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

Should abortion be legal?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/13/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 568 times Debate No: 80888
Debate Rounds (3)
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Abortion is a commonly debated topic amongst our society.
There is no right or wrong, but only your opinion for this debate.
However, I'd like to point out that if you ARE to speak of opinions, a woman who has been raped and now carries the child of her rapist would most certainly have one.
First of all, for every 107 seconds, an American is sexually abused, and according to research, there are more than 17,000 pregnancies each year due to rape. Second of all, ask yourself how YOU would feel if abortion is/would be illegal in your country, and YOU were the one carrying the child. Would it make you feel better knowing that the child is a cute little baby, or would your mind be solely focused on the fact that it's WAY too early for you to get pregnant, or that you're simply not ready to raise a child yet, or perhaps the fact that this child is a RAPIST'S child? Third of all, imagine a 13-year old with a rapist's child who wants to get into a good highschool, but has no time to study or do ANYTHING an actual teen should do, due to the child occupying her waking hours. Seems miserable, doesn't it? Speaking of miserable, it might be BETTER to abort the child if it was the mother's cnotice, because if it was her decision, chances are, she DOESN'T WANT IT. If she doesn't want it but has to have it all the same, you'll notice that 67% of all unwanted children have either been abused or neglected. Saving a life in this case would only make both the child AND the mother miserable. However, if the mother orphaned this child, what good would come out of it? Sure, they might find a good foster home, but what about their schooling? Imagine yourself in a schoolyard full of children telling you that YOU are a MISTAKE. That wouldn't be too pleasant, now, would it? Abortion would help in many cases. If the woman and the man were in the bedroom and all of a sudden they realized that they forgot to use protection and the woman ends up with an unwanted child, abortion would help. If a teenaged girl is raped by a man, abortion would help.

Taking in the matters of law, according to the law book of both Canada and America, murderer of a human being is not legal. However, what IS the society's view of a proper human being? Would an embryo count? I thus quote the definition given to me by a dictionary:
a man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance."
Now, let's analyze the facts that were on, which is an online upload of information given by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
First of all, an embryo/fetus wouldn't have a brain before week THIRTY. Would a being with no brain count as a human with superior mental development? Probably not. Second of all, the fetus/embryo (Not a full-grown human baby yet.) does NOT have the power of articulate speech, and is curled up in a ball, unable to stand up. I'd say that it seems like an embryo/fetus wouldn't even begin to ressemble a human before week 20, which leaves plenty of time for an abortion, as right now in Canada, abortions are legal for up until week 16, which is still a good deal of time. If right now, even the government allows abortion, then WHY would it be considered a bad thing? After all, if you didn't want the child, and have good reasons to abort, why should anyone stop you? It's the mother's call. The only reason for an abortion would be because she didn't want the baby. Therefor, why not let her go ahead and do it? It's not technically the killing of a human being, as I stated, nor is it cruel, as the baby is removed before it can feel pain.


Thanks for opening the debate, I'll get right into it.
The first, unavoidable, and central question is whether the fetus is a human life or not. This is the root of the issue. We cannot progress to the other questions until we answer this one. If it is human life, and if Pro agrees that ending human life is wrong, then embracing Pro-life is the only rational conclusion. There is not a single piece of logical or scientific evidence to suggest that an unborn child, at any stage of development, is anything other than a human life, so we must therefore accept that abortion is wrong.

Here are some initial arguments for Pro's consideration:

1. Science overwhelmingly confirms that the unborn, even at the earliest stage, are human. At the first second of conception, the zygote has unique and completely human DNA. Humans have 46 chromosomes with DNA specific to the Homo Sapiens species. All 46 chromosomes, as well as the human specific DNA that comes with them, are present the moment fertilization occurs. According to the book Human Embryology & Teratology, "fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed.... The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. [1]".

Even if an abortion happens just after pregnancy is usually detected, the embryo has already begun developing its own unique brain, spinal cord, fingerprints, and heart. By week 6, the arms, legs, eyes, and bones develop. The heart also begins beating [2]. The brain and spine of a fetus are not the organs of some separate sub-human species. They are genetically and fully Homo Sapien. There is not a single scientific argument to justify why a fetus is not a member of the human species.

2. Constitutional Law - even Constitutional Law confirms that the unborn are both alive and human. The 2008 Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA), Section 1841, says that any action that injures a child in utero can be punished as if the injury was inflicted on the mother herself, even if the offender acted unintentionally or had no knowledge she was pregnant. Furthermore, UVVA says, "As used in this section, the term "child in utero" or "child, who is in utero" means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb." Incredibly, this means that if a pregnant woman on her way to the abortion clinic gets hit by a texting driver, survives, but loses the baby, then that driver can be charged with manslaughter. Yet, if the woman arrives safely at the abortion clinic, she can "lose" her baby in a perfectly legal and often celebrated procedure. This contradiction borders on the insane and cannot be justified with logic.

3. The problem of viability - Pro-choice advocates often claim that a fetus should only be considered human after it is "viable," meaning it can survive outside the womb. The problem, of course, is that there is no clear or consistent definition of viability. There are very few people who draw the line at birth - even the most ardent abortion supporters would not advocate aborting 3 minutes before birth. But where then DOES the line get drawn? 3 hours? 3 days? 3 weeks? 3 months? This is a very difficult question to answer since there is no clear answer to be found. If there is no obvious or consistent definition of viability, then there is no obvious or consistent time to say abortion is ok.
The other problem is that viability is almost purely a function of current technology. Over the decades, the point at which babies have survived outside the womb keeps getting earlier. Babies born in remote areas of Africa are not viable much earlier than 35 weeks. In America however, babies can survive after only 22 weeks in the womb [3]. It is not unreasonable to assume that with further technological advancement, this threshold will continue to shrink. So what does that mean if viability defines humanity? Is our level of humanity purely dependent on the level of technology we have access to? Is a non-viable 35 week African baby less human than a viable 22 week American one? Viability is too inconsistent and uncertain to have much meaning, which makes it a scary standard to use when justifying abortion.
== Rebuttals ==
Pro says abortion is justified when pregnancy results from rape. This is a common argument, however it's important to remember that only a very, very tiny sliver of abortions occur because of rape. Since 1979, the number of annual legal abortions in the U.S. alone has been around 1 million [4]. If 17,000 pregnancies due to rape occur each year, and all of those are aborted, that accounts for only 1.7% of annual abortions in the U.S. It cannot be ignored that the vast majority of abortions are healthy pregnancies resulting from consensual sex. Focusing exclusively on rape is a bit of a Red Herring.
However, that doesn't mean it's unimportant. Rape is terrible, yes. But we must return to the central question - is the fetus a human or not? If it is (and I believe it is), then even the horror of rape is not justification to destroy a third, innocent human life. Rebecca Kiessling, who was conceived by rape and carried to term by her victim mother, said: "When you make that rape exception, it’s like you’re saying to me that I deserved the death penalty for the crimes of my father. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, my father didn’t even deserve the death penalty. The Supreme Court has said there is no death penalty for rapists. But you say that I, as the innocent child of rape, deserved the death penalty?” Rape is terrible. Carrying a rapist's child would be horrifically painful. Yet that pain still does not justify killing another human life. As Rebecca Kiessling said, even the rapist himself cannot be charged under the death penalty for his crime.
Pro then says abortion should be allowed if a woman wants to go to school and study and that having a child would be "miserable." Pro also says abortion is preferable if the mother doesn't want the child. Pro goes so far as to suggest that being aborted is preferable to being taunted on the schoolyard......
This is absurd. Quite frankly, it's appauling. Abortion, according to this logic, is a type of mercy killing. Pro is implying that a child is better off dead than unwanted. Better to not live at all than to live a hard life, right? Good grief..... The only way these justifications are acceptable is if a fetus is not human, which Pro has yet to prove.
Pro says that a fetus does not have superior mental development or articulate speech, and therefore cannot be human. The obvious problem here is that fully born babies do not have these qualities either. Arguably, people do not have superior mental development or articulate speech until after puberty, so.... are children and teenagers not human either?
Looking forward to my opponent's response.
[1] O'Rahilly, Ronan and Muller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. (New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996), 8-29
Debate Round No. 1


FangirlLyfe forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


FangirlLyfe forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by FangirlLyfe 2 years ago
Adoption doesn't really help but to remind the child that they're a mistake...
Posted by dsjpk5 2 years ago
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture