The Instigator
OrangeTortoise
Con (against)
The Contender
FrostySnowmans
Pro (for)

Should abortion be legal?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/25/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 510 times Debate No: 113135
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

OrangeTortoise

Con

First round is acceptance.
FrostySnowmans

Pro

I accept your challenge. I will be arguing that abortions should remain legal in the United States.
Debate Round No. 1
OrangeTortoise

Con

Murder: The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.
Unlawful: not conforming to, permitted by, or recognized by law or rules.
Life: The condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death

After the gametes combine they form zygotes (1). The zygote, even while in its earliest stage, is a form of life (it's organic, has the capacity of growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death). The zygote has 46 chromosomes. Even though it's a very young human, it's still a human. Abortion should be classified as murder because it's the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.

To counter future arguments:
"It's the mother's body so it's her choice"
No, while the baby is connected to the mother through the umbilical cord, the baby is not apart of the mother. This quote by Randy Alcorn on EPM sums it up pretty well.
"A body part, such as the arm or leg, is defined by the common genetic code it shares with the rest of its body. Every cell of the mother"s tonsils, appendix, heart, and lungs shares the same genetic code. The unborn child also has a genetic code, but it is distinctly different from his mother"s. Every cell of his body is uniquely his, each different than every cell of his mother"s body. Often his blood-type is also different, and half the time even his gender is different." (2)
"What about rape?"
Rape is horrible, yes. However, does the value of the child's life decrease at all? There are plenty of alternatives to dealing with a child as a result of rape, the most prominent being adoption or foster homes.

Sources : (1) http://www.bbc.co.uk...
(2) https://www.epm.org...
FrostySnowmans

Pro

Some of the opening lines of the US constitution read the following: "We [Americans] hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" (1). At first glance, while it might seem like the destruction of a fetus through the process of abortion is the removal of an "unalienable Right," it all really comes down to what the definition of a human being is.
According to 1 U.S. Code " 8,

"(a) In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the words "person", "human being", "child", and "individual", shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.
(b) As used in this section, the term "born alive", with respect to a member of the species homo sapiens, means the complete expulsion or extraction from his or her mother of that member, at any stage of development, who after such expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut, and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being "born alive" as defined in this section." (2)

In short, in section (a), a human being is defined as someone who is born alive. Section (b) defines being born alive as having a heartbeat, movement, or breathing after being removed from the uterus, even in a failed abortion, and finally, section (c) says this status cannot be extended to any point in development before being born alive. According to this preexisting United States Code, abortion is not the "premeditated killing of one human being by another," and, thus, not murder.

The Con also claims that the argument of "It's the mother's body so it's her choice" is an invalid argument because, although the fetus is connected to mother through the umbilical cord, it is not a part of the mother. To reinforce this fact, they then take a quote from Eternal Protective Ministries, which is "founded and directed by author Randy Alcorn. We [EPM] are a Bible-believing, Christ-centered nonprofit organization..."[3]. This organization, upon examination of their website, depicts a clear pro-Life bias.

In the 1960s, before the adoption of abortion in the United States, women's lives were dictated by the time she had children. However, during the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor included the following statement: "The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives"[4]. Later, in the Gonzales v. Carhart decision, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote that a woman deserves "autonomy to determine her life's course, and thus to enjoy equal citizenship stature"[5]. By depriving a woman of the right to choose when she wants to have children, you deny her of her basic right to have "autonomy to determine her life's course."

Finally, the Con argues that abortion in the case of rape should also be illegal because there are "plenty of alternatives to dealing with a child as a result of rape, [with] the most prominent being adoption or foster homes." According to the Children's Rights Organization, "In 2015, more than 62,000 children " whose mothers" and fathers" parental rights had been legally terminated " were waiting to be adopted. In 2015, more than 20,000 young people aged out of foster care without permanent families. Research has shown that those who leave care without being linked to forever families have a higher likelihood than youth in the general population to experience homelessness, unemployment and incarceration as adults"[6]. Why should we punish the child and the mother for getting raped? Rape is not the fault of the victim but the fault of the aggressor. If someone where to be non-sexually assaulted, we wouldn't force the victim to pay for the crimes of the attacker. Motherhood, and the ability to create life, should never be used as a punishment.

The Con also claims that the value of the "child's" life does not decrease at all. However, according to the US Code stated above, you can't use the term child to define a human fetus. Because the mother is granted the unalienable rights while the child has yet to receive them until birth, the value of the fetus' life never decreased, it never had the right to life mentioned in the US Declaration of Independence in the first place.

Sources:
1. https://www.archives.gov...
2. https://www.law.cornell.edu...
3. https://www.epm.org...
4. https://www.law.cornell.edu...
5. https://www.oyez.org...
6. http://www.childrensrights.org...
Debate Round No. 2
OrangeTortoise

Con

"Some of the opening lines of the US constitution read the following: "We [Americans] hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" (1). At first glance, while it might seem like the destruction of a fetus through the process of abortion is the removal of an "unalienable Right," it all really comes down to what the definition of a human being is.
According to 1 U.S. Code " 8,

"(a) In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the words "person", "human being", "child", and "individual", shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.
(b) As used in this section, the term "born alive", with respect to a member of the species homo sapiens, means the complete expulsion or extraction from his or her mother of that member, at any stage of development, who after such expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut, and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being "born alive" as defined in this section." (2)

In short, in section (a), a human being is defined as someone who is born alive. Section (b) defines being born alive as having a heartbeat, movement, or breathing after being removed from the uterus, even in a failed abortion, and finally, section (c) says this status cannot be extended to any point in development before being born alive. According to this preexisting United States Code, abortion is not the "premeditated killing of one human being by another," and, thus, not murder."

In 2004, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act was passed, "The Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-212) is a United States law which recognizes an embryo or fetus in utero as a legal victim, if they are injured or killed during the commission of any of over 60 listed federal crimes of violence. The law defines "child in utero" as "a member of the species Homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb"."(1)

In relation to my source being biased, "Think about the ways in which someone can be biased. Sure, people can be biased against certain races, genders, classes, etc. We probably agree that those are bad biases. And those biases can lead to false claims " e.g., false claims about race, gender, etc. But this doesn"t mean that all biases are bad, that all biases lead to falsehood, or even that all biases increase the chances of being wrong.

Consider medical science. If we want to find out whether smoking causes cancer, then we are going to want to observe peoples" smoking habits, peoples" cancer rates, and perhaps some other related variables (e.g., peoples" exposure to certain kinds of radiation, etc.). But there"s lots of stuff that we do not want to measure. We don"t want to observe people"s music preferences, favorite color, etc. Those variables are irrelevant to the causes of cancer. So good scientific investigation seems to require certain biases. In this case, it was a selection bias: a bias in favor of only relevant evidence."(2)

The assumption that "The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives" is actually undermining women.
"InPlanned Parenthood v. Casey, the biggest Supreme Court case tackling abortion since Roe v. Wade, Justices O"Conner, Kennedy and Souter argue that a women"s right to abortion must be maintained because women have come to rely on abortion for our place in society. They write, "The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives."

Charmaine Yoest, President of Americans United for Life, asserts that, "This is an offensive and a deeply, deeply impoverished view of women. These abortion advocates are the true misogynists in our society and they are thoroughly discounting true female power and ability. Arguing that a women"s destiny is shaped negatively by motherhood and that her equal citizenship is dependent on abortion is fundamentally anti-women."

If women truly do not have a place in society unless we mutilate our own bodies and our unborn children in order to more closely resemble men, then perhaps the problem lies with our society and its values. A culture that devalues motherhood and sees our children as nuisances is the problem, not our unique ability to carry and bear children.

A woman"s dignity is inherent in her personhood. It is not contingent upon her ability to emulate men, and to say anything less is profoundly degrading to women."

Women who have had abortions are more than two times more likely to commit suicide. "The average annual suicide rate per 100,000 women was 3.0 for delivering women, compared to 7.8 for aborting women. The national average suicide rate for women between the ages of 15 and 44 is 5.2 per 100,000 women. This shows that aborted women have a higher suicide rate than women in general, while giving birth actually reduces women's suicide risk."(4)

The Unborn Victims of Violence Act reinforces my claim that the value of the child's life does not decrease as a result of rape.

Pro explains that there were 62,000 children waiting to be adopted and 20,000 people that aged out of foster care, but they don't tell that the same site he used to get his information from is offering a Foster Care reform.
"Children"s Rights is the only organization in the United States dedicated solely to turning dangerous child welfare systems into safe havens for kids in need.

We team up with local child advocates to thoroughly investigate damaging systems. We expose pervasive failures, help develop long-term solutions and negotiate court-enforceable plans that ultimately transform the way child welfare agencies treat kids. And we complement our legal efforts with research and policy advocacy at the state and national levels to improve the public policy guiding child welfare systems.

Children"s Rights is steadfast in our mission to compel real and sustainable change. Once reform strategies are in place, we hold governments accountable by monitoring progress " and taking action as needed " for as long as it takes to ensure kids have the support and care they deserve. As a result, kids are safer. They get the education and health care they need. They have better foster homes. And best of all, children find permanent, loving families more quickly." (5)

Sources : (1) https://en.wikipedia.org...
(2) https://byrdnick.com...
(3) https://aclj.org...
(4) http://www.afterabortion.org...
(5) http://www.childrensrights.org...
FrostySnowmans

Pro

While the Con does make a good point in bringing up the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, as it does provide a definition to what a "child in utero" is, upon further inspection of the source that the Con has provided, the following is stated: "the bill explicitly contained a provision excepting abortion, stating that the bill would not "be construed to permit the prosecution" "of any person for conduct relating to an abortion for which the consent of the pregnant woman, or a person authorized by law to act on her behalf", "of any person for any medical treatment of the pregnant woman or her unborn child" or "of any woman with respect to her unborn child"[1]. The Con has cherry-picked information from their source in a futile attempt to make their point seem more valid. When the provided source was inspected, it instead reinforces the fact that an abortion is not the murder of a fetus.

While disproving my argument, my opponent stated the following: " Pro explains that there were 62,000 children waiting to be adopted and 20,000 people that aged out of foster care, but they don't tell that the same site he used to get his information from is offering a Foster Care reform. "Children"s Rights is the only organization in the United States dedicated solely to turning dangerous child welfare systems into safe havens for kids in need." The Con tries to discredit my source by claiming that it has a bias. However, earlier in their rebuttal, they included this "Consider medical science. If we want to find out whether smoking causes cancer, then we are going to want to observe peoples" smoking habits, peoples" cancer rates, and perhaps some other related variables (e.g., peoples" exposure to certain kinds of radiation, etc.). But there"s lots of stuff that we do not want to measure. We don"t want to observe people"s music preferences, favorite color, etc. Those variables are irrelevant to the causes of cancer. So good scientific investigation seems to require certain biases. In this case, it was a selection bias: a bias in favor of only relevant evidence."
Not only do they contradict themselves by criticizing my argument of their source being biased by doing the same to one of my own, they have also misinterpreted the statement I made in response to their use of a source.

The site that the Con used as an example for pointing out my statement explains that just because a source is biased doesn't mean that it is incorrect. While this may be true, Con took it to mean that I assumed that the facts in the quote that they provided were incorrect. However, I made no such statement. I simply pointed out that there was a bias in order to discredit the Con's site's ethos and to suggest that observers examine the source more closely. "This organization, upon examination of their website, depicts a clear pro-life bias." The Con's own source includes the closing statement: "So we cannot dismiss the claims of biased people and institutions just because of their bias. Instead, we have to carefully and thoroughly evaluate claims on a case-by-case basis"[2].

The Con claims that the description provided by Sandra Day O'Connor in Planned Parenthood v. Casey "is actually undermining women." To reinforce this, the Con includes the following statement from Charmaine Yoest:

"This is an offensive and a deeply, deeply impoverished view of women. These abortion advocates are the true misogynists in our society and they are thoroughly discounting true female power and ability. Arguing that a women"s destiny is shaped negatively by motherhood and that her equal citizenship is dependent on abortion is fundamentally anti-women.

If women truly do not have a place in society unless we mutilate our own bodies and our unborn children in order to more closely resemble men, then perhaps the problem lies with our society and its values. A culture that devalues motherhood and sees our children as nuisances is the problem, not our unique ability to carry and bear children.

A woman"s dignity is inherent in her personhood. It is not contingent upon her ability to emulate men, and to say anything less is profoundly degrading to women."

This statement is a vast oversimplification of how a women's decision to get an abortion reflects upon society and herself. Simply forcing a child upon a woman when she isn't financially or socially ready for one can have major ramification in her life. The National Women's Law Center reports that "Single mothers earn income that places them well below married mothers in the income ladder. The gap between the two groups is significantly large. The median income for families led by a single mother in 2016 was about $35,400, well below the $85,300 median for married couples... Over half of all children in poverty (59.5 percent) lived in families headed by women. Despite working full time throughout the year, 524,000 female-headed families (11.0 percent) lived in poverty in 2016. Female-headed families with children were much more likely to be in poverty than male-headed families or families headed by married couples. The poverty rate for female-headed families with children was 35.6 percent, compared to 17.3 percent for male-headed families with children and 6.6 percent of families with children headed by married couples"[3]. According to the information reported here, "[t]he ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation [is] facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives."

While Con does provide evidence on the psychological effect on women after abortion, there is reason to believe that these findings are incorrect. On the article that Con got their information from, the opening statement reveals that this study done on women was conducted by the Elliot Institute itself: "A new Elliot Institute study has found that women who have had abortions are more likely to commit suicide than those who have given birth"[4]. This supposed finding is in direct conflict with studies endorsed by the American Psychological Association, a more well known and credible research center.

According to a study submitted by Sarah Schmiege and Nancy Felipe Russo, "[e]vidence that choosing to terminate rather than deliver an unwanted first pregnancy puts women at higher risk of depression is inconclusive. Discrepancies between current findings and those of previous research using the same dataset primarily reflect differences in coding of a first pregnancy"[5]. This study suggests that there may be no link between abortions and an increased suicide rate.

While Con does claim that "The Unborn Victims of Violence Act reinforces my [Con's] claim that the value of the child's life does not decrease as a result of rape, "my argument never considered that. My findings suggest instead that the rights of a fetus to life never existed in the first place, except in the crimes listed in the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

Sources:
1. https://en.wikipedia.org...
2. https://byrdnick.com...
3. https://nwlc-ciw49tixgw5lbab.stackpathdns.com...
4. http://www.afterabortion.org...
5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
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