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Legalized Abortion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/29/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,268 times Debate No: 24904
Debate Rounds (4)
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I wish to have a political debate about the continuation of Legalized Abortion in the United States. I await an opponent to contest the legalization and continuation of abortion.


I accept. The definitions are clear. No semantics. Burden of proof is split between us; You must give proof that shows abortion must remain legal, while I must show that it needs to be outlawed.
Debate Round No. 1


Since Roe vs. Wade in 1973, medical abortion has been made legal for every American woman. Abortion was criminalized throughout the U.S. between the late 1800s and 1973. But during that time, millions of women sought and acquired abortions anyway. Of these, tens of thousands of women died from illegal abortions. One study in 1932 had the number at 15,000 women who died a year from "back-alley" abortions. If we were to criminalize this safe legal form of abortion in the U.S., most women who would seek an abortion would either carry it out in "back-alley abortions" or journey to another country to gain they're abortion. If abortion is criminalized, a lot of women will still seek abortions. The government will prosecute thousands of these women to show that they mean business about enforcing the law. The women prosecuted will come overwhelmingly from minority and lower income segments of the population.

The common idea behind the "pro-choice" movement is the concept of "protecting babies", many on the far-right criticize pro-life individuals as being babykillers. Yet, simply this fact couldn't be further from the truth. A fetus is not a baby. Many studies have shown that a fetus is not aware of its existance and doesn't begin to feel or experience any pain until at least 37 weeks. An overwhelming majority of abortions are preformed before this 37-week point.

The government cannot be trusted to be in charge of who is allowed to have an abortion and under what conditions. The government should not be allowed to be put in between a doctor and a patient.

A woman is not free unless she is in control of her own body.

I await a reply, and I ask the question to my opponent as to if you believe that abortion should even be illegal to rape or incest victims? And I do not feel that we both have burden of proof, in fact I feel that you have a higher burden than I because my opinion is backed by the American legal system and the Supreme Court. Thank you.


Thank you for your quick response.

I would like to start by pointing out that Pro includes absolutely no sources with his arguments. I have serious doubts about many of Pro's claims, and unless he provides a valid source, these arguments should not count.

I will begin my round by rebutting Pro's opening, and if I have enough time/space, I will present a case as well. I didn't realize only had a few hours to type. This is going to be a tough week.

Pro's first paragraph describes that tens of thousands of women were dying from illegal "back-alley" abortions before its legalization. Simply put, this isn't true. Prior to its legalization, about 90% of abortions were done by medical professionals in their offices. This is proven by Planned Parenthood, who estimated this percentage in 1960. In the very same document, it was quite explicitly stated that "Abortion is no longer a dangerous procedure." [1]

Furthermore, research has proven that your statistics on abortion deaths are false. Before 1973, the deaths of mothers as a result of abortion averaged 250. [2] Bernard Nathanson, a man who used to make up statistics such as the ones you described, even admitted that he and others had fabricated these numbers. He had claimed that about a million women got illegal abortions every year, while the actual number was less than a tenth of that (98k). He also confesses to seriously exaggerating the death rate (5,000 to 10,000 a year), knowing that this was nowhere near the correct number. [3]

Your second paragraph doesn't make much sense. Why would pro choice people consider themselves protecting babies? Why would the far right call pro-lifers baby killers when they are working hard for quite the opposite? Did you mix up pro choice and pro life? For my rebuttal, I'll have to assume that.

Why would the fact that the baby cannot think make it so it isn't a baby? Yes, a baby within the womb is scientifically labled as a fetus, but inside or out, this doesn't change what it is. It's a human, and this can be scientifically proven easily. The fact that life begins at conception is a consistent fact in medical textbooks. Since abortion kills a person, it can be called no less than murder. Murder is, after all, simply the killing of a person. It is not unreasonable, but simply logical to believe abortion is murder.

Also, you are incorrect in saying fetuses can't think. That's saying the baby can only feel pain 15 days before it's born, which is obviously untrue. Fetuses have measurable brain waves at about 6 weeks, and can feel pain at 8 weeks, both of which occur before most abortions. [5][6]

If the government shouldn't interfere with abortion, they shouldn't interfere with rape or murder either. They shouldn't be in charge of who can kill someone and under what conditions. Logically, how is this any different?

"A woman is not free unless she is in control of her own body."
Sorry, but no one will ever be completely "free" unless we have total anarchy, which doesn't work. The government must restrict some things, such as (once again) rape and murder. Your body is restricted when it infringes on the rights of others, and constitutionally, this is supposed to include abortion. Unborn babies are people too, and they have rights even if they can't speak for themselves.

I personally believe that abortion should not be legal for rape victims. The unfairness of the situation does not change the simple fact that abortion is murder. What's at stake is the unfair temporary discomfort of the mother vs. the unfair permanent death of the child. Instead of abortion, mothers can get help from pro life organizations, who willingly make things as easy as possible during the pregnancy, and after birth, give the child immediately to a waiting couple. This is a far better solution since the child is allowed to live, and the mother can then continue with her life.

Now for my opening.

The most important reason abortion cannot continue is simply because it's murder. Murder is defined as "The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice." [7] Since it is a scientific fact that a fetus is a human life separate from the mother, abortion is murder by definition.

In addition to this, we don't actually need abortion; there are other options. Instead of funding abortion, the government could give help to pregnant and recently pregnant mothers, and promote adoption as an alternative. Abortion alternatives allow the child to live, and therefore are a better choice.

The illegalization of abortion would also significantly decrease the amount of unwanted pregnancies.Today, people have irresponsible sex knowing that if they end up pregnant, they can just get an abortion. With abortion illegal, people would be more responsible beforehand, knowing that they can't get an abortion if they end up pregnant. This could decrease the spreading of STDs as well, and solve other problems.

And answer me this: What if you were aborted? That question alone should be enough reason to be against abortion.

Did you know that we've actually had some similar situations in the past? Here's what's going on right now: Millions are convinced that fetuses aren't humans, and dehumanize by always calling them "fetuses." Abortion is justified as being a "woman's right."

Now take a look at the holocaust:
Hitler convinced millions that Jews weren't people, and gave them dehumanizing names like "worthless eaters." He justified killing them as putting them out of their misery.

Now take a look at slavery:
The south protested that black people shouldn't count as humans, and dehumanized them by calling them "niggers." They justified slavery because they claimed they wouldn't be able to run their plantations without them, and would be ruined.

See a connection between these three situations? We're basically going through a pattern of dehumanization, and abortion is yet another beat in that pattern. Another that could be coming up soon is euthanasia. Eventually, we will hopefully come to our senses and look at the logic of the situation, and get rid of it.

That's all I have to say for now. I look forward to my opponent's arguments.

[1] Mary Calderone, "Illegal Abortion as a Public Health Problem," American Journal of Health 50 (July 1960):949

[2] U.S. Bureau of Vital Statistics

[3] Bernard Nathanson, Aborting America, p.193

[4] Abortion Statistics

[5] 6 to 7 Weeks Prenatal Overview

[6] Dr. and Mrs. J.C. Willke, "Fetal Pain" (Chapter 14), Why Can't We Love Them Both

[7] Murder - The Free Dictionary
Debate Round No. 2


abarnett934 forfeited this round.


Dang it. Why does this always happen?

Vote con.
Debate Round No. 3


abarnett934 forfeited this round.


If anyone wants to debate abortion for real, just challenge me.

Vote con.
Debate Round No. 4
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