The Instigator
firefury14620
Pro (for)
The Contender
Debate_King321
Con (against)

Should Abortion Be Illegal?

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firefury14620 has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/24/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 637 times Debate No: 106100
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (0)

 

firefury14620

Pro

It is not required, but I would recommend watching this video before reading my argument: https://www.youtube.com...
The issue of abortion is a polarizing one in this country. Pro-lifers believe that life begins at conception and that abortion is the killing of an innocent child. They often believe that it should be illegal. Pro-choicers believe that, whether it"s a life or it isn"t, it"s the woman"s choice whether to kill the baby or not. If abortion is murder, and murder is illegal, then abortion should be illegal in all cases.
Abortion is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus. That"s a pretty straightforward definition. Keith L. Moore in Essentials of Human Embryology says,
"Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being."
[Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2]
Douglas Considine in Van Nostrand"s Scientific Encyclopedia defines an embryo as,
"The developing individual between the union of the germ cells and the completion of the organs which characterize its body when it becomes a separate organism.... At the moment the sperm cell of the human male meets the ovum of the female and the union results in a fertilized ovum (zygote), a new life has begun"
[Considine, Douglas (ed.). Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia. 5th edition. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976, p. 943]
So, as you can see, this being is a new and unique life who is ready in approximately 9 months to come into the world as a beautiful baby boy or girl.
But here"s the main question in this entire argument: When does it become a life? Is it at month 4, when the baby can suck its thumb, stretch, make faces, its bone marrow is beginning to form, and the gender can be determined? How about at month 3 when the fingers, toes, arms, hands, fingers, feet, and body are fully formed and will only continue to grow from there? How about week 15, when the baby has adult taste buds? How about week 14, when its body is pumping several quarts of blood every day that may be a different blood type than the mother? What about weeks 9 and 10, when the teeth and nails are forming and the baby can turn its head and frown? What about week 4 when the beginning of eyes, legs, and hands are forming, the baby is 10,000x larger than the fertilized egg, and brainwaves can be detected? How about week 3, when the backbone, spinal column, and nervous system are forming and the liver and kidneys are taking shape? What about day 16 when a heartbeat is detectable? How about at conception, when a life with completely different DNA than the mother begins to form? At what point do we decide that this beautiful life is a baby and not just a clump of cells?
It legally has been decided. If someone murders a pregnant woman and her baby dies too, that person is charged with two murders. Also, if someone kills a baby in a pregnant woman by, say, shooting or kicking her stomach, they are charged with murder. Why is it any different with abortion? It seems that the baby"s life is determined by the convenience of him/her to the mother, as over 92% of abortions are performed for convenience purposes according to a study performed by the Guttmacher Institute.
A common argument I hear is: Well what about rape? There are multiple things wrong with this argument, but here"s two of them. One, according to the same study by the Guttmacher Institute, less than 0.5% of abortions are for cases of rape. Two, in the past when I have conceded to pro-choicers that I will allow abortion only in cases of rape and ask if that"s ok, the answer is always no. That argument is only used as an excuse to make all abortions legal. That argument takes the tiny minority and uses it to justify the majority.
That argument often leads to discussion about teen pregnancy and sex education. The US Human and Health Services under President Trump posted their plans for a new focus with Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Sexual Risk Avoidance on November 6. Also, according to HHS, 73% of the sex ed programs put in place by the Obama administration have a negative effect or no effect at all on the teen pregnancy rate.
Children are considered the most innocent of us all. When children are murdered, it is a much larger news story than if an adult is murdered. That"s just human nature. We value the lives of children because we have a primal understanding that they will continue the human race. We also have a moral understanding that, as children, they most likely haven"t lived long enough to do anything that would justify killing them. We see stories in the news and PSA"s on TV about abused and neglected children. Those children are often abused and neglected because their parent or parents don"t want them. Isn"t that often the same reason women have abortions? Because they don"t want the child? Honestly, there"s not much difference. They fit the same criteria that evokes an emotional reaction from us when a child out of the womb is murdered. They are as innocent as it gets.
Why, then, do we classify it differently? Why do we use euphemisms instead of calling abortion what it is: murder? Why do we give different names to the same crime just because one victim is inside the womb? Isn"t a fetus just another stage of development like infant, toddler, and teen? Stop making abortion sound innocent and recognize that it is murder, and if it is murder, then it"s already illegal.
The Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade ruled that abortion is Constitutional and that it is protected because it was deemed private between the woman and her doctor. What many people don"t know is that the Supreme Court can only give opinion, it cannot make law. While the federal government could make abortion illegal, there is a small chance of that happening. Because of this, the issue of abortion should be left to the states as it is possible for an individual state to make it illegal. The states are, currently, the ones with the highest chance of outlawing abortion. Currently it is illegal in zero states. An organization called Hoosiers for Life is currently advocating for a bill aptly named the "Protection at Conception" bill. This would enforce what is already written in the Indiana Constitution, that life begins at conception. Many other states also have this written into their Constitution. Bills like this have been and are being written across the country and are being considered by state legislatures.
Abortion is murder. A fetus is a baby. Statements that seem simple, but are, for some, hard to accept. I"ve already proven that, according to current murder laws, abortion should be illegal, I"ve debunked the argument for abortions for rape victims, and I"ve explained the fault in the expectation that Roe v. Wade protects a woman"s "right" to an abortion. If abortion is murder, and murder is illegal, then abortion should be illegal in all cases.
Debate_King321

Con

Hello, this is my first debate on this website, and I am looking forward to it immensely.

Opening argument:

The crux of the matter when it comes to whether abortion should be illegal or not is whether or not the fetus can be considered human or not... obviously the organism within a mother's womb is human, as shown by its DNA, so to be more clear, when does this organism assume the dignity of human life?

I advocate all the time for animal rights and fight against animal cruelty... in my opinion, people should not kill animals just for the sake of sport, insects should not be crushed just because they are there... that is my stance. However, although I has been shown that other animals have been able to feel pain, I realize that human beings are much more complicated organisms and should be given the dignity of life before an animal.

So, like most people, I would not agree with having an abortion just for the sake of having one. But obviously, abortions often have a purpose. Mothers often do not have the financial backing to afford kids, some just aren't ready to have kids, some fetuses are conceived through rape, and some affect the lives of the mother. I see that my opponent has pointed out these the last two reasons for abortion account for a very small percentage. While this is true, they still should not be neglected. They are scenarios, and thus must be accounted for.

In my opinion, the dignity of life should be given when the fetus first gains sentience and consciousness at about 5 months old. Before this, they are nothing but thoughtless organisms. They cannot feel pain, sadness, or anguish, and therefore they do not have what we call "personhood." If you have no feelings, can you really be considered a person? It is in my opinion that once the fetus gains sentience, abortions should be illegal except in cases that affect the mother's life, which is extremely rare. But all other cases before the fetus has sentience is perfectly fine if it has a just cause. The "human" is no more alive than the countless animals that are slaughtered to feed people... in fact, the animals actually are able to sense more.

I will not deny that the fetus is a human. What I am denying them (before five months is personhood). Think of it: when a person dies, are they really a person anymore? Speaking from an atheistic viewpoint, no. They are just a dead sack of meat. Religious people maintain that the soul survives, but I wish to keep religion out of this debate. One must be able to have feelings before one is considered a person.

I'd also like to point out that, although by opponent seems to value the fetus as "a baby", he often calls the fetuses "it", usually a term reserved for animals lowlier then human life.

Yes, I am aware that is someone is killed while pregnant, the assailant is charged with a double-murder. I have a feeling this law is here because obviously the mother will have valued the fetus within her very dearly up to this point (thus not having an abortion.) So the law will sympathize with them, although it doesn't necessarily agree that the fetus IS a person (as evidenced by multiple abortion laws.) If I need to explain this further please ask.

Abortion is not murder. Looking at the definition of murder, it is "the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another." When people have an abortion, in most cases they don't believe that the fetus is actually a person, and therefore it isn't premeditated. They don't actually THINK they are committing a murder. This is why animal cruelty, as sad as it is, most of the time is not considered murder but instead animal cruelty. A more accurate term for abortion ( if you do believe it is wrong) would be manslaughter, not murder.

Yes, the Supreme Court cannot make law, but in the case of Roe v Wade, they didn't. They simply stated the unconstitutionality of restricting abortions. They interpret the constitution and figure out which laws are constitutional or unconstitutional, which is what they did in this case.

A fetus is not a baby, as babies are usually defined as a newborn or already being born. While fetus is a stage in the life of a human, so is decaying after death. In both stages, the human can feel nothing, and thus are not persons, and thus do not deserve rights.
Debate Round No. 1
firefury14620

Pro

I definitely agree with my opponent; animal cruelty is wrong and should be stopped. I don"t think that hunting is bad, but that"s because, and most other hunters, are extremely ethical and always make a shot that will kill the animal instantly instead of a shot where it will suffer for a bit before it dies. That"s a big difference between hunting and abortion. The baby can feel pain at 3 weeks, contrary to what my opponent has claimed, meaning that the fetus is tortured throughout the process of the abortion.
I already stated in my opening statement that there are thousands of parents across the united states and in other countries waiting to adopt children, so an abortion for financial reasons doesn"t make sense because the mother can put the baby up for adoption. With rape, it"s not really a grey area. Rape is terrible, I really don"t like rape, you also can"t murder babies. If the fetus is, in fact, a life, you can"t kill it, no matter the circumstances. When it comes to the mother"s life being in danger, most pro-life people, including myself, would recommend medically inducing labor. If the baby is old enough and strong enough to survive outside the mother"s womb, then it survives. If it isn"t, it dies, but it wasn"t murdered.
The argument of sentience is a complicated one. For instance, if a person is in a coma, they are not considered sentient. By my opponent"s logic, I could murder someone who is in a coma, even if it"s a coma from which they may awake. When a person is in a coma, they don"t have feelings. They don"t feel pain, sadness, or anguish, and "therefore they do not have what we call "personhood"" in the words of my opponent. My opponent also stated before that humans "are much more complicated organisms and should be given the dignity of life before an animal."
I also apologize for that wording. I call born babies it if I don"t know the gender. I will amend my language. Also, I"m a "she" not a "he."
I already pointed out in my opening statement that some mothers do not value their born children. The mother will not have "valued" their child. By my opponent"s logic, that child can be murdered without legal consequences.
My opponent is right, many people who have abortions don"t consider it a life. I personally don"t believe that the mother is the murderer in the case of abortion, the abortionist is. The abortionist, whether knowingly or not (and many abortion doctors will admit that they know it"s a life), did previously plan the murder. They already knew how they were going to kill the child and, in many cases, already knew that they were going to kill he/she. It is also by one human being to another. This makes it meet the definition of murder.
In Roe v. Wade, they actually didn"t rule that restricting abortions was unconstitutional, they ruled that the Constitution doesn"t explicitly forbid abortion. One of the presiding Justices even said that if the fetus could be proven to be a life, the ruling of Roe v. Wade would be null and void under the terms of the Constitution, specifically the promise of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
If people aren"t human anymore after death, why do we say, "My dead grandmother"? Why do we use language that implies that a dead person is still a person? Also, in most cultures, the dead are honored. Why is that? Is it because we"re all crazy religious nuts? Or is it because we value the inherent worth of a person even after they don"t have feelings or feel pain? I would like to ask my opponent; would you want to be treated as a piece of trash after you die? Would you like your body thrown in the trash like rotten food? Or would you want people to appreciate you and honor you after you"ve died?
Debate_King321

Con

Rebuttals to Round 2 Argument
The baby can feel pain at 3 weeks, contrary to what my opponent has claimed, meaning that the fetus is tortured throughout the process of the abortion.

I'd like to see your source on this, because some websites I am finding list the date as around 20 weeks [1] [2] [3]
I already stated in my opening statement that there are thousands of parents across the united states and in other countries waiting to adopt children, so an abortion for financial reasons doesn"t make sense because the mother can put the baby up for adoption.

Until the adoption process is made simpler and cleared up, you can not use it as a good alternative. Hundreds of thousands of kids are waiting to be adopted. IWhile there may be many parents waiting to get a kid, the process must be extremely slow. Until it is fixed, it's not a good alternative to abortion because of the wait time.
With rape, it's not really a grey area. Rape is terrible, I really don"t like rape, you also can"t murder babies.

Unless of course they are not "babies." Like I said, they should not be aborted because of rape once they gain sentience. Up until that point, they are not persons, and thus don't deserve the dignity of one.
In the case of comas, you have a slight point, but it can be easily dealt with by the fact that they've already been sentient before hand... they are already persons and have the possibility of getting back their personhood again. With fetuses, they so far know nothing, and have absolutely no personality what so ever like a person in comatose would have already have.
Also, I"m a "she" not a "he."

Oh, sorry.
I already pointed out in my opening statement that some mothers do not value their born children. The mother will not have "valued" their child. By my opponent"s logic, that child can be murdered without legal consequences.

You frame it that way, but in fact there is a very big difference. Children that are born are actual PEOPLE with personalities, thoughts, emotions, and feelings. Fetuses not past the mark of brain waves have none of these, so they are not actual people.
My opponent is right, many people who have abortions don"t consider it a life. I personally don"t believe that the mother is the murderer in the case of abortion, the abortionist is. The abortionist, whether knowingly or not (and many abortion doctors will admit that they know it"s a life), did previously plan the murder. They already knew how they were going to kill the child and, in many cases, already knew that they were going to kill he/she. It is also by one human being to another. This makes it meet the definition of murder.
The wording of your argument makes it SEEM like abortion doctors have reached the criteria of murder, but unfortunately your argument is based on false semantics. Although doctors know the fetus is alive, much like any other living organism, they don't believe it to have a personality yet. So of course they relize it is life, but to them, it is not yet a dignified human being.
In Roe v. Wade, they actually didn"t rule that restricting abortions was unconstitutional, they ruled that the Constitution doesn"t explicitly forbid abortion.

False. They said that abrotion was a right to privacy and is protected under the 14th Amendment of Due Process.

One of the presiding Justices even said that if the fetus could be proven to be a life, the ruling of Roe v. Wade would be null and void under the terms of the Constitution, specifically the promise of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Again, a semantic argument. No scientist disagrees that the fetus is life, or human life, but whether it's a person or not.
If people aren"t human anymore after death, why do we say, "My dead grandmother"? Why do we use language that implies that a dead person is still a person? Also, in most cultures, the dead are honored. Why is that? Is it because we"re all crazy religious nuts? Or is it because we value the inherent worth of a person even after they don"t have feelings or feel pain?

People are still human after death, but their personality is gone as we know it. We use language that implies that their personality is still alive because for 1.) It at one time did exist, and 2.) Many people believe in an afterlife. The difference with aborted fetuses is that their personality never did exist up till this point.

I would like to ask my opponent; would you want to be treated as a piece of trash after you die? Would you like your body thrown in the trash like rotten food? Or would you want people to appreciate you and honor you after you"ve died?

This is a classic "begging the question" logical fallacy, but I will answer it nonetheless. Of course I would not want my body treated poorly, but as an agnostic who is skeptical on the existence of an afterlife, I wouldn't be there to mind it if it DID happen. Similarly, an aborted fetus is never a person with feelings, so they will never know what exactly happened to them. So short answer: I would like my body treated with honor, but if it isn't, I would be incapable of caring.

Sources:



Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by firefury14620 9 months ago
firefury14620
The fetus is completely innocent and hasn't done anything to deserve being killed. It has no ability to have intent to do anything harmful for the mother. I believe it is your right to kill someone if they are intentionally trying to do you harm (ex. Someone assaulting someone else), not someone who happened to get unlucky and be put in a situation where they are a burden to someone. That's the usual expectation legally as well. Not many people get off for shooting someone for doing something unintentional or not using deadly force against the person shooting (which a fetus isn't life threatening in 99% of cases). Usually deadly force must have been being used for a person to have a right to kill another person.
Posted by firefury14620 9 months ago
firefury14620
I apologize for forfeiting, my family went on an unexpected vacation and I haven't had access to my computer at all.
Posted by missmedic 9 months ago
missmedic
I do understand what you are saying, I just don't understand how law enforcement will make a positive change. Abortion is a symptom of a greater problem, and law enforcement does not address the problem. Taking away a person's rights does not address the problem. If people truly cared about abortion, it would not be the best option in America. And you did not lose me, I just did not follow you.
It is a right to defend yourself when force is used against you and against your will. So how do you force a women to stay pregnant against her will? How would you do that?
Posted by firefury14620 9 months ago
firefury14620
Alright I'm gonna say this again and you tell me where I lost you:
It is not a right to kill someone.
Posted by missmedic 9 months ago
missmedic
So you are proposing to take away the rights of the women and make her have the baby. How would that be done?
Posted by firefury14620 9 months ago
firefury14620
Yes. A person cannot be killed because they are inconvenient. By that logic, we could kill mentally ill people with no family because they are an inconvenience to society.
Posted by missmedic 9 months ago
missmedic
Does a fetus have the right to remain in the womb against the mother wishes?
Posted by firefury14620 9 months ago
firefury14620
Murdering someone isn't a right.
Posted by missmedic 9 months ago
missmedic
You propose taking away the rights of an individual, this is wrong, current law in most developed Western countries would agree with that.
Posted by firefury14620 9 months ago
firefury14620
missmedic, I don't propose putting women in jail for getting abortions, I propose putting the abortionists in jail. I believe the murderer (the abortionist) is more at fault than the woman. Current murder law in most developed Western countries would agree with that.
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