro merely restated someone else's argument.