The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
4 Points

Should Abortion be Legal?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/26/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 656 times Debate No: 91893
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




Abortion should not be legal.
It's as simple as that. Babies' lives are being taken away, their body parts being sold on the black market, and yet some people think this is alright. Many arguments I've heard in the past have been "It's just a clump of cells, you're not killing anything." Yet, from the day that the baby is starting to grow, it has HUMAN DNA. If it's not a baby, pro-choice people, then you aren't pregnant, so what are you aborting? It doesn't make any sense to me.


== Rebuttal ==

1. Con argues that baby's lives are being taken away; they are human and therefore have the right to life.

>> I will be arguing that not all humans have the right to life.

2. Con claims that the body parts of fetuses are being sold on the black market.

>> While this claim is manipulative due to slight exaggeration, the parts of aborted fetuses that are sold go toward stem cell medical research. This

== Arguments ==

1. Individuals have the right to bodily autonomy. This means we should be able to make decisions about our own bodies, especially if they affect our health risks. Pregnancy can be complicated and jeopardize a woman's health. Abortion should be a legal choice for women because it directly involves their body and health. No other person has the right to control how we use our bodies, especially as adults, though this inherent right ultimately extends to all fully conscious persons.

2. Other people do not have the moral or legal authority to govern our bodies, even if someone else's life is on the line. For example if someone needs me to donate organs, blood or plasma, I cannot be legally forced to use my body to save their life -- even if it's my fault they need help (for example if my drunk driving caused a car accident, and their lives are now in danger because of my choices). Women have the right to determine how their bodies are used.

3. Criminalization will not stop abortions. So-called "back alley" abortions will still occur that put women at risk. "An attempt to restrict the abortions would rise not only the percentage of illegal and unsafe abortions, but also the expenses of the procedure [1].

4. Criminalizing abortion is also an added expense to tax payers which is an unfair burden on society [2].

5. Legal abortions are generally safe and provide women with reproductive choices.

6. Women who are raped or victims of incest should not be forced to carry out a pregnancy. Statistics suggest that 1 in 3 women will be victims of sexual violence in her lifetime. Women should not be forced to carry out a pregnancy from such an invasive and traumatic violation.

7. Fetuses are often terminated before sentience, so they are not very conscious beings. We legally kill living things that are more cognizant, such as pigs that are as sentient as toddlers. Therefore simply being alive (or even being conscious) does not determine the "right to life" in society. Fetuses arguably do not have the right to life, specifically as it pertains to mandating the use of the mother's body to survive. We do not recognize the right to life in other humans such as those in vegetative states, in comas with little choice of recovery, etc.

Debate Round No. 1


I'd like to start off with a couple of my opinions, in chronological order according to your arguments. And although parts of aborted babies that are sold (keep in mind, they make money off of the parts of the babies they murder) may go to stem cell medical research, money is still being made off them.

1) Individuals DO have the right to treat their own bodies as they please. However, if there is a human inside your body, it is not your body anymore and therefore your responsibility to carry the baby.

2) Like I said, people can't tell you how to treat your body, however, it is NOT YOUR BODY while you are carrying a child. You're selling someone else's body parts. The law doesn't allow you to sell your own kidney, for example, and no one disagrees with that. Now, you're selling someone else's body parts... How is that right? Also, with the exception of rape and incest, once you get pregnant, it's on you. If you made a stupid decision and you're now pregnant, it's not fair to the child that is now growing in your body. And I'd hope that people would have enough sense not to put their interest first before others, in this case, not to kill their child because it might be too much for them to handle if the child was born.

3) Although your point is correct, criminalization of abortion might not stop them, however, at least its an effort (as many children will be saved if abortion is banned) to stop the murder of children that cannot speak for themselves.

4) If I may just ask this question, how does decriminalizing abortion become an added expense to taxpayers? If anything, taxpayers are suffering because that money goes to funding abortion, as taxpayers fund 24% of all abortions {2}. Not only are taxpayers paying money towards something as disgusting and inhumane as abortion, but they are obligated to, as they have no choice but to pay these taxes.

5) Legal abortions are safe for who? It may be "safe" for the women, but what about the child? And not all the time is abortion safe for the women, as 10% of women suffer immediate complications after abortion, of which 2% were considered major.{3}

6) Although rape and incest is indeed invasive and a violation to your body, and of course women have free will to do as they please, it doesn't mean they are right, in a morality perspective. 93% of women regret their abortions,{1} and if a woman does not wish to take care of her child after his/her birth, they may give the child up for adoption. All people have a right to live, which leads me to my next argument:

7) Although the baby might not be fully "conscious," which doesn't mean that it isn't alive. Would you murder someone in their sleep? Also, just because animals are alive, does not mean they are humans as well, and should not be compared as such. In the Bible (which is the doctrine I abide by) it says in Genesis 1:26: "Then God said, 'Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'" {4} This means we have dominion over the animals of earth, and we should treat them humanely and give them a quick death, as well as make sure we eat and use their bodies completely, (so there's no waste). And this is my opinion: Until a person in a coma or other vegetative state dies due to no recovery, they should have a chance to live, as there is always a possibility they may live.



== Arguments ==

1. Con accepts the right to bodily autonomy, but says it does not apply when another human lives inside you. His only argument is "it is not your body anymore" which does not follow, and "therefore it is your responsibility to carry the baby" which is a bare assertion. In the last round, I explained we should be able to make decisions about our own bodies, especially if they affect our health risks. Pregnancy can be complicated and jeopardize a woman's health. Abortion should be a legal choice for women because it directly involves their body and health. Con dropped this contention.

No other person has the right to control how we use our bodies, especially as adults, though this inherent right ultimately extends to all fully conscious persons. The fetus in the womb does not have the right to life and other rights equal to the mother until a stage of consciousness and/or fetal viability. Con has not proven why the mother's body "no longer belongs to herself" just because she is pregnant. Who else does it belong to and can this "person" make decisions on behalf of the mother? If not, her decisions trump all regardless.

2. I pointed out that we are not forced to donate parts of our body, even if it is necessary to save someone's life.

Con dropped this important argument and responded with repeating that your body no longer belongs to you if you are pregnant (which he has not supported), that you cannot legally sell organs (which is not applicable; again the contention is that fetus' do not have the same rights as developed persons) and that if you get pregnant, it is your fault. If you have sex and contract an STD, nobody expects you to keep the unwanted STD just because your choice to have sex resulted in something negative. If we go on a trip and contract a foreign disease, nobody says we deserve to live with the disease or suffer for our choice to travel.

3. Con concedes that back alley abortions would still exist if abortion were criminalized, which puts both the fetus and mother's lives in danger. f it does not serve as a meaningful deterrent, criminalization is not effective and does more harm than good. Legal abortions are generally safe and provide women with reproductive choices that do not needlessly make them criminals. Criminals are those who infringe upon other's rights, whereas women who get abortions do not infringe upon an entity that has any legal rights.

Con does not respond to the point that this makes the expense of the procedure greater. He suggests that some lives will be saved via criminalization and thus it's a good effort, however 1) mother's lives would be lost (along with the fetus') so the number of lives allegedly saved would cancel out, and 2) if the overall effects are worse for society if abortion were criminalized, then the number of alleged lives saved ought to be measured against other things i.e. fundamental rights, medical harms, etc.

4. Con denies that providing abortion saves tax payers despite the fact that I have sourced the explanation in the last round. A recent study found that women who were unable to obtain an abortion were three times more likely to fall into poverty than those who succeeded in having one. That likely means more women who will need to access federal programs and be supported by tax payers.

5. Con mentions that abortion might be harmful. "The overall complication rate was 2%, and most complications were minor. Only 0.03% of patients were transferred by ambulance to an emergency department on the day of the abortion" [1]. Compare this to the risk of pregnancy and childbirth complications. The risk of death associated with a full-term pregnancy and delivery is 8.8 deaths per 100,000, while the risk of death linked to legal abortion is 0.6 deaths per 100,000 women, according to the study. That means a woman carrying a baby to term is 14 times more likely to die than a woman who chooses to have a legal abortion, the study finds [2].

My opponent mentioned that abortion is unsafe for the "baby." However fetuses do not have the same rights as fully developed people. Slaughtering animals for our eating pleasure is not safe for them, and yet we do not consider what is safe for them because not all living things have the same amount or quality of rights. More about that later.

6. Con cites completely flawed statistics from a totally biased pro-life website (consider this when judging Sources) in noting that 91% of women regret their abortions. On the contrary, 95% of women DO NOT REGRET having abortions [3] based on unbiased research from nearlu 700 women, taken 3 years post-surgery.

7. My opponent claims that just because fetuses are not sentient does not mean they should not have the right to life. He says being human in and of itself ought to provide that distinction, however I am arguing otherwise and the audience must therefore weigh each of our arguments -- not automatically accept Con's bare assertions.

Con then goes on to cite scripture which is irrelevant. This scripture is only meaningful to people who abide by Christianity. I do not and my opponent should not accept the judges ascribe to this theology either. A (rewritten, manipulated and misinterpreted) book written 5 centuries ago should not necessarily be the basis for a philosophical and especially scientific debate.

Con admits that his views are simply based on his opinion, but has not thoroughly argued his ideals and merely repeated them.

The reversibly comatose, momentarily unconscious, or people who are asleep are once functioned and/or are currently functioning as sentient beings, even if they are temporary state of non-sentience. The pre-sentient unborn, however, were never sentient and once they qualify as sentient obtain the right to life. It is the capacity to be sentient which provides this distinction. This standard is important and useful because it accounts for the essence of personhood beyond being alive or arbitrary speciesism. Why don't plants have the right to life despite being alive? It's the ability to feel, think, perceive, and be self-aware amongst other things that makes this important moral and legal distinction.

== == == ==

Since it is not the last round, I would like to add some additional arguments to this debate.

8. Many more eggs are fertilized than become human. Sperm gets accepted by ova quite a bit, but you must attach to the uteran wall in order to develop. By suggesting all fertilized eggs should have individual rights, you would be saying all women who have had a fertilized egg pass through her (without attaching to the uteran wall) should be held accountable for murder.

9. Both IVF and abortion involve the destruction of fertilized eggs that could potentially develop into people. However the push to criminalize abortion and not those who need fertility treatment, proves the contention is less about protecting human lives, and more about controlling women's bodies. Indeed most people who are "pro life" do not support legal measures to protect life when it comes to caring for the sick and impoverished who need care in order to survive. And anti-choice organizations have avoided targeting IVF, even as they"ve sought radical restrictions on abortion access. The point here is that protecting every human life does not seem like a serious or consistent contention.

10. We talked a little bit about "selling" aborted body parts in the last round. Fetuses that aborted still have lived that are used for good. "All embryonic stem cells are undifferentiated cells that are unlike any specific adult cell. However, they have the ability to form any adult cell. Because undifferentiated embryonic stem cells can proliferate indefinitely in culture, they could potentially provide an unlimited source of specific, clinically important adult cells such as bone, muscle, liver or blood cell... Embryonic stem cells are of great interest to medicine and science because of their ability to develop into virtually any other cell made by the human body. In theory, if stem cells can be grown and their development directed in culture, it would be possible to grow cells of medical importance such as bone marrow, neural tissue or muscle" [4]. This can be useful at treating disease and saving other human lives - the lives of those already sentient.

11. Reproductive choice can be the only thing that stands between a woman and poverty or death. While adoption may be a viable option for some, particularly in the U.S., in other parts of the world that is not necessarily the case. However Con's standard of the right to life means women who are in specific danger due to restricted medical care or resources (especially in Africa and South East Asia) will be forced to birth children, even if it means that they are likely to die and that there babies will die or be uncared for.

12. The abortion rate is declining while abortion remains legal [5]. You can combat abortion by providing meaningful sex education and access to birth control. This includes contraception that prevents the fertilization of an embryo.

Debate Round No. 2


p0tat.0 forfeited this round.


Unfortunately my opponent has forfeited.

Please extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
>Reported vote: Ockham// Mod action: Removed<

1 points to Pro (Conduct). Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.

[*Reason for removal*] The voter is allowed to award conduct only votes solely in instances where one of the debaters forfeits half or more than half of their rounds. In this case, the debater in question only forfeited a single round. If the voter wishes to award conduct to Con, the voter must also assess arguments made on this debate, even if they choose not to award points.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Udel 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro argued for bodily autonomy. Con says "it is not your body anymore" when you are pregnant and Pro explains it is still the woman's body which Con does not answer. Con drops pro's pragmatic arguments on legality and cost, when Pro explains that criminalizing aboriton is more expensive. Pro explains why sentience is a moral standard for the right to life which Con does not respond to and Con does not respond to the IVF argument either. Con forfeits conduct as well.