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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/4/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 787 times Debate No: 71084
Debate Rounds (3)
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When a women has an abortion, she is removing only a clump of cells from her body ( I am opposed abortion after 6 months ). Should the government force her to birth what is technically a parasite in her body? Arguing that a fetus is a human and should receive basic human rights is a viable reason for not aborting, yet if you do believe that a fetus is a human, and thus with human rights, a fetus does not have the right to live inside another organism (just as any other human), nor does the fetus have the right to use another human's organs without his/her permission, just as someone can refuse to donate their organs, even if it puts another's life at stake. Taking away a woman's control to her body is taking away her rights, her life, so I am pro-life, pro the life of the pregnant individual.

Abortion is the 6th leading cause, causing over 200,000 deaths in 2013 and around 10 million become injured, infected or sick ( If you are truly pro-life, then you would agree that it is more important to save a woman who has lived and can think for herself, than a potentially harmful parasite residing inside of her. A woman should be able to eliminate her risk of death as she needs.

Some say that abortion has too many dangerous side effects, though you can see in my previous paragraph that pregnancy also does, a woman dying from pregnancy is 14 times more likely than dying from an abortion ( Making abortions illegal won't necessarily cause them to stop, only make them more dangerous, as those who do not want children will engage in unprofessional means of aborting their fetus.

Any religious reasoning for being anti-abortions should not be forced upon our government, much less other's lives.

For people who are only okay with abortions when a woman is raped, I ask you to question your logic, for if you believe that abortion is murder, then why is a baby conceived from rape any less than one who is the product of a stable marriage?

A common solution that is proposed for minors and others not (financially or maturely) ready for a baby is adoption, yet putting a baby up for adoption costs a lot more money than an abortion, usually around 3,500$-7,000$. Forcing a minor through pregnancy not only hurts the child (their likeliness of teen pregnancy rises) but also hurts the mother, as only 1/3 of teen mothers graduate high school, and 80% of them end up on welfare (


Thanks for opening this important debate. I hope to have a respectful discussion.

No debate format was specified, so I will issue a brief opening argument with some initial rebuttals.

== Argument ==

No one would deny that abortion kills a living thing. The key question is whether that living thing is human. Let's examine the facts:

Pro says an abortion is merely "removing a clump of cells." Technically, that is correct. But, at the most basic levels, we are all just a clump of cells. We can equally say that killing an adult is merely stopping a large group of cells from functioning. The fact that a fetus is a clump of cells does not change the fact that it's potentially a human being. At the first second of conception, the zygote has unique and completely human DNA. Humans have 46 chromosomes with DNA specific to the Homo Sapiens species. All 46 chromosomes, as well as the human specific DNA that comes with them, are present the moment fertilization occurs. According to the book Human Embryology & Teratology, "fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed.... The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. [1]".

Even if an abortion happens just after pregnancy can first be confirmed (4-5 weeks), the embryo has already begun developing its own unique brain, spinal cord, fingerprints, and heart. By week 6, the arms, legs, eyes, and bones develop. The heart also begins beating [2]. The brain and spine of a fetus do not belong to some separate sub-human species. They are genetically and fully Homo Sapien. There is not a single scientific argument to justify why a fetus is not a member of the human species.

Logically, in order to call an embryo "non-human," then there must be some point at which it can be called human. My opponent seems to suggest this point is after 6 months. Why 6 months? Is a baby really not human before this point? How about 3 hours before? 3 days? 3 weeks? I'm interested to hear why my opponent draws the line of human life at 6 months.

Finally, American law already recognizes an unborn "clump of cells" as a human with individual rights at every point in pregnancy. In 2004, the federal government passed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which makes it illegal to harm (either intentionally or unintentionally) an unborn child. The law defines "unborn child" as follows: "the term 'unborn child' means a child in utero, and the term 'child in utero' or 'child, who is in utero' means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb." [3] Incredibly, this means that if a pregnant woman on her way to the abortion clinic gets hit by a truck, survives, but loses the baby, then the truck driver can be charged with manslaughter. However, if she safely arrives at the clinic then it's perfectly legal to kill the baby. This contradiction borders on the insane. It essentially says a fetus has human rights in every instance except when the mother chooses to take them away.

Assuming my opponent agrees that intentionally ending human life is wrong in most cases, then it must follow that abortion should be wrong in most cases as well. In order to refute this, Pro must show why an unborn child is not human.

== Rebuttal ==

Pro makes four central arguments:

1. "Making abortions illegal won't necessarily cause them to stop."

2. A fetus is a parasite and has no right to use the mother's organs without permission.

3. Abortion is less dangerous than pregnancy, and less women will die if abortions are safe and legal.

4. Abortion is less expensive than adoption, so abortion is a better option.

Let's look at the first argument. The obvious question to this is: does making ANY behavior illegal stop people from doing it? Murder, theft, rape, and fraud are all illegal, yet these activities still occur all the time. So according to Pro's logic, we should also legalize and regulate murder, theft, rape, and fraud, right? Unfortunately, people's unwillingness to refrain from certain behaviors doesn't justify making them legal.

Pro's second argument would make sense if an unborn child was an unwelcome parasite.... but it isn't. Let me first address the "unwelcome" part. In all cases except rape, the cause of an unborn child is consensual sex. By consenting to sex, a person by definition welcomes the risks that come with that choice. So, just like a smoker willingly assumes the increased risk of cancer, the pregnant woman cannot reasonably be upset by the increased chance of pregnancy that consensual sex brings. Next, let's consider the idea of "parasite." Pro suggests a parasite is something that uses another person's organs or body. If this is a correct definition, then the child is still a parasite AFTER it is born as well. An infant still requires a parent's brain, body, muscles, and time - often against the wishes of many exhausted parents. Is a two year old therefore being parasitic by demanding her parents' time and energy? Does she deserve to die if that demand becomes too much for her parents to bear? What about handicapped people who require a great deal of assistance from others - are they parasites? Hardly....

Pro's third argument seems reasonable enough - if faced with something that makes you 14 times more likely to die, we all would want the lesser of two evils, right? Unfortunately, Pro overlooks one crucial statistic here: the number of children abortion kills each year. Since 1979, the number of annual legal abortions in the U.S. alone has been around 1 million [4]. That means, somewhere in the ball park of 36,000,000 children have been killed since Roe v. Wade (and that's a very low estimate). Assuming a gender birth ratio of around 50/50, that means 18,000,000 unborn female children have been killed. Abortion doesn't save women - it kills them by the millions! So it seems it's not a choice between two evils, but three. I'm not even sure why Pro includes childbirth mortality rates, because it's an irrelevant issue - are they suggesting that everyone should get abortions because it's too risky to have children? That certainly wouldn't bode well for the survival of the human species....

Finally, Pro says abortion is less expensive than adoption, so it just makes more fiscal sense. Really? If that's the case then let's kill everyone as soon as they retire - the average person over 60 costs the government $17,161 per year in Social Security benefits [5]. That certainly costs a lot more than abortion OR adoption, so according to my opponent's logic we should start with the elderly.

That's all I have for now. Sincerely looking forward to the next round.

[1] O'Rahilly, Ronan and Muller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. (New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996), 8-29




Debate Round No. 1


My opponent questions my reasoning for illegalizing abortion after six months, and it is solely for the sake of the health of the individual undergoing the abortion.

Abortion is not murder, death of a fetus is a side effect, the main goal is to free the mother of the parasite, and if a fetus happens to die, well it must be from natural causes.

My opponent also suggests a scenario in which the mother loses the baby in an accident: an accident in which the mother does not yet wish to be separated from the potentially life threatening BIOLOGICAL parasite. If my opponent is so concerned with the health of the fetus, then I can only suggest that abortions be made more safe to that fetus, with modern science, it is completely probable that a fetus could be safely removed, yet die of natural causes, that should satisfy my opponent as it would not be murder that the doctors are committing.

It seems that my opponent has failed in interpreting any aspects of my opening statement, I don't argue that laws are pointless as my opponent clearly believes (if you take a look at his first rebuttal), however it is the case that outlawing abortions causes them to become more dangerous, as woman have to take risky measures such as "coat hanger" abortions. This in turn nullifies his interpretation of my "logic" when s/he claims that I believe that we should legalize murder, theft, rape, and fraud. Legalizing murder, rape, theft, and fraud does not lessen the destruction that these crimes do, however legalizing abortion does.

His/her second rebuttel also shows his misunderstanding of my opening, I claim that a fetus is a BIOLOGICAL parasite. Not that it is a moral parasite or unwanted parasite. I have claimed that it is potentially harmful. The biological definition of a parasite is an organism that feeds off another and provides nothing in return. An infant can easily be taken care of by a nanny or other caretaker, also an infant also does not physically drain another organism for nutrients, like a fetus does. My opponent compares sex to smoking cigarettes, sexual intercourse has been going on since well before recorded history, suggesting people just stop it and only engage when they want a child is hilarious.

My opponents third rebuttal states that I include childbirth mortality rates to suggest that everyone undergoes abortions, I include that statistic to show that there are risks of pregnancy, just as there are risks of getting in an airplane or undergoing surgery, plenty of people choose to either do these things or not do them due to their risks. Why should a pregnant woman be denied her right to alleviate risks?

My opponent's final response is most likely the most comical of the four he chose to address. He claims that my logic entails the murder of the elderly, yet I ask you, if you are a lesser income couple, how much does the average person over fifty cost you personally? Why my opponent includes cost to the government boggles me. I clearly stated that adoption is more pricey to the individual putting a child up for adoption, the government's expense is completely irrelevant.


Thanks to Pro for their response. I'll jump right into rebuttals.

My opponent did not attempt to refute my claim that a fetus is a human life. Therefore, I must assume they accept this fact, which makes the defense of their position quite problematic. Pro must now demonstrate why a human life in the womb does not possess human rights.

Pro says that abortion is merely a "side effect" and that an aborted baby simply "happens to die" from natural causes. It's hard not to construct a straw man here, because this claim really is absurd. The language my opponent uses suggests that abortions are painless accidents: a medical procedure is done, a baby happens to fall out as a "side effect," and "if the fetus happens to die" then, oh well, at least it was from natural causes. Pro actually says "if the fetus happens to die," as if there are other alternatives".but there aren't. Every abortion results in the destruction of a living organism, there is no "if" involved. I am not satisfied if a fetus dies safely from natural causes - I don't want unborn children to die at all!

Next, Pro dodges my Unborn Victims of Violence Act example by saying the mother did not yet wish to [destroy] the fetus. Yet they seem to miss the part where our notional accident victim was driving on her way to the abortion clinic - she absolutely did wish to destroy the fetus! So, according to the law, one hour before the abortion the fetus has human rights, the violation of which can be legally considered homicide or manslaughter. But inexplicably, the second the mother walks through the clinic door, that very same fetus somehow no longer has human rights. My point here was to further reinforce the fact that a fetus is recognized by law as a human life, which, once again, Pro did not dispute.

Laws - I was not suggesting that Pro thinks laws are pointless. I was merely showing that Pro's logic is flawed when applied to other human activities. It's Special Pleading to admit that neither abortion nor fraud will stop if made illegal, yet asking only fraud to remain illegal. The idea that legal abortions are safer is irrelevant - we're still talking about the destruction of a human life with legal rights. Using this argument is like saying legal thefts would be more efficient, better planned, and less violent. But that misses the point - it's still stealing!

Biological Parasite - It's true that Pro never used the term "unwanted parasite." But they did say that the "parasite" fetus uses "another human's organs without his/her permission." (See Round 1). I interpreted using organs without permission as an unwanted action, thus "unwanted parasite." Anyway, Pro defines a parasite as something that feeds off its host without giving anything in return. If that's the case, then a fetus is not a parasite. Scientific studies have proven that a fetus absolutely gives many health benefits back to the mother's body. For example, fetal stem cells have been found passing through the placenta into mothers' bodies and attaching to diseased organs like livers and thyroids, subsequently repairing those organs [1]. No one would deny this is a beneficial gift to a mother's body from the fetus. So, according to Pro's own definition, an unborn child cannot be a parasite.

There's nothing hilarious about the sex/smoking comparison. I'm not suggesting that people only have sex when they deliberately want a child. I'm simply pointing out that having consensual sex is a choice that involves various risks and consequences. Like smoking, choosing to engage in sex means choosing to accept those risks and consequences. The most obvious of those risks is the possibility of pregnancy. Abortion is not "alleviating risk." It is choosing to destroy a growing human after accepting the risk of creating it by having sex.

To my point about the elderly and social security, Pro responds that it's merely a government expense rather than an individual one. Well, where does the government get its money from? Individual tax payers. We all pay for each retired person's social security benefits. I thought that implication was fairly obvious, but I apologize if it wasn't. Even so, returning again to the fact that my opponent has not denied that a fetus is a human life, are they therefore suggesting that human life is not worth $3,500-$7,000?

My argument is very simple:

P1: If abortion ends a human life, then it's wrong in most cases.
P2: Abortion kills a fetus.
P3: A fetus is a human life.
C1: Abortion ends a human life, it is wrong in most cases.

To refute this, Pro must prove that a fetus is either not human or that it does not possess the human right to life. Looking forward to the next round.

Debate Round No. 2


werdna1999 forfeited this round.


Thats unfortunate. Thanks to Pro for an interesting two rounds.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Chuz-Life 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: I don't generally vote on forfeited debates but on this one, both pro and con made an exceptionally good effort to argue their cases. Pro- lost the conduct point (points?) for the disappointing forfeit. Arguments go to Con not only because they were largely un-answered by Pro with the forfeit but also by dodging the significance of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act which speaks to the personhood of children in the womb. Sources go to Con for that reason as well.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff a round, so conduct to Con. Con's last arguments went unchallenged, so I can only presume they are true, so arguments to Con. Both had reliable sources, but Con had more, so Con had more reliable sources.