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


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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/31/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 821 times Debate No: 43160
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




You may start the debate.


Sorry for the delayed response. I have been busy with multiple other debates.

Thanks to con for a nice yet common controversial topic. I will be taking the pro side on abortion. Since you did not define exactly what type of abortion this debate was on, I will.

The con side is going for a full banning of abortion. The pro side, or me, is going either for full abortion or abortion to be kept legal under some circumstances.

I will be arguing that under certain scenarios, and in 1st and 2nd trimester, abortion is O.K.

--Argument 1: Scenarios--

For my first argument for abortion, I turn to scenarios. Scenarios usually play a big part in the legalization/illegalization of abortion debates. I have found that they're also somewhat hard to refute against either way (pro or con.)

--(I)-- The first scenario I would like to point out is the scenario in when both the mother and the child will die.

1a --Without Abortion--

Say the mother is carrying a baby that would kill her. If the mother dies, the baby dies. The only way to save her life is through abortion. However, if it was illegal, the mother could not get legal access to an abortion, and would therefore die. The baby could not live without its mother to provide necessities for life in the pre-life stage.

1b --With Abortion--
However, if abortion was legal, she could get the baby aborted, thus saving her life. Yes, the fetus would be "killed" (not my view, but pro-lifer's view) even though he/she never had a chance at life in the first place. Through abortion, the mother's life would be saved and only one thing would be "killed." Without abortion, two things would be "killed."

1c --Conclusion--
The pro-lifers (in this scenario) would rather take two lives instead of just one (which isn't really a life, I'll explain later). Why, in any abortion case, would you rather take two lives instead of just one?

--(II)-- The second scenario I would like to talk about is when the mother had a forced pregnancy, such as by rape.

2a --Without Abortion--
Say a woman in a poor household who can barely support herself was raped against her own will. She is now pregnant and can not support herself, let alone the baby. Without abortion, she must be forced to have a child she didn't and and can't provide a good life for. The child would cripple her both financially (more than she is already) and physically by trying to care for the both of them. Why should a woman have to do that when she never intended to have a baby?

2b --With Abortion--
With abortion, the woman now has a choice to not keep the baby due to her own personal problems and due to the fact that she could not support it. Her life would still be somewhat crippled; but not nearly as much as if she had the baby. She would still be physical, also.

2c --Conclusion--
In conclusion, the scenario with abortion helps the woman's life, whereas the one without abortion severely cripples the woman's life. Plus, a baby without proper care (food, water) would not even be able to survive. So maybe the baby actually wouldn't survive after birth, making abortion the better option (either way). Abortion would be an act of self defense for this woman, which is covered by the Supreme Court (1).

--Argument 2: Is a fetus really alive?--

This is really what most abortion debates actually boil down to. Is a fetus alive, and is it considered murder? I think it fails to meet all requirements to be considered "alive."

--(III)-- The first part of this, is the fetus alive, will be explained in this section, and how it fails to meet all requirements to be classified as "alive".

--Not alive--

Finally, we are at the question. Is the fetus alive? To see, we have to check if it follows Mary Ann Warren's "alive" definition, split up into five different sections (2).

1. Consciousness
2. Reasoning
3. Self-Motivated activity
4. Capacity to communicate
5. Self-Awareness

--3a: Consciousness--
The fetus, while in the womb, lacks consciousness. Consciousness is not seen until very, very late in the third trimester (where I think abortion is not O.K) and/or at birth (3). Therefore, the fetus lacks an element of life that is essential to being alive. Furthermore, the baby becomes fully alive in the conscious state at BIRTH when the baby looks around and cries, which means the baby is achieving the basic step of consciousness.

--3b: Reasoning--
I'll say it: there is no chance an unborn fetus can reason. No studies show that they can. Plus, one can't reason with vital parts of the brain missing. The first time a baby starts truly reasoning is at about 6-12 months, as shown by this study (4).
So no, a fetus can't reason. That means it lacks another important part of being alive.

--3c: Self-motivated activity--
A fetus, in the first and second trimester, fails to have complete self-motivated activity. Without the mother, the fetus could not survive in the first or second trimester. Since the fetus relies on the mother, no actions (such as kicking) are truly the result of a fully formed fetus performing an act of self-motivated activity.

--3d: Capacity to purposefully communicate--
By purposefully communicate, it means by talking or using significant proven body language to communicate with another being. For example, humans talk, birds tweet, gorillas can use sign language, etc. The fetus, in its developing stage, can not communicate. The only study that I could find on this showed that it was plausible that a fetus could communicate late in the third trimester (5). However, the study also suggests that the fetus is simply "practicing for life" and developing more so parts of the brain.

--3e: Self-Awareness--
On to the last section of "is a fetus alive?". So, the last question. Does the fetus have self-awareness? Studies show that self-awareness tend to happen from 15-24 months after birth (6). However, in the womb, the fetus lacks self-awareness. The baby even lacks self-awareness up to five months after birth (7).
Therefore, the fetus is not alive, as it fails to follow the five guidelines of simple life.

As you can see, all of these properties of life either happen at birth or late in the third trimester of pregnancy.

In the next round, I plan to cite why abortion is not murder. For now, I pass this debate onto the con side.

Thank you for reading.


Debate Round No. 1


I'm going to be honest here, I am new to, so I don't know exactly how these debates are structured. I am going to go ahead and assume I respond to the argument you just posted. So, for this round, I will respond to your first argument, "Scenarios", while I listen to this amazing album by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. I will respond to each scenario individually.

First, scenario I:
"...the scenario in when both the mother and the child will die."

I personally, agree with your argument on this particular scenario. Why both the mother AND the child?

Scenario II:
"...a woman in a poor household who can barely support herself was raped against her own will."

This, as I'm sure you are well aware, is quite a controversial issue. I do NOT agree with your side of the argument, but I do see where you come from.
Who are we to decide whether someone dies or lives? No, you may not be able to support yourself, let alone a child, but that doesn't give you a reason to kill. A life is precious, we can not simply take it because we think we need to, or have the authority to, just because we can.

That concludes my response to your first argument. I apologize for any errors on my part, regarding the structural norm of debates on


Not your fault if you are new. Check out my first few debates; they were not good at all :P. Feel free to contact me or anyone lse for tips on the structure of debates or tips in general. For now, on to the refuting part of my debate. This will be rather short, as I do not have much to refute.

--------Counter Rebuttal I--------

For this argument, con agrees with me. I can't refute this becse he agrees with me, but I can show how it makes is resolution impossible. Con's resolution was a full banning of abortion, meaning he can not agree under any circumstance. However, he just did, meaning he fails to show his need for a full banning of abortion, or his resolution. Without a proper resolution met by con, it is impossible for him to win the arguments section, unless I forfeit, which I have no intent to do. Until then, extend this argument as a dropped point.

--------Counter Rebuttal II--------

For the following argument, con presents a rebuttal to my argument. I have two possible rebuttals to this.

(a) Kiling someone is justified if it is in self defense or to protect others. In a way, abortion is like this. The woman who was raped and can not afford a baby without it crippling her life. So aborting it would be self defense of her life, correct? So even if it is murder, like you state, it is justified if you go deeper into the circumstance.

(b) My second rebuttal is that a fetus is not human, thus making it not a murder. In the first round, I stated how a fetus was not human or alive (which you failed to refute), thus making it impossible to murder a fetus. How can you murder something that is not living yet? You are not taking away an actual life when you abort in the first or second trimester.

That concludes the second round. I look forward to the third. Thank you for reading.
Debate Round No. 2


SomeCallMeNomad forfeited this round.


Unfortunately, this debate has gone to waste due to the end forfeit.

I still thank you, and con, for your time. Vote pro.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by SomeCallMeNomad 6 years ago
Augh, sorry guys, I wasn't able to post my third argument due to exams being this week and I got distracted. D:
Posted by theta_pinch 6 years ago
the criteria you provide for determining if something is human is flawed. According to the dictionary and all other sources a human is defined as a member of the species Homo Sapiens; by the criteria you provided people can be human and then suddenly not by going into a persistant vegetative state.
Posted by dtaylor971 6 years ago
Thank you for your comment. I realize that I have provided an error. I meant to say "human," not "alive."
Posted by theta_pinch 6 years ago
by your criteria of alive; the only living things are humans. Those criteria sound more like criteria for being considered sapient rather than being considered alive.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Kreakin 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro provided resouces, default win. Pro provided rebuttals to limited points made by Con. Pro provided opening arguments to debate and then did not recieve similar in depth reply. Con's use of grammar and punctuation was weeker than Pro's Ff seals the win.

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