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

Why are you pro-choice?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/1/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 557 times Debate No: 107415
Debate Rounds (5)
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Since someone signed up as my opponent to just saying they're agreeing with me, I had to remake this debate. I wanted a decent debate, not the "opponent" telling me he's agreeing with everything I said. Because then there's no debate.

I'm a pro-life and here's my opinion:

1) I think nobody should have the authority to decide who has and hasn't the right to live. That can both cause a sorting society and trivializing of the child's life. It do also make a society where the child's life don't have any value.

2) People should learn to take responsibility and either use contraception or doing it in a way so there would be no impregnation instead of killing an innocent individual because of people not being careful enough. People have a choice and can choose to have sex, use contraception or to avoid it. So as a pro-life I'm a pro-choice. Don't want children, be more careful!

3) 99% of the cases are consenting sex and aren't incest.

4) This isn't about discriminating women. I would be a pro-life regardless if it was a female or a male who got pregnant. Why I'm against abortion is because it takes away the child's right to live. It hasn't anything to do with gender to do.

5) The child is a separate individual than the mother. It has it's own DNA, body and organs. So the "Her body, her choice" don't apply here. She also had a choice to be more careful when having sex.

6) Poverty shouldn't be an excuse either. Just because you thinks your child would be unsuccessful etc. don't mean it have to be it. Things can go well too even if you don't expect it.

If poverty is a big issue in your country, then the country have to work together on improving it and solve the problem instead of just letting people kill of their children. Adoption is also an option. Disability shouldn't be an excuse either because it's possible to still live a happy life and a disability don't make you lesser worth than anybody else.

7) If killing is in general speaking wrong, then why isn't it wrong if it's a child in womb? A human life is a human life.

8) Yes, freedom can be a good thing. But sometimes things should be controlled. Owning slaves, raping, stealing etc. is illegal because it can do harm and harm makes unhappiness. The right to freedom argument is also flawed because it would affect the child's freedom to be allowed a chance and it didn't consent to me removed. Your freedom should end where someone else's freedom starts.

9) Pro-choicer says it's not a person yet because of it's size, location, unable to feel pain and being dependent.

- A 16-years old is usually bigger than a 10-years old and a 4-years old. Do that make the 16-years old more worth than the two other people just because of it's size?

- I'm more worth inside my house than outside my house, and how do location determine my person hood? Regardless if the child is inside the womb or outside of it, it wouldn't be a less of a person for that reason.

- In some stages the child can actually feel pain during the abortion procedure. Even if it couldn't, would it still be right to kill it? People who are asleep, affected by anesthesia, in coma and have some medical conditions wouldn't be aware of the pain either. So is it okay to do the same with them?

- Yes, it's true an unborn child is depended on their mother to survive, but so are infants. If nobody takes care of them, they won't survive. But the parents could get imprisoned for not taking care of their child, so why not applying it when it comes to abortion too?

10. When a mother undergoes abortion, she either takes pills suffocating the child where it's blocking it's blood supply and nutrition or are undergoing surgically procedures where the child gets sucked out of the mother's womb or crushed and cut in several pieces depending on the child's size. After that the doctor is taking one by one piece out of the womb. Often the doctor are also tearing the child's arms, legs and head apart. Should this inhumane method be legal?


Opening Statements

First and foremost, I'd like to thank my opponent for creating this debate. For this first round, I'll simply give my rebuttals to what has already been stated by my opponent. Near the end, I'll give a couple of my own points to supplement my dialogue. I'm looking forward to a great debate with a great partner!

Personhood Beginning at Conception

"Pro-choicer says it's not a person yet because of its size, location, unable to feel pain and being dependent."

Many in the pro-life movement tend to view personhood as determined by conception. This claim is typically based on the assertion that every human life begins at conception. The criteria by which we determine this life is fundamentally flawed, as it is willfully ignorant to the fifty-percent of conceptions that fail to survive[1]. It also tends to ignore hydatidiform moles[2] and blighted ovums[3], which are unable to produce human life.

In this sense, the gauge at which we determine life at conception is wholly inaccurate, as it cannot reasonably be assumed that everything has personhood when the formation of a zygote begins. Due to this, the way we associate personhood with a human being must be redefined to fit specific criteria. I will argue that our ability to determine personhood begins with our brain and the steady stream of consciousness that creates individuality.

Determining Death and Dead Donors

While it may be difficult to determine human life and personhood; determining death is not quite as cumbersome.

The ethics of organ transplants follows the Dead-Donor Rule (DDR), which asserts that organ donors can only donate when they are dead[4]. The limitations of this rule are obvious:
  • How do we assess people in comatose states?
  • How do we assess people that have devastating brain damage?
In order to understand this rule better, physicians were forced to maintain criteria for death so that they can diagnose and relieve the donor of their organs. This comes in the form of brain death, which is diagnosed by a cerebral edema, followed by an intracranial pressure that exceeds systolic blood pressure, flooding both cerebral hemispheres and the brainstem[5]. In every case of this happening, the effects are irreversible and cause the destruction of the entire brain.

In this regard, we conclude that death occurs when the brain is unable to handle the core functions necessary for life. So long as the determiner for death is the lack of a functioning brain: I assert that brain death (both clinically-defined as well as the lacking of autonomy) is both a valid criterion for death, as well as personhood for developing fetuses.

If there is nothing that governs biological functions, the fetus is without personhood. Without personhood, the moral comparison that aborting a fetus is akin to murder is unfounded. The stipulation, of course, being that the fetus must show no signs of consciousness defined by a fully-functioning brain capable of performing organic ability in its entirety - or relatively so.

Pain During Abortions

"In some stages, the child can actually feel pain during the abortion procedure."

In the Journal of the American Medical Association, it was shown that: "Fetal awareness of noxious stimuli requires functional thalamocortical connections. Thalamocortical fibers begin appearing between 20-30 weeks' gestational age, [...] the capacity for functional pain perception in preterm neonates probably does not exist before 29-30 weeks."[6]

In simpler terms, the perception of pain is highly unlikely before the third trimester (twenty-eight weeks). Forty-two states currently have bans on late-term abortions (after twenty-four weeks), which doesn't fall in line with the perception of pain. There are eight states that currently have no ban on late-term abortions, but have caveats that require a just and viable reason for aborting in third-trimester.[7]

"Even if it couldn't, would it still be right to kill it? People who are asleep, affected by anesthesia, in a coma and have some medical conditions wouldn't be aware of the pain either. So is it okay to do the same with them?"

In the scenarios you've presented, they have developed the key biological makeup that would allow them to feel pain - dulled or otherwise. Even in the rare occurrence that someone has a type of Hereditary Sensory and Autonomic Neuropathy[8] where they can sometimes be completely impervious to pain, it's a consequence of impaired (but existing) neurons. The fetus has a lack thereof; the comparison is untenable.

Contraception: Not Everyone Receives It

"People should learn to take responsibility and either use contraception or doing it in a way so there would be no impregnation instead of killing an innocent individual because of people not being careful enough. People have a choice and can choose to have sex, use contraception or to avoid it. So as a pro-life I'm a pro-choice. Don't want children, be more careful!"

Unfortunately, our country does very little in the way of contraception.

In fact, "more than one half of the 37 million U.S. women who needed contraceptive services in 2010 were in need of publicly funded services, either because they had an income below 250% of the federal poverty level or because they were younger than 20 years.[9]" Additionally, due to Burwell v Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court ruled that companies could even exclude contraception from workers' insurance based on their religious beliefs[10].

The insurmountable issue is obviously finances. Impoverished women have less a chance to receive contraception due to their economic status, but even if they happened to have the money and means to get their medication, many pharmacies actually refuse to give women contraception.

Some of the largest health systems in our country are Catholic-sponsored, meaning that some pharmacists can actually refuse to give patients contraception if it crosses their moral and religious beliefs. Currently, fewer than half of our states directly address the issue of refusing medication - with six states having laws that specifically allow pharmacies to refuse due to their beliefs[11, 12].

The truth is, contraception is difficult for certain women. With publicly-funded programs (Title X and Medicaid) being funded haphazardly, many women have to overcome heavy barriers to get their medication. Even if the availability of medication was easily procured by the majority of women, contraception isn't always a sure thing.

"32% of annual failures occur in the first three months of [contraception], and 63% occur in the first six months,[13]" matching somewhat similarly to the estimates of contraceptive failure from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, which concluded "12.4% of all episodes of contraceptive use ended with a failure within 12 months after initiation of the use.[14]"

Even though one can be aware that pregnancy may be a consequence of sex, people don't typically believe that their contraception will fail. Punishing people due to this seems unethical, as they had no say in whether or not they became pregnant. Even with all the precautionary measures taken, women can still end up with unintended pregnancies.

Illegality of Abortion Leads to Higher Rates

In a 1976 journal article conducted by the Center for Disease Control, the national data for abortion was reviewed before and after the landmark decision of Roe v Wade. It found that the number of illegal procedures in the United States "plummeted from around 130,000 to 17,000.[15]" The rate of terminated pregnancies came to be around a 16.3 abortion rate per 1,000 women. In 2014, this rate was even lower at 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women.

If you consider other countries that have abortion entirely illegal, you get many different rates. The number of abortions from 1990 to 2006 in Mexico have jumped considerably from the previous 530,000 to 875,000. Many of the women that received the illegal abortion had complications due to unsafe practices. "Seventeen percent of the Mexican women who obtained abortions in 2006 were treated in public hospitals for complications.[16]"

The Democratic Republic of Congo, coming in at a staggering "56 [abortions] per 1,000 women of reproductive age [...] The DRC continues to have one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world at 693 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.[17]" The problem being: clandestine operations of abortion will always be sought after, as unintended pregnancies impede the physical health, mental health, and aspirations of the woman involved.

Thus, resulting in illegal abortions and health complications from unsafe practices.

Closing Remarks and Sources

My opponent has largely alluded that their issue with abortion comes from the termination of personhood, to which I believe sufficient evidence has been provided to the contrary. Similarly, the perception of pain and the supposed use of contraception for all women has been rightly shown to be inadequate in my opposition's opening-round arguments.

In conclusion, I believe that abortions are morally ethical, as most abortions are done before the second trimester and the development of personhood. Comparing the legality of abortions here to other countries, you'll notice the statistics that show our country has a steady decline in abortion practices while other countries have an incline.

Giving women a safe, ethical, and efficient option to circumvent health issues is beneficial to the decrease of abortions in general. With more funding for public programs that provide contraception and laws that disallow pharmacies to refuse contraception entirely, I fully believe we can see the number of abortions drop even lower than they are currently.

I also must apologize to my opponent, as I've gone incredibly close to the character limit. I will post all of my sources, respectively, in the comments of the debate. I look forward to my opponent's response and welcome refutations!
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Debate Round No. 5
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