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Does Abortion Kill a Baby?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/25/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,708 times Debate No: 101381
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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I want to debate someone who believes that abortion is not murder, because it does not kill a baby. I will argue the opposite. I believe that abortion is the termination of a human life, created by God, thus is murder.
First round is acceptance only. Second round is for arguments, no rebuttals, and the last two rounds are for arguments and rebuttals.
Good luck, Iacov!


I would like to thank my opponent for challenging me to this debate.
Seeing as my opponent has neglected to do so I will now establish definitions.
the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.

a human being, especially a person as distinguished from an animal or (in science fiction) an alien.

a very young child, especially one newly or recently born

cause the death of (a person, animal, or other living thing)

I will be arguing that abortion prevents the possibility of a human life rather than killing one.
I accept my opponent's proposed debate structure.
Good luck Godstruth.
Debate Round No. 1


Hello, Iacov, and thank you for accepting this debate. I believe that an unborn baby is a human being, deserving full protection under the law. Thus, abortion is murder, and should be stopped.

Death is measured by when someones brain waves stop. Isn't it also reasonable to measure the beginning of life this way? In the words of Randy Alcorn, "What do we call it when a person no longer has a heart beat or brain waves? Death. What should we call it when there is a heartbeat and there are brain waves? Life" [1]. A baby has a heartbeat by the fifth week [2]. There is no difference (save locationally) between a baby who is about to be born, and one who is just born. The philosophy of abortion leads us down a dangerous path. If an unborn baby is not human deserving full rights, then is a baby who is just born? If abortion is allowed, why shouldn't infanticide be allowed? And if that, why not murders?




I believe that an unborn fetus is not a human being, warranting them no protection under the law. Thus, abortion cannot be called murder.

Fetus vs. Human
But doesn"t abortion destroy another living being? An important article in "What Is an Abortion and Why Women Must Have the Right to Choose," (by A.S.K., Revolutionary Worker #1265, January 23, 2005) answered that question this way:
"Is it true that a fetus is a form of life? Of course it is. It is made up of live cells, it is growing and processing energy, it has the capacity to mature and reproduce, it has a genetic system and so on.
"Will an abortion destroy this form of life? Yes, absolutely.
"Well then, isn"t an abortion killing another human being? No absolutely not.
"A fetus is not yet a human being. It is more like a seed or sprout of a human being. It is "alive," but that is also true of all the other cells in a woman"s body. It has no life of its own yet. It is not yet a separate life from the life of the woman in whose uterus it is."

If death means murder.
Let's imagine a scenario in which two men go deer hunting. One man mistakes his friend for a deer, shoots him, and accidentally kills him. As long as we all agreed on the facts of the case, it's hard to imagine that any reasonable person would describe this as murder -- even though we would all know for certain that a real, sentient human person was killed. Why? Because the shooter thought he was killing a deer -- something other than a real, sentient human person.

Now consider the example of abortion. If a woman and her physician think they're killing a non-sentient organism, then -- even if the embryo or fetus were, unbeknownst to them, a sentient human person -- they would not be committing murder. At most, they would be guilty of involuntary manslaughter. But even involuntary manslaughter involves criminal negligence, and it would be very hard to judge someone criminally negligent for not personally believing that a pre-viable embryo or fetus is a sentient human person when we don't actually know this to be the case. From the point of view of someone who believes that every fertilized egg is a sentient human person, abortion would be horrific, tragic, and lethal. But it would be no more murderous than any other kind of accidental death.
Debate Round No. 2


Yes, I agree that death is not necessarily murder. The question is: are fetuses human? I believe that they are. How do I know this? I know because a fetus has all the characteristics of a human in every way. It responds to touch, can feel pain (something mere cells cannot do, clueing us that a fetus is something more), has a heartbeat and brainwaves, can feel emotions (like love), but most important, a fetus is loved by God.
My question for you is, "When does a fetus become a human that deserves legal protection, and what facilitates and accomplishes this change". I would argue that if we support some arbitrary age limit at which one becomes human, than nothing is to stop us from moving that limit to disallow those who the status quo do not like. This is a dangerous path which can lead to frighteningly Nazi-like situations.
The definition of "unlawful" is as follows: "Not conforming to, permitted by, or recognized by law or rules." This begs the question: whose laws? I believe that this definition should apply to God"s laws. According to God"s laws, abortion is wrong, and is murder. God recognizes unborn babies as humans, and he opposes the death of innocent humans. So since abortion is "unlawful", yes, it can be considered murder.
Normally, shooting someone is murder. On the rare case that someone is mistaken and shoots a human in the woods: that would not be murder. Under normal cases however, shooting someone is murder. It is the same way with abortion. I do not think that the physicians and women who were behind abortions should be convicted of murder. However, under normal circumstances, since they have been told and shown, yet still do it anyway, that is murder.


By your listed characteristics of what makes something human (excluding God seeing as I am not a Christian but that is a different debate) can one not also conclude that a dog or any other animal is also human? A dog responds to touch, can feel pain, has a heartbeat and brainwaves, and can feel emotion.

Now in regards to when a fetus became a human.
A fetus becomes a human the moment it is living separate from the mother, note I did not say "capable" of living on it's own; being capable of doing something is different than actually doing it. I do not believe there would be a age limit rather that there be a age requirement that is achieved the moment the child is removed from the womb.

Whose's law.
You believe we should look to the Christian God's law on abortion. That to me is a very clear slippery slope to a theocracy. If we were to look to religion for this one matter what would stop us from making many more laws based on the words of religion? Yes the Christian God does say that abortion is wrong, and it is your right to voice your disapproval for abortion. However it is imperative that congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
Debate Round No. 3


Yes, a dog does have many of the characteristics I listed. The difference is that we know an unborn baby is not a dog. The real question is, "Is it a human life, in the fullest sense". Since there is no question of the species, the question is of being alive as a human. Only an alive human has the characteristics of feeling pain, having emotions, and has a heartbeat. If it is not a human, what is it?
Are you saying that a baby is not human until the umbilical cord is cut? Sometimes this is not done until a while after birth. Would you be fine with murder of a child a few hours old, just because the cord is not cut? What cellular change happens as the cord is cut that suddenly fives the fetus status as a human?
What you are doing here is an advocacy for separation of church and state. However, there is no reason not to construct laws according to moral principles. Open what else could they be built?


Part of what it means to be human is how we became human. Over a long period of time, as early humans adapted to a changing world, they evolved certain characteristics that help define our species today. As you explore the scientific evidence for these characteristics, you will discover that these traits did not emerge all at once or in any one species. There were important milestones along the way. For example, early humans began walking upright before they began making tools. A rapid increase in brain size occurred before early humans began using symbols to communicate. And all of these traits emerged before humans began domesticating plants and animals. This is what distinguishes a human from the rest of the animal kingdom. ( )
As I have said before it is my belief that a fetus is no longer a fetus when it is completely separate from the mother that includes the umbilical cord. If the umbilical cord hasn't been disconnected then the birth process hasn't been completed and the child remains a fetus. The change is that the child is now separate from the mother.

I couldn't care less where one's particular morals come from wether it be the Bible, Torah, or any other holy text, or some other source all together. But when it comes to why those who do not adhere to those beliefs must follow its guidelines you must be able to support the stance using a source that is used by both sides of the argument.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
>Reported vote: Canada98// Mod action: Removed<

4 points to Pro (Conduct, Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: I think pro made more convincing points, especially when the argument "when does a fetus become a baby"

[*Reason for removal*] (1) The voter doesn"t explain conduct. (2) Arguments are insufficiently explained. The voter is required to specifically assess points made by both sides in the debate. Merely stating that he thought one of the points made by Pro was convincing for unknown reasons is not sufficient.
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