The Instigator
LoveRichardDawkins
Pro (for)
The Contender
tagezerby
Con (against)

All Abortion should be legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy

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Debate Round Forfeited
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/19/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 350 times Debate No: 117801
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

LoveRichardDawkins

Pro

Abortion is the terminating of a pregnancy due to the removal of an embryo or fetus before it can survive outside of the uterus.

When I say "All Abortion" I mean that women should have the right to choose to abort a pregnancy in any circumstance as long as the pregnancy has not lasted more than the current legal period of 20 weeks. Abortion post-20 weeks risks causing pain and suffering to a conscious human being which could survive outside the womb and thus is immoral.

First round is just for acceptance and then I'll start my arguments.
tagezerby

Con

You said that the first round was just for acceptance, And I would like to challenge you on this topic. To clarify i am against any abortion and think that once the baby is conceived they have no right to kill the baby.
Debate Round No. 1
LoveRichardDawkins

Pro

Thanks for accepting the debate.

One of the biggest points of contention in this debate is what is considered human life. My opponent summed up the main problem in the argument of people on his side of the debate. He considers anything beyond conception to be a "baby". He said "once the baby is conceived". Therefore, An embryo in his mind is a baby and thus a human being. A zygote therefore is also a human being by his definition.

Scientists use the definition "the moment when a sperm cell from a male breaches the ovum, Or egg, From a female. " to describe conception.

Given this, Even a fertilised egg cell is a human being by his definition. Does this seem reasonable? I would like to question whether my opponent believes in the next logical step that emergency contraceptive pills (pills taken by the woman after intercourse to abort a pregnancy), Are also morally wrong. Because since my opponent considers even the tiniest collection of cells to be a human being or "baby" then surely emergency contraceptives are immoral to him?

Human life is very special. There are many things that make humans unique and important and valuable. We are conscious of the world around us. We use reason to a far greater extent than any other animals. We have a certain physiological make-up. How many of these traits are shared by a bundle of cells? If we were to consider that a collection of human cells count as a human being then every time we brushed off some skin cells we should call it a genocide. It simply makes no sense. Human cells are not the same as a human being. They are not sentient or conscious. They do not have nervous systems and thus cannot feel pain.

So, I have established why at a certain point in the pregnancy the "human organism" is not in any way a human being. This makes it far less valuable and thus the mother's right to choose what to do with her life and her body should take priority. However, There is a point when the fetus becomes worthy of being a human being. But so what? Human beings in a very rudimentary form are not equivalent to the pregnant mother and wider family. They cannot feel the same amount of pain and the death of one does not leave the same impact as the death of another. Therefore, One is more valuable to society than another and therefore deserves more rights. There is a point at which the sentience of the fetus becomes too great to throw aside and this lies at 20 weeks. But generally before 20 weeks, The fetus should not enjoy the same rights as those of the mother.

The negative health effects of prohibiting abortion don't end with the mothers. Romania's abortion ban sparked a nationwide orphan crisis, As roughly 150, 000 unwanted newborns were placed in nightmarish state-run orphanages. Many of those orphans now suffer from sever mental and physical health problems, Including reduced brain size, Schizoaffective disorder, And sociopathy.

When abortion is illegal, It becomes exponentially more unsafe for both women and their children. You may not like the fact that women will seek abortions even when they're illegal, But it is undeniably a fact nonetheless. As you can see, Making abortion illegal endangers mothers since they try to abort anyway.

In conclusion, The mother is a fully-developed human which can feel pain to a great extent, Has family and community relationships and is sentient. A fetus is not and may only be human in a very rudimentary form. Therefore, The rights of the mother to choose take priority over the right of the fetus. Furthermore, Not allowing abortion further endangers and disempowers women.
tagezerby

Con

To clarify, In my statement accepting the argument I said that once the baby was conceived, I believe that is indeed a life, Not actually a baby, But yes a life form that will form into a child. I believe that life begins at conception because there is no other way to draw the line. Conception is the most logical place to say when life starts. For your argument all abortion up to 20 weeks should be legal but after that it shouldn't be. How can you say that after 20 weeks it is just now a life. At 20 weeks the fetus already has fingers and toes and looks a lot like a human. The reason I state that life begins at conception is because there is no other place that you can just draw a line and say this is where it starts, Except for birth and I'm guessing most rational people think killing an 8 month old is cruel. Now I just want to put in your conclusion to share my thoughts about it. Here you stated,

"In conclusion, The mother is a fully-developed human which can feel pain to a great extent, Has family and community relationships and is sentient. A fetus is not and may only be human in a very rudimentary form. Therefore, The rights of the mother to choose take priority over the right of the fetus. Furthermore, Not allowing abortion further endangers and dis-empowers women. "

Now I'm going to take this apart piece by piece. First starting with the statement how the mother is a fully developed human which can feel pain, Has relationships, And is sentient, And obviously I would agree with that, That is just a fact. Where I disagree is where you state how, "the rights of a mother to choose take priority over the right of a fetus. " I agree with the fact that a mother is more of a human than a fetus; however, A mother's choice to kill a life-form she chose to have is not greater than the right of that fetus to live. Now i know you're about to type, "well what about rape, " and I will get to there but being only less then 1% of abortion cases it is not as big of an issue. What is an issue is that these woman are taking life that they don't want because they some how haven't learned that life has consequences after all these years. If you have sex, It is your right to take care of a child if it is conceived. Now onto rape, While I do think that this is more of a hard pill to swallow because you didn't chose to have sex so having a baby isn't a consequence of your own actions, I still believe it is wrong and I'll tell you why. I'm sure you would say that murder is the worst crime. Taking someones life purposefully out weighs everything else you could do. Now while I agree rape is a horrible thing, It is not worse than murder, And since I believe that fetus is a life, You can't kill it.

That concludes my first statement, If I missed anything you thought was note worthy from your argument, Please feel free to restate it civilly. Obviously I also would love to see what you think about my arguments, Who knows maybe it changed your opinion but please leave your thoughts on my points as well
Debate Round No. 2
LoveRichardDawkins

Pro

My opponent seems to have admitted that there is a difference between the embryo and a fully-formed baby or child. They use the phrase "life begins at conception". Sure, An organism is clearly alive from the point of conception but does that make it a human-life? My opponent seems to believe that it does. They claim that life should begin at conception because it's the only place you can clearly draw a line. But just because you can draw a line easily at that point that doesn't mean that it's factually correct to say life begins at that point. My question is: what makes an embryo a human being?

If my opponent asserts this then are they against emergency contraceptives which in their definition are killing a human life?

I assert that an embryo is not a human being. And even if it were its rudimentary existence does not qualify it to enjoy the same rights as a mother. I say 20 weeks because scientists agree that this is the rough point in time where the fetus can feel a sufficient amount of pain to make the abortion immoral. Also abortions are often unsafe beyond this point. This is why much legislation is fitted around the 20 week mark. It's not perfect but it's the most accurate and fair point to draw the line at.

My opponent further agrees with me that the mother is more of a human than the fetus is. But they then fail to see the next step after that which says that the more human something is the more rights it should get. If a mother has consciousness and sentience and can feel pain, Then they can endure much more suffering than the fetus could ever. Therefore, It is fair to prioritise the mother's right to not endure pain than the fetus' right to life. Furthermore, It's not just the mother that feels pain. As I explained, The mother is connected to other human beings and the suffering of that mother will cause the suffering of yet more people. This is sufficient to outweigh the right of the fetus to life.

Now, I'm not that interested in the rape case although I do see it as an even stronger case for reproductive rights. All women may not be experts in science and philosophy but they are experts in their own lives. If they know that they will have a worse life if they have the baby then I trust them to know whether they should require an abortion. Yes, They should be aware of consequences but often pregnancy isn't their fault and furthermore some consequences shouldn't be endured. The consequence of one bad decision should not be a life of pain and sadness. In other words, I think that a having a baby which destroys much of your life is too harsh a consequence for a mistake made often by ill educated, Young people. Secondly, The retribution is already endured in the form of the abortion itself. Abortion is not a nice process and it is enough to serve as a reminder to people about the importance of sexual self-responsibility.

To conclude, A fetus may be a human life but it is not a human being. Human beings are more valuable and can feel more pain. Thus the mother's rights are paramount. And therefore, She has the right to take control of her own body and make a decision that will positively benefit her sentient, Self-conscious, Pain-filled life more than it will cause harm to a collection of cells with far less value or sentience.
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by LoveRichardDawkins 2 months ago
LoveRichardDawkins
I clearly won this then
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