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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/20/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,314 times Debate No: 77920
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (11)
Votes (1)




Abortion is the killing of an innocent human being, the right to life is an inalienable right given to every innocent human being, therefore, abortion, as the direct result of the killing of an innocent human child, violates the inalienable right to life. Thus, abortion is wrong.

I would like to argue against abortion. There is no layout other than that my opponent should first provide a retort to the paragraph stated above in round one. This is just a free discussion in a relaxed manner. Also, I would like to mention there is one case where abortion is permissible, and that is under the circumstance that the mother and/or child will die. I could argue why it is permissible in the debate, if my opponent so chooses me to do so. Thank you, and remember, let us remain respectful and courteous.


Hello, I accept your challenge. I'm excited to see how this pans out, as this is one of my first debates on here.

I would like to retort my opponent's first argument by first saying that abortion, which is the termination of an unborn fetus, is not the same as "killing an innocent human child", as you claim, because first of all the fetus is not even a child yet. Comparing a soon-to-be child who likely isn't even developed enough to be sentient to an actual already born child isn't the same at all. If you claim that the terminating the fetus is murder because you prevent a child from being born, then by that logic you're also a murderer if you use birth control pills, condoms, if you masturbate, perform any kind of sex except vaginal, or even if you have a wet dream because you will have prevented a child from becoming a fetus which could then become a child. If we punish people for trying to prevent childbirth, what do you think will happen next? What will happen is you'll see a massive rise in birth control and alternative sex acts, as I mentioned above. When this happens, how long will it take before we start declaring birth control or alternative sex acts to be murder as well?

As for my first argument, I would like to talk about the woman's right to life as compared to the fetus's right to life. Why is it that the woman's right to life is now no longer her choice if she becomes pregnant? A part of the right to life comes the ability to chose how we live it. If a woman decides she does not want to have a child, why is it suddenly not her decision to make? Is the fetus not in her body? When women are told they must give birth or they will be punished severely, to them it sounds like they are just objects to be used for breeding. Many argue that if the woman didn't want a child she shouldn't have had sex and gotten pregnant, and so her decision to terminate the fetus should be overruled, but there are many reasons why being pregnant does not mean the woman decided to have sex and get pregnant. Condoms break, rapes happen, alcohol affects judgement. And even if those aren't factors, there's still always the chance the woman could die during childbirth. Like you mentioned, you believe abortion is okay if the mother and/or child would die, but the fact is even if things seem fine there is always the chance of death during childbirth. In 2013, there was reportedly around 800 women who died during childbirth in the US. And that's just from childbirth alone, the same study also "estimated that 293,000 women died of pregnancy-related causes". Why should a woman who never wanted a child be forced to possibly die to give birth to a child she didn't even want?
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for your interest in this topic and hopefully we can make one of first debates on this site and interesting and enlightening one. I will respond chronologically to the issues brought up in your response:

But first, let me ask you a few questions. In my previous abortion debates, my opponents have thrown words like sentient at me without actually telling me what they would define that as or why sentience is necessary in being a human being. What about sentience makes us human being and why and what is it?

Also, if you believe the fetus is not a human being yet, then when? At what moment does the fetus transform into a human being....or does it at all?

I will reply to these issues in the way I know to be correct.

Sentience in the definition I have found is defined as "sentient condition or character; capacity for sensation or feeling." A fetus can do these things. A fetus responds to stimuli, thus displays a "capacity for sensation feeling" as it can feel sensation of pricks and things of the sort due to developing nerve endings. But a newborn also responds to stimuli in the same way. Thus i do not believe this definition of sentience satisfies anything. Rather, if sentience were defined in another way, perhaps one that you could illustrate, then I can actually argue how sentience might be relevant in this issue.

But the fetus is a stage in human life itself just as other stages include baby, teen, adult etc. These terms represent a time frame in a human beings life. Using a premise such as the fetus is not a human being because it is not as developed, which is one you have used, it can also be said that a baby is less of a human being than I since the baby is less developed than I. The argument you are trying to use is often referred to as "Stages of Development." The weakness here is that the premise to your argument is wrong making your conclusion also inconclusive. It cannot be confirmed or denied on that premise.

And furthermore, let us assume you are correct in saying that a fetus is not a human being, but once outside of the womb it is? How does that make any sense? Do people magically transform within seconds from one state of existence to another to the next? If you believe the fetus is not a human being, then unless you can provide conclusive evidence and research of the exact microsecond it (the fetus) evolves into a human being, then it is a false idea. I will now provide lists of evidence on why the fetus IS a human being.

1. Science:
A fetus has unique human DNA that has never existed before. Genetics have revealed that the DNA code you had as a fetus is the same you had as a child, as a teen, as an adult. That DNA code never existed before. That DNA code is you. Since the DNA code is you, then you were that which the DNA code combined to make, a fetus. Therefore, you were a fetus, with unique human DNA, thus making you biologically a human being from conception. The same idea applies for all fetus formed from the human egg and sperm cell.

A fetus is alive because it cellular divides from conception (aka reproduces) uses energy, excretes waste, etc. Therefore, science proves the fetus is a live. Let us combine this together.

Since the fetus has unique human DNA unlike that of any other being, and also is alive, therefore the fetus is a living human being in his or her earliest stages of development. No being in conceived in its full potential, rather, every being has a base from which it grows towards biological complexity. This is the case with the human fetus. For these reasons backed by hard science, the fetus is a unique human being.

2. Reason:
If the fetus is not a human being than what is it? A peanut? an acorn? If it were merely just a clump of cells, then those cells are free to become a squirrel or a bear. But they aren't just a clump of cells. Those cells contain the entirety of a human being's existence within the genetic code embedded inside the cells. This would make the fetus a human being, as the science of genetics has shown.

Also this then negates your arguments about masturbation and things of that sort killing a child. A sperm cell has the exact same genetic identify as the being which created it. There is nothing entirely unique about a sperm cell or egg cell. They are the scientific equivalent of a skin cell at that point which peels off of your body all the time. That isnt skin genocide. However, and you cannot refute the scientific evidence that when two sex cells meet and fertilize, a whole new genetic coding is written on that cell which at this point is now a human being in his or her earliest moment. Therefore, since the fertilized egg is now a new being with new human DNA, and is alive, there is no comparative to killing a sperm cell which is just a cell and nothing more to killing a now growing fetus which is a human being on pure scientific and logical grounds.

And the questions you brought up are entirely irrelevant to the act of abortion itself. However, can you prove that statement in any way? I would assume not even though it might be an educated guess and is a possibility. However, using the logic i provided above, I know for a fact masturbation does not kill a human being, rather a cell, and therefore will never be able to be murder. However, I am opposed to birth control s well when used to prevent pregnancy during sexual intercourse. But that is another issue that doesn't deal directly with abortion.

Next I would like to focus on this statement you made "Right to life is the ability to chose how to live it." I agree but there are restrictions. If my goal in life is to chose to be a criminal and rob stores, I can, but there should consequences right? If I chose to run someone over with my car for sport, Im just living my life how I want to live so whats wrong with that? Im infringing upon the rights of others. "The right to swing my fist ends where another man's nose beings"- Oliver Wendell Holmes No one can deny that statement is true. However, when it comes to abortion, all of a sudden people put the rights of the mother overt the rights of the human being inside her. Do her rights extend to eliminate the right to life of an innocent child? No one has ever been granted the justifiable right to kill an innocent human being under any circumstance.

Yes the fetus is inside her body, but is the fetus in any way guilty? Lets look at this from a legal perspective.
1. The fetus did not make a conscious decision to be inside the woman.
2. The fetus has not yet reached the age of culpability
3. The fetus actually has not acted at all, rather was placed inside the woman by the joining of two different people.
4. I conclude for these reasons, the fetus is not guilt of a crime, is innocent, and therefore cannot be punished.

In accordance to your rape and condoms breaking argument, should anyone be condemned for the actions of another person? That is a general question but ultimately applicable here. The fetus is not responsible for the actions of the man and because of this, cannot be held accountable under any act of punishment. That is legal study 101.

Finally you claim 800 woman died during childbirth. That is always the chance taken even by a mother who strongly desires to birth her child (human being) inside her. But think about this statistic: let us just assume you accept that the fetus is a human being as I have. Then every successful abortion kills at least one innocent human child without repercussion or empathy for the baby. Abortion, if I am right, is literally the systematic killing of children. So it somehow makes sense that the only and best way to save these 800 lives is to end the lives of "In 2011, approximately 1.06 million abortions took place in the U.S., down from an estimated 1.21 million abortions in 2008, 1.29 million in 2002, 1.31 million in 2000 and 1.36 million in 1996. From 1973 through 2011, nearly 53 million legal abortions occurred in the U.S. (AGI)." I personally don't think the best way to save lives is to kill 53 million more.

So in all of my previous abortion debates, I have never been provided with a conclusive list of WHY a fetus is NOT a human being and also then at what moment and WHY at that moment the fetus morphs into an entirely new existence, that of a human being. That is my challenge to you.


My opponent claims that the termination of a fetus that may or may not be born is the same as murdering an innocent child because it is "human". I would like to first point out that my statement that the two actions are not the same was meant as a statement that the actual actions and situations for each are different and wasn't touching upon the question of whether or not the fetus is "human". To clarify my meaning when I say the abortion and murdering a child is not the same,

My opponent also stated that in cases of rape or a condom breaking that it isn't the fetus's fault and as such shouldn't be "punished" for it. However, the choice to abort a child under these situations isn't about the fetus being punished for being created, it's about the woman making a choice for her own body and future. The fetus is a part of her body until after the baby is born, if she keeps child then that child drastically changes her future for at least the next 18 years. A pregnancy caused by rape can be especially traumatizing for the mother but it can also result in major psychological damage towards the child upon being told the truth. In some cases, a mother might grow to despise the child because they become a constant reminder of the rape they experience. Is it the child's fault? Of course not. But it's not the mother's fault she got pregnant. Why should she be punished for being raped?

Let's not forget about those in dire financial situations. What are you going to do if a woman becomes pregnant but is not financially stable at all and can barely support herself, let alone a child. Many against abortion would say the woman should put the child up for adoption. Who is going to pay for all the medical bills? The proper medical care necessary to ensure healthy birth can be estimated to be about $30,000. Are the women just supposed to figure that out themselves because they shouldn't be allowed to get an abortion? And again, what happens if the fetus dies after having to go through expensive medical procedures that she didn't even want to go through in the first place? Are those bills going to be forgiven or reimbursed? Of course not.

My opponent also brought up legal perspective in response to whether or not it should legally be right to terminate a fetus. I would like to bring up why abortion was deemed legal to begin with. In the case of Roe v. Wade in 1973 it was decided that the right to a person's personal privacy allowed abortion to be legal up until the child's birth was viable. Since this case, abortion has been legal. My opponent believes that the termination of an embryo or fetus which may or may not ever even be born, which was deemed legal by this case, is the same as murdering a born child. Abortion is legal while murder is not. Hence, in the eyes of the law currently, abortion is not murder. Whether or not you believe it should be considered murder, the law currently does not. And so upon this premise was the reason I stated that the two actions could not be compared, not because of the the question of whether or not a fetus is "human" or a "person".

The argument of the "right to life" in the case was rejected because of the legal definition of a "person". Which brings me to the point my opponent brought up about why a fetus should not be considered a "person". I'll start from the legal perspective. In the case of Roe v. Wade, it was stated that all the legal instances that define a "person" could only be applied to those already born, and found no way in which they could also be used to apply the definition to an unborn fetus. Since this meant the fetus was not considered a "person", the "right to life" argument was rejected.

My opponent mentioned "reason" as a defence for a fetus being a human. I would argue that reason actually would show us how a fetus isn't a human. Do we call a chicken egg a chicken? No, we don't because it isn't yet. Why then should we call an embryo or fetus a human when it isn't a human yet? Do we call sperm or an egg a child? No, because they aren't even combined yet. It's not just about stages of development. Being a clump of cells that will become a human does not make it human. As an embryo and then a fetus, the reason why it takes around nine months to be born is because it is still in the process of becoming a human. It is not human yet, it is a mixture of previous human cells, yes, but it is not, itself, a human yet. In fact, the brain, heart, and spinal cord aren't even developed until around week five. For five weeks, since the brain isn't developed yet, the embryo literally does not know it even exists. It can't feel anything. Bare in mind also that most abortions in the US are performed within the first thirteen weeks. Meaning that's only around eight weeks for the brain to even start initially growing.

One more thing I wish to point out has to do with my opponent comparing my statement about 800 women dying during childbirth to the total numbers of abortions performed. Shouting "53 million abortions" in comparison to 800 lives is not really accurate when the 800 lives were just from 2013 alone while the 53 million lives were all from 1973 to 2011. Stating the number of abortions performed in individual years I can understand comparing, but the 800 lives lost was only from childbirth and I'll say again that also "293,000 women died of pregnancy-related causes" in 2013.

To try to clear up some number confusion, here's a US pregnancy rate of 2013 summery I pulled from the CDC website: "The estimated number of pregnancies dropped to 6,369,000 (4,131,000 live births, 1,152,000 induced abortions, and 1,087,000 fetal losses)." And according to the information I stated before, 293,800 women in 2013 died of pregnancy-related causes or childbirth.
Debate Round No. 2


sorry for the late reply, I was robbed a few days ago and haven't had any time to really check anything online over the weekend.

But back to it anyway,

It is not the same as killing an innocent human unless human is specified as meaning a human being. A skin cell is human in nature, but not a human being itself. Thus i would contend since the fetus is a human being and a child is a human being, the two are the same.

Is the fetus really the same as the woman body? No. Any scientific article can verify this since the fetus has unique human DNA, has arms, legs, a heart etc. Just because the fetus is inside the woman does not mean the fetus's body is the same as the mothers or vice versa. Two separate bodies because two separate and unique DNAs. And even if the mother will experience trauma from the birth, should she be allowed to kill the child at any point. Your argument in this circumstance is that trauma should be grounds for killing. If the child will cause her trauma, your argument can be used an excuse to kill the child at 1 day old. You need to be more specific with that in regards to abortion itself.

So does finance determine whether someone should live? Even if the mother cant afford the child, should the child be exterminated in order to "solve" a problem. That is like trying to solve an issue of poverty with mass extermination. And to answer the question, I would be ok with a raising of taxes in order to support the lives of young children. Or we could even take the funding planned parenthood has for abortion and put it towards a donation system for saving young babies, even though i understand that wouldn't nearly cover the costs. I also realize that taxes would cost a lot, but is a life worth a monetary amount? No its not. Someone should be killed for how poor they are.

The law can be wrong. At one point, the law considered blacks in America as 3/5 of a person. Was this actually true? No. They were 5/5 a person. And so this now is just a prelude to show that the law can be wrong. Furthermore, the lAw of Double murder holds that if a pregnant mother at any stage is shot and killed along with the fetus inside her, then the shooter can be charged with double murder. This breaks the law of non contradiction because in one circumstance the law holds that a fetus is protected under the "Right to Life" but in another can be killed with motherly consent. How does this make sense? Either the fetus is a human being with the right to life or it is not. I would argue that the law of double murder is the accurate law and the law of abortion is the incorrect law.

"A clump of cells that will become human" Actually your quote is wrong because the "clump of cells" have human DNA thus making them human. So it is human. But is it a human being? Would you be ok with saying that once the fetus is born and cut from the umbilical cord, it magically transforms from a clump of cells that looks like a baby into an actual baby human? How about an hour before birth? IS the the fetus still just a clump of cells that will eventually magically become a human being based on the mere fact is is not outside of the mothers womb? Of course that doesnt make sense. And if we keep subtracting the hours from birth, it will become apparent that either the fetus is a human being from the beginning or never a human being until birth. And because it doesnt make sense to say a fetus is not a human being 1 minute before birth, we are now left with the fact that the fetus must have been a human being from the beginning of its existence. A human being that started as a zygote and continued to grow like every human being to ever exist.

And ok you do make a good point with motherly deaths. This brings up the situation where either the mother dies or the fetus dies. And here is where we have to weigh culpability. Both are innocent. Both have the right life. This is hard for some people to accept, but, fundamentally, both have the EQUAL right to life. Even the Catholic faith holds that saving the mother would be equally as noble but also inherently equally tragic as saving the child. So in fact, yes, this is the only circumstance where abortion is permissible because two equal innocent lives are at risk. Since their is an inalienable right to life, it would be better to save one innocent life than neither life. And furthermore, choosing either to save to mother or fetus does not make the person morally culpable for this reason:

A good deed is always inherently above/better/higher than a bad deed of equal gravity (in this case killing). The good deed of saving the innocent mother is inherently above/better/higher than the bad deed of having to abort/kill the fetus. I am not contradicting anything I have stated because my overall theme, applied to any situation, is supporting the inalienable right to life. This debate happens to be on abortion. Therefore i should also add saving the fetus would be inherently better then the act of letting the mother die.

So those woman who died, actually had the right to receive an abortion.

Im sorry that that was relatively short, but I did just write that in the time I had in about 30 minutes. I look forward to your response.


"Two separate bodies because they have unique DNA."
When you need to remain attached to another body in order to grow so you can live, I don't consider that to be separate at all, even if they have unique DNA.

"If the child will cause her trauma, your argument can be used as an excuse to kill the child at one day old. You need to be more specific with that in regards to abortion itself."
My entire site has made it very clear in regards to abortion that the woman should be allowed to choose whether or not they should have an abortion WITHIN THE ALLOWED AMOUNT OF WEEKS. In many areas, legally that's twenty-four weeks but as I stated before most people get abortions within the first thirteen weeks. So no, my argument can't be used to defend killing a child after birth. My argument was always that women should be allowed to make the choice within the specified time period.

"Does finance determine whether someone should live?"
Well let's see, if I can't pay for my child to have a healthy birth, which greatly risks their chances of being born or being born healthy, then I'd say it's pretty important that I have the money to support a pregnancy. It's not just about what would happen to you financially if you keep it, it's about the financial issues involved with actually being pregnant.

"The law can be wrong."
So should we just ignore all laws because they could be wrong? Can I stop paying my taxes and argue that the law could be wrong and that it might be fixed in the future? No, I can't.

"I would argue that the law of double murder is the accurate law and the law of abortion is the incorrect law."
The law of abortion gives women the CHOICE to abort their child whereas the law of double murder does not give the victim a choice. Did she choose to get shot? Of course not. Did she consent to that form of abortion? Of course not. Can the women chose to have an abortion on her own? Yes, she can. So comparing the two laws is not the same. And the argument that the double murder law means abortion is also wrong does not hold because the law of abortion means that the mother has the LEGAL right of choice to decide whether or not to abort.

Sorry for the short response, I would've written it a lot better and covered more topics brought up but I've been pressed on time and I'm heading out soon so I wouldn't be able to write a full response in time.
Debate Round No. 3


a_janis1 forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited the last round,, so for this round I'll pose no new arguments.
Debate Round No. 4


Science would say that there are two separate organisms because 1. They both have unique DNA separate from each other and 2. Both show signs of life and therefore are living. Thus, scientifically, we are dealing with two separate organisms. That typically isnt even debated in abortion arguments. It is understood there are two different organisms, but the question is whether both are human beings.

"Women should be allowed to choose..." This is where I bang my head against the wall. This statement is used again again. This is the equivalent of saying that the mother has the choice to determine whether the fetus is human being or not. That means a human being is subjective and up to personal opinion. Here is why. Let us take two pregnant women, both at four weeks. One says the fetus is her child and doesnt get an abortion. However, the other girl says the child is merely a fetus and receives an abortion. How can two fetus', identical in age and development, both be a human being and then not a human being. Defies the law of non contradiction so that argument can be thrown out that the mother can choose whether to get an abortion (aka whether the fetus should be considered a human being or not. This argument also then should mean that women should have the choice to get an abortion at any point in her pregnancy because it is "her choice." If she wishes, and women really were "allowed to choose," then the women should be allowed to choose that the baby before full body birth is still just a fetus, and she can even kill the baby while half way out of the birth canal since it is her choice. But that makes no sense so once again the argument that the mother has the right to decide if the fetus is a human being or not should be thrown out.

Now the other argument you might bring up is that, since you gave a time frame, a human being is determined by development. At 24 weeks then the fetus is developed enough to be considered human would probably be an argument you would use. And now here is what is wrong with that: What it means to be human being is contingent upon development. If that statement were true, then I could make the augment, since an adult is more developed towards full human potential then a young child, the the adult is more of a human being then the young child. We would both agree they are both human beings, but then if that argument were true, people can start arguing that someone more developed than you or I are more human than you or I. And that is the issue I have with development determining a human being. Either you are always a human being 100% or never. It is either A or B. Only two options from the moment of conception. And for these reasons it makes sense that the fetus is a human being from conception because using development to isolate human beings is both illogical and unfair.

And once again, does being financially unstable mean you should be killed in the name of mercy? No. There are taxable ways to support these people in order to prevent, or at least hinder the likelihood of abortions.

That is not what I am saying. I am saying just because a law is in place does not make it just. Laws should be allowed to be subject to scrutiny, debate and change at any time just like abortion. And if a law is shown to be wrong, it should be changed. That goes for any law.

Once again you are arguing that it is the womans choice whether the fetus is a human being or not. Lets look at this more closely: Law of Double Murder.

You cannot murder a cat, or dog, or non human. Murder is specifically a crime for the taking of another human being's life. So if a pregnant woman at four weeks pregnant is killed, it is understood two human beings are being murdered because why? Because the mother and fetus are both human beings. But then abortion comes along and contradicts logic and reality in this way: The same woman also four weeks pregnant doesn't get murdered but gets an abortion because why? Because the fetus is not a human being??? It makes no logical sense!!! The fetus' are both the same! Nothing can be both human being and not human being at the same time. No one has the choice to make subjective conclusions about objective reality aka the woman shouldn't be allowed to say the fetus is not a human being because that is her opinion. Opinions aren't enough to make me a cat or dog or human being. Either I am something or I am not something. Hence why I still argue for the Law of Double Murder as making so much more sense then abortion and for multiple reasons os the accurate law.


Take the fetus out of the woman's body and see how long it lasts. It won't, because it physically needs the mother's body to develop. If you were to take the fetus out, for example, before the brain is even developed then it's not even alive. You say the fetus has unique DNA so it's separate, I say they're physically NOT separate and thus are technically one being until the fetus is fully developed and then born, during which the born baby is PHYSICALLY separated from the mother and then becomes separate.

Of course women should be allowed to choose. You want to remove a woman's right to make her own choices over something that has absolutely zero impact on your life whatsoever? Over a child that may or may not even be born with parents who might have financial issues? That is in a stage where one out of eight pregnancies are miscarriages? And that even science believes isn't even conscious yet? Having unique human DNA and even starting to develop a brain does not make you conscious. A brain alone is nothing without the functions it needs to run, and for these to develop it takes time. In fact, science says these functions don't develop until around thirty weeks, which is past the legal time for abortions to occur and WELL beyond the first twelve weeks in which most abortions do happen. You want to remove anyone's rights you need to have a concrete evidence as to why, not speculation. Women have the right to chose whether or not to get an abortion and you can bang your head against the wall all you want about it but it's very clear why they were given this choice and still have this choice.

Women are not choosing whether or not a fetus is human, and suggesting that's what being pro-choice is like is just ludicrous. Women have the right to choose because it is their health. It is their body. It is their fetus. It is not yours or the government's or anyone else's. It's their choice to make, not yours or anyone else's, because it's their body that will have to go through medical procedures and treatment. Whose future will be changed depending on the choice they make. No matter what reason a woman has for getting an abortion, it is still her choice to make legally. You keep mentioning that the fetus has a right to live but again science says it isn't even conscious yet and that's the key to being alive.

When you refer to the "Law of Double Murder" as you call it, you're actually referring to the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act" or "Laci and Conner's Law". This law SPECIFICALLY cannot be used against consensual abortion, as it clearly states.

So no, just because this law does not contradict abortion laws and is not about double murder it's a law about illegally forced abortion. Calling it the "Law of Double Murder" is both wrong and inaccurate because this law can be used even if the woman lives but the fetus dies. If a woman who is pregnant is killed it is not double murder, it is the murder of a mother and the death of a fetus. Notice how the law doesn't refer to the fetus as "murdered", which, as you said yourself, can only be done from one human to another. Which further proves that this law STILL can't be used to claim the fetus is human under the law.

Shouting "we'll tax everyone to prevent abortions" will NEVER work. NEVER. Let's get that straight. You can't just shrug off a medical expense that would need to be paid for millions and millions of people every year by just creating a few taxes and call it a day. It would NEVER work. Ever. Millions of pregnancies a year, about $30,000 per pregnancy for medical procedures behind it, you do the math and tell me if you have the money for all that. Tell me more about how easy this would be to tax. I'm dying to hear this. And then, after that, tell me about how many other taxes you'll just throw in there to help pay for foster care because of the sudden boom of children that were born by parents who did not want them or could not take care of them. These are not things you can just shout "more taxes" and walk away. It's never that simple and definitely shouldn't only warrant two sentences to address the issue. Financial issues and concerns are one of the main reasons why a vast majority of abortions happen, you cannot just shrug it off.

If you don't like a law and want it changed, that's too bad for you because you still have to abide by these laws until the legal process to change these laws happens. Whether or not you like them or feel they're unjust, you cannot just ignore them. And no, laws should not be allowed to change so quickly as you believe because the entire point of laws is once they're set they must be followed and cannot be changed without FULLY discussing why, which takes time.

This ends the debate and I thank you very much for it. It was really interesting experience for one of my first debates on this website.
Debate Round No. 5
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by a_janis1 3 years ago
Here is why the singular cell that is the human being has a right to life. The right to life is applied to all human beings as granted by the Constitution. There are no restrictions placed upon this where consciousness affects the right to life. Now this is the generalization not yet applied to abortion.

The sperm/egg cell in itself cannot grow beyond its current state of a singular cell. The sperm/egg has reached its maximum potential alone. But the merging of the sperm and egg now create a being whose potential has just started. But just because we do not see this lifeform in a fully grown state, does that make it less of a human being than you or I? I would argue no. A human being is a human being at every single state in his or her life, thus making an adult, child, baby, emerging fetus, 8 month old fetus, 1 month old fetus, hour old zygote a human being. Thus every human being has these inalienable rights such as the right to life. So a zygote has the right to life.

If I have to be in a state of consciousness in order to be a human being, if I cannot maintain that state such as being in a lengthy coma, then by deduction I have lost my human being-ness. That definition is too flimsy to determine one human being from another.

Technically yes, a miscarriage is the loss of a human being. Fetus' are treated differently than babies and thats why I am arguing for the protection of the fetus' life. The right to life is applied to all human beings no matter how small.

Just because I don't know I exist, that doesn't mean I don't exist. Just because I didn't know the atom bomb killed 100,000 does not mean it didn't kill 100,000 people. Reality is objective. This is only one more reason why the right to life of fetus' should be respected again. Fetus' are the earliest human beings who cannot yet defend themselves, so we must defend the defenseless, not use that an excuse to kill them.
Posted by Edril 3 years ago
@ Janis
Why do you say that a human cell has the right to life before it obtains consciousness, but not before sperm/egg merger? You said there is not magical moment, then stated that there is a magical moment.

Let me ask you this, would you hold a funeral if you miscarried? If not, what happened to his/her rights to life? It should go with out saying that fetuses are treated differently than babies, for the same reasons we treat 5 year olds differently than adults.

All I'm saying is that if a developing fetus is aborted before it obtained consciousness, then there is no harm or foul. It couldn't have felt pain, it didn't experience anything that was taken away from it. It never had an experience. As far as it is "concerned", it never even existed. Consciousness is the only thing that could change this.
Posted by a_janis1 3 years ago
Yes I do concede that human beings are awarded more rights once that human being matures. But I should've been more specific with the rights given to every conceived fetus with human DNA: Fundamental human rights aka Right to Life. And the only way any being has human rights is if they are a human being. Thus, if a fetus is a human being maturing towards a state into which that being may be granted more rights, because the fetus is human, then it makes sense that the fetus, a human being, is granted, at its very first moment of existence, the same rights that every human being has: the right to life.

If you are arguing that the non-fundamental rights such as the right to drink have anything to due with being a human being, then a five year old child would be less human than a 21 year old because that five year old has less rights than the 21 year old. I assume you disagree with this, meaning that the non-fundamental rights do not determine one human being from a non human being/lesser human being.

Furthermore, I firmly believe there is no logical moment at which a fetus magically transforms into a human being, no matter what the state of development is. Either the fetus is a human being from conception or it never is, and since obviously the fetus is a human being at some point in its life, just like the other stages of life (child, adult etc.) then the fetus must be a human being from its first existence (conception). And since the fetus is a human being from conception, and every human being has fundamental human rights (not necessarily non fundamental rights) then the fetus has the right to life.

Summed up, no development other than human conception must occur in order for that new human being to be granted the right to life.
Posted by Edril 3 years ago
In round 5 you said, " Either you are always a human being 100% or never" while addressing the subject of human rights.
Currently in almost every country's laws, humans are "awarded" more and more human rights as they develop into "more of a human". This is due to psychological and physical changes that happen during development.

Are you saying that ALL human rights should be awarded to a human organism as soon as it's conceived? That means a 5 year old would be legally allowed to move out of his parents house, decide whether to go to school or not, work any type of job someone would hire him for, buy cigarettes, drink alcohol, purchase and carry firearms, vote for government, etc....

If you disagree with this, then you are at least admitting to the fact that certain levels of development need to occur before you are awarded certain human rights. Therefore you do not agree that people are "always a human being 100% or never"

Considering this, perhaps you could reconsider my contention that human consciousness needs to exist in a human, before they gains the right to life and before the mother loses the right to chose to abort the pregnancy.
Posted by Edril 3 years ago
Janis, a zygote has no more independance than a sperm cell, as far as birth of consiousness is concerned. After the sperm and egg merge, according to your definition of potential, it is still a "theoretical potential" since there are still steps needed to be taken before it can become a human. My reducto ad absurdum remains.

This is why consiousness is the important line to be drawn. The article i posted clearly defines what we know about the definition of human consiousness, and when it arises in a fetus. I believe it said something like 23 weeks or so. I think you misunderstand what consiousness is because you said since a day old baby doesn't make memories and doesn't have the knowledge to know what it is that it is experiencing, that means it's not experiencing it. This is not true. People who have brain damage which prevents them from "saving" memories (amnesia), are certainly not lacking consiousness. Neither is a baby, or even a 23 week old fetus.

Tyrone, I'm not a vegetarian, but i do plan on becoming one for precisely this reason. As of now i don't have the willpower to be as moral as I'd like to be in this area. I can do something while understanding that it's amoral, we all have flaws.
Posted by a_janis1 3 years ago
Now I obviously don't think you would support the killing of day old babies. Thus now hopefully you can see that being conscious or not is not relevant in whether someone should live or die, and is a weak supportive argument for abortion.
Posted by a_janis1 3 years ago
Thank you for taking interest in this debate.

First, I would like to note that when you reference potential of a sperm to potential of a fetus, you are mistakingly equating two different forms of potentiality. The two forms I am talking about are theoretical potential and actual potential. Theoretical potential is when certain steps must still be taken in order for a particular result to occur. In theory, the sperm cell could join an egg and become a human being. However, the potential of the sperm is not inherently to become a human being. You cannot let a single sperm cell develop into a human being because that is not the ACTUAL potential contained within the sperm cell. Now, as you've probably figured out, actual potential is something containing the requirements at that very moment to result in something. The merging of a sperm and egg now has created actual potential within the new cell to allow the new cell to grow into a more developed human being due to the cells unique human genetic sequence.

That is the full and distinct difference between a sperm cell and a zygote: Its all about the big difference between theoretical potential and actual potential.

And so your argument now is that if something has intact consciousness, then it cannot be killed, but only if it has intact consciousness. I have a big issue with this fine line on life:

Consciousness is defined as, by, "the state of being conscious; awareness of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc." Let me ask you, is a day old baby aware of its own existence? Is the baby actual aware of its surroundings? Does the baby know it is in a hospital as opposed to a park? Unless the baby is aware of all these things, then he or she does not have an intact consciousness. Thus by your premise, since a day old baby doesn't have an intact consciousness, anyone has the right to kill the day old baby since the baby cant care if its alive or dead anyway.
Posted by TyroneShelton 3 years ago
I assume you are a vegetarian/vegan. Otherwise you are a hypocrite to say that killing of a sentient being when unnecessary is immoral.
Posted by Edril 3 years ago
"In short, I think it's only wrong to kill things if you are needlessly destroying an intact and functional consciousness."

Also, my reason for believing this is that if it's not conscious, it can't possibly care whether it lives or dies.
Posted by Edril 3 years ago
I forgot the article in my comment....
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