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

a pregnant woman shouldn't always have the right to an abortion

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/8/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 991 times Debate No: 56261
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




at least later in the pregnancy... sometiems infant's rights should be prioritized. a mother assumed the risk of pregnancy, and then, she assumed the risk of carrying the child for many months.

to be clear, i'm focusing on later in pregnancy. but there (and earlier but again not the point being debated), an argument could be made that she forfeits her right to not be pregnant by assuming that risk. much like... if you cause an accident, and the victim's body is somehow temporarily attached to your body, hypothetically speaking... a reasonable person would say the tortfeasor must at least wait a few months until they can be separated.

that analogy could be extended to later in pregnancy, and then topped off with the fact that she didn't bother to terminate when it was more debatable whether it's a person or not. (if it's debatable, who should decide? the government? why not the mother who is more proximate?) when it was morally grayer.

later in the pregnancy though, it's not debatable about person hood. if there's no significant health or life or very very significant emotional problems, or perhaps an issue or rape, aborting the infant in the womb is no different than aborting it when it is born. the only difference, that the mother is hindered, is trumped by the risks she assumed, and that leaves nothing to justify abortion later in the pregnancy if an exception doesn't apply.


Women should have the right to terminate their pregnancy regardless of how far along they are in their pregnancy. Rights are not dictated by whether or not a person is pregnant. And they certainly are not revocable simply because a person is in a particular trimester. Rights are lifelong and inalienable without due process. And being pregnant is not a crime - you do not lose any of your rights just because you are with child.

My opponent makes the claim that sometimes an infants rights should be prioritized. However, under the law ALL persons shall have equal rights. Infants should NOT be afforded special rights over another person simply because they are infants. To give them priority would be in direct conflict with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 and legally binding to all countries of the United Nations.

Next, my opponent says that the mother assumed the risk of pregnancy. This is both demonstrably false and also irrelevant to an infants rights taking priority over the mothers. The CDC estimates that 49% of pregnancies are unintended. And merely being pregnant does not mean that you are "assuming risk." A woman does not wave her rights merely because she is pregnant nor does she enter into a contractual arrangement to continue being pregnant. A woman has full rights over the use of her own body at all times. Another person does not have ANY rights over the use of her body at any time.

The fetus has the right to life. But it does not have the right to life by violating another persons rights. If a pregnancy is terminated after 20-22 weeks it is not an abortion. Its a premature birth. And at that time the care and well being of the child is transferred to the state. The state cannot force you to look after the well being of the child after birth . . . nor can the state do so before birth.

In closing, I would like to draw attention to the fact that we as a society do recognize infants have person hood. What we don't recognize is that one persons rights should be prioritized over another persons rights.
Debate Round No. 1


con goes on about how rights are not something that can be lost. what about the infant's rights?

con quibbles about the use of the word 'prioritizes'. are society's rights prioritized when they say a smoker can't smoke in public places? in a matter of speaking, of course. con would make it an issue of semantics an say everyone has equal rights. the point there is the smoker doesn't always get what he wants, the point here is the mother doesn't always get what she wants.

con says the mother cannot assume the risk of pregnancy given she did not necessarily intend it. this is a nonsequiter. the idea of assuming a risk doesn't require the consequence be intended, in fact it almost always involves a non intended act. there is a risk to having sex that you will get pregnant. the mother assumed that risk.

con says it doesn't matter how along she is in pregnancy. so it's okay to terminate a week before her due date, just because she wants to, and not for exceptions like health of the mother? you're free to feel this way, but it's extremely limited how many people agree with you. and, it doesn't really address how a mother didn't abort sooner when it was morally grayer. she had plenty of chance.
and, you didn't address the hypothetical of an accident being caused by someone, where the other is attached to you, and you can't separate the people for a few months. no one would say it's okay for the person who caused the accident to kill the victim.

con says a pregnancy being terminated after 20 or so weeks is a premature birth. this is also a nonsequiter. i'm not sure what he's trying to say.


It is clear that Pro does not understand they have the burden of proof for this debate. Case and point, Pro begins by asking about the rights of the infant but then never addresses those rights. Pro is committing the formal logical fallacy of Begging the Question. If Pro believes the infant has some rights that are being trespassed upon then Pro needs to address exactly what those rights are and how they are being trespassed upon. Simply asking "what about the infant's rights?" is not a premise for an argument. So I will begin my second round by throwing the question right back at them: what about the infant's rights?

Pro then tries to compare terminating a pregnancy with smoking in a public place. This is a ridiculous comparison. A smoker can remove them self to a private setting where they can smoke - a pregnant woman can NOT remove herself to a private setting where she can stop being pregnant. Second hand smoke causes health risks to the public - terminating a pregnancy does NOT cause health risks to the public. To the contrary, studies have consistently shown that when women have abortion rights there is a reduction in infanticide, teen age drug use, teen age arrest rates, and teen age childbearing. However, the biggest problem with this ridiculous comparison is it in no way address early pregnancy terminations vs. later terminations. If Pros comparison were valid (which its not) it would invalidate ALL abortions.

Most annoying of all, Pro once again assets that mothers "assume risk." As I already addressed this in the previous round I will simply quote the late Christopher Hitchens:

"Anything that can be asserted without evidence . . . can be dismissed without evidence."

Burden of proof is on Pro.

And just when I thought Pro couldn't get any more ridiculous they start arguing against premature births. Clearly Pro doesn't understand that many woman schedule C sections (which is termination of the pregnancy) before their due dates for either health or convenience factors. Terminating a pregnancy a week before a woman's due date isn't some absurd hypothetical. Its a reality that happens every single day. And having an abortion doesn't necessarily mean the child dies. Once again, after the 20 week mark the child can usually be removed from the mothers womb and continue living on assisted support. Is Pro against all C sections?

Pro has failed every single burden of proof. They have not defined when it is too late to have an abortion and what the difference is. They have not shown that the mother has a reasonable expectation to continue with a pregnancy beyond a certain point. And they have not shown that an infants rights should trump the mothers rights. This is hardly a debate. Pro has not cited a single statistic nor scientific fact to support their position. It is all conjecture and their personal opinion.
Debate Round No. 2


con asks me to explain the basis for the infants rights. basic reason. is it a baby two seconds outside of the womb with rights? then it is a baby inside of the womb with rights. also, you didn't respond to the analogy, which is also based on reason. someone causes an accident and we cannot separate the victim and the wrong doer. no one would think it's okay for the wrong doer to kill the victim, yet that's what con is suggesting. and, the assumption of risk point which you have not addressed also gives basis for infant rights.

on the assumption of risk point, it's a philosophical debate. that means all the evidence i need is based on logic. you have not and cannot cogently respond to it, cause your position defies logic.
please see previous posts for a more detailed argument about it.

the only point in the smoker analogy is to say how your point about rights is ridiculous itself. you say that the infants rights cannot trump the mothers sometimes cause everyone has the same rights. this is just quibbling about what it means to have rights, and missing the points, and the smoker analogy showed that.
plus according to your logic if they have equal rights, that doesn't mean the woman can kill it given the consideration mentioned.

the only thing i mentioned about prematue births is that i didn't understand what you meant. people usually dont call pregnancies 'terminated' if they are pre mature births. they call abortions terminations of pregnancy. of course i dont view c sections and having the baby as immoral.
con does add the non sequeter of " And having an abortion doesn't necessarily mean the child dies. " by definition, an abortion necessarily means the child dies. that's what an abortion is.

i dont have to provide specific dates for when it is too late to have an abortion. my only contention is that sometimes the woman shouldn't be able to abort. many other debaters understand this and debate against me, even as extreme as most people view it. these are the people i'm looking for. the burden is on you then, to show that her rights to abort at all points are absolute. you haven't conceded that a woman should be able to abort a week before her due date, just because she wants to, and not for a commonly thought of exception. is that because you've agreed with me all along and didnt have a clear reason why you took this debate as is the case with most who take this debate? or do you agree she should have that right, and if so, how do you make a meaningful distinction especially given the anaology and simple logic that the baby is still a baby regardless of if it is in the womb or outside the womb?


Pro has completely failed to support their conclusion that a woman shouldn't always have the right to an abortion. Pro never address' when it is too late to have an abortion, why women shouldn't be allowed to have abortions later in their pregnancies, and under what circumstances a woman should or should not have the right to a late abortion.

I will now restate the reasons why I think that women should be allowed to have later abortions. Firstly, I accept that a fetus has human rights. However, I do not accept that a fetus has rights to someone else body. A drunk driver can not be forced to donate a kidney or lung to a victim - and a drunk driver is guilty of a crime. Women should not be forced to give up access to their body parts - and they haven't committed a crime.

Second, an abortion after 22 weeks becomes a late termination and the child usually survives outside of the mothers womb on life support. This means that late term abortions result in the survival of the child. Telling woman they have to have abortions early on could well result in more fetus' being killed because woman would be having their abortions before the 22 week marker. And life support would not be an option. Also, with babies born before 26 weeks over 80% will make it to adult hood. This alone should be a good enough reason to keep later abortions.

Lastly, studies have consistently shown that when women have abortion rights there is considerably less infanticide, teen age drug use, teen age arrest rates, and teen age childbearing. All of them go down. These are positive effects on society. Banning abortions, even in later stages, would have negative and far reaching repercussions.

In closing, I would urge the person who is arguing Pro to read up on the Analytic/Synthetic Dichotomy. Your statement that this is a philosophical argument and therefore you 'don't have to provide facts / only argue logic' is not valid for this debate. Restricting woman's abortion rights is what's called an A-Posteriori issue - it exists in the real world and needs to be addressed by empirical information. It is not an esoteric discussion that can only be addressed by analytic distinctions. I think half an hour spent learning the difference between the two would be of great value to you and would go a long ways to helping you formulate arguments in your future debates.

Thanks for the challenge,
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 7 years ago
his debate should be interesting. but in general i'm too impatient to wait for decent responses, cause most i view as not very good arguments.
Posted by iOS 7 years ago
Can I ask why you always double-post debates?
Mikal already accepted one of your debates that ha the exact same title as this one.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I actually expected that Pro would have an easy time here. Unfortunately, in the end, Pro failed to establish a coherent case for her position. She did not explicate the conflict she asserted between fetus and maternal rights. She needed to do so in order to have a coherent and rebuttable framework. Arguments to Con. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.

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