Instigator / Pro

Abortion should be legal


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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After 5 votes and with 3 points ahead, the winner is...

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Two months
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Contender / Con

PGA (Peter) and I will take on the abortion debate. Neither of us will be arguing an absolute position and understand there must be room for nuance. Peter allows abortion when the mother's life is threatened by pregnancy. I accept Roe V Wade has laid out reasonable limits on abortion. I anticipate our main point of contention will be, not in the fringe, but, where abortion is most common. Ie. Most abortions occur at or before 13 weeks of pregnancy. I will argue this should be legal, and Peter will argue against it. Each debater will have their own burden to meet.

There will be no new arguments in the final round - only rebuttal and closing.

Round 1
I’d like to thank my opponent for his participation in this debate.  While we may not agree on abortion, I think we can agree being able to openly talk about controversial issues can raise awareness and allow individuals to make informed decisions. Thanks, Peter.  


An abortion is a medical procedure to end a pregnancy. It uses medicine or surgery to remove the embryo or fetus and placenta from the uterus. The procedure is done by a licensed health care professional. [1]  
Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. [2]  
Women’s health 
When comparing countries with the most restrictive laws (banned or allowed only when a woman’s life is endangered) with those with the least restrictive abortion laws, we find that there is virtually no difference in abortion frequency - 37 and 34 per 1,000 women, respectively. [3]   So what effect does more restrictions on abortion yield? According to Guttmacher institute, “in 14 developing countries where unsafe abortion is prevalent, 40% of women who have an abortion develop complications that require medical attention”. [3] Additionally, Guttmacher finds that “Of all abortions, an estimated 55% are safe (i.e., done using a recommended method and by an appropriately trained provider); 31% are less safe (meet either method or provider criterion); and 14% are least safe (meet neither criterion). The more restrictive the legal setting, the higher the proportion of abortions that are least safe—ranging from less than 1% in the least-restrictive countries to 31% in the most-restrictive countries. [3] Furthermore, legal abortion encourages women to seek abortion earlier making the process safer. Before Roe V Wade (1970) 25% of abortions were done after 13 weeks, and afterwards (1980) 10% were done after 13 weeks.  Additionally, more than 50% of abortions (1980) were done at 8 weeks or earlier. [4] 

In summary, prohibition and restrictive laws do not appear to reduce the frequency of abortion overall, but they do decrease women’s health in a society by forcing women to reluctantly seek necessary medical treatment (at later stages when more complications can occur) without the oversight provided by government regulation. Undeniably, legal abortion avoids complications and deaths that would occur with heavy restriction and prohibition. In other words: Outlawing abortion endangers women while doing nothing to solve the perceived problem.   
Human rights 

“A pregnancy to a woman is perhaps one of the most determinative aspects of her life. It disrupts her body. It disrupts her education. It disrupts her employment. And it often disrupts her entire family life.” Sarah Weddington – Wade Attorney 
Freedom, justice, and peace rests on fundamental human rights such as ‘freedom from slavery, freedom from torture, equality, and the right to life. Disallowing abortion violates every single one of these. If a woman does not consent to pregnancy and has no choice but to give birth, then she has become a slave to pregnancy. A woman being forced to give birth against her will is being subjected to torture. A woman being denied the same reproductive freedom as a man is receiving unequal treatment.  This is a challenge to ‘right to life’ overall as liberty and bodily autonomy are being denied. Every person has the right to control their own body. When this is denied, human rights are being attacked. Abortion is necessary for women to reach their full potential, and severe restrictions stand in the way. 
I expect we will see the S.L.E.D argument from my opponent.  For those that are not familiar, S.LE.D. stands for size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency. Essentially, the argument suggests that a being of smaller size, lesser development, different environment (location), or being dependent on another is no grounds for “discriminating” against the unborn and its “rights”. For the sake of argument, if I were to accept my opponent’s view that personhood begins at conception (which I adamantly do not), we would still disagree because there is no ‘right to use the body of another’. I cannot involve myself with anyone else’s body without their consent, and neither can any other person regardless of their size, level of development, environment, or degree of dependency. Essentially, the SLED argument argues for the unborn to have special rights no person has. 

I will keep this round short and sweet and send this debate over to Peter. I look forward to seeing his arguments.

As Con/Contender, I would sincerely like to thank Skepticalone for initiating this debate, which allows me to defend what I consider a most critical moral issue, the unborn's fate.

Since the word character count is minimal, I will dispense with other preliminaries.

Before considering the legal aspect, please understand what we are debating in the matter and realize that not all laws are just

1) What is the unborn? 
Would Pro consider that the scientific evidence confirms it is a human being? In our last debate, he acknowledged this to be the case. 

"Pro [me in this case] argues human life begins at conception to which I would agree.[1]

Scientifically, it is confirmed in many ways, such as by a human being's DNA structure, which differs from other species chromosomally (46 in most cases, except for defects). [2]

"Thus, each human cell contains a total of 46 chromosomes—22 pairs common to both males and females, plus two so-called sex chromosomes (X and Y in males, two Xs in females)." [3]

Verifiably, when two human beings produce offspring, the offspring is another human being. 

So, unless Pro wishes to dispute the unborn is a human being, contrary to his previously stated position, we move to the next point. 

2) Does it matter what we do with the unborn? 
The stated question involves whether human beings have intrinsic value. Please, reader, pay attention to this point. Does Pro believe in equal treatment for all human beings? He does, [4] (R2) yet he makes an exception (personhood) that is hard to justify. Once some human beings are classed or grouped as more or less valuable than others, morality and inequality become an issue, as with the unborn. For many, it is recognized as a human being but classed as a non-person/not yet a person. The same classification of human beings as non-persons or sub-persons has led to oppression, devaluation, discrimination, and dehumanization by many. [5]

3) Personhood?
Can Pro confirm scientifically when human personhood begins? If not, the unborn should be granted the status of a person because of what human beings are, by nature - personal beings. 

By not recognizing the unborn's right to personhood gives those who enact laws all kinds of liberties, the ability to do what they want with this 'non-person,' not yet person, or sub-person. 

That question of personhood has become central in the abortion debate since 1973, Roe v. Wade, that caused a paradigm shift in our view of personhood. [6]
4) Establishing Unjust Societies - The Example of Nazi Germany document steps the Nazis took in alienating particular groups from society (Jews, gypsies, gays, the deformed and handicapped, political and religious opposition, etc.). Human atrocities and the ill-treatment of human beings throughout the world, including abortion, follow some of the same steps. Those steps include discrimination, demonization, alienation, and dehumanization. In some cases, the final solution is the death of these groups through legislation

In January 1933, Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany. In his first radio address, he gave his vision and promises for a classless society without class warfare [7]. Based on other ideas of his, this included purifying the racial/genetic structure of his nation. [8] 

He asks a trial period of four years for the German people to judge his efforts to renew their economic prosperity, of which Hitler blamed the Jews as being partly responsible for their "economic and social problems." [9] 
In mid-1929, there were approximately 20 million Germans out of work. 
By 1933, there were about 6 million.  
In late 1934, fudged statistical data further convinced the public of his success, supposedly reducing that unemployed number by half, which gained widespread support for the Nazi Party. [10] He also employed a large number of Germans in rebuilding the military complex, a "violation of the Treaty of Versailles." [10] [11 - p.333]

Another step in the progression of power was to eliminate political opposition. [12] 
In March 1933, the Nazis passed a law, the "Malicious Practices Act," [12] which made it illegal to voice opposition to their government or leaders. 
Three days later, Hitler passed the "Enabling Act." [13] This act gave Hitler the ability to label the opposition enemies of the state. 
The same day, the "first concentration camp" was opened in Germany to house those who threatened the security of the state. [12]
By June 1933, Hitler banned the Social Democratic Party, leaving the Nazis as the sole party. [12]

By the end of the summer of 1933, there were over 100,000 "Communists, Social Democrats, union officials, and other 'radicals' imprisoned." [12]  

To enact their policies, the Nazi Party employed intimidation by paramilitary groups, German youth, the SA (storm troopers) and SS. 
In April 1933, the Nazis created the Gestapo.  

Hitler understood propaganda, and the Nazi propaganda machine swayed public opinion and people's thoughts with negative images of the Jew. [14] The State uses biased materials and emotional appeal. Quickly, Hitler established the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. [15] This agency overreached into all areas of public address, including the German press, the foreign media, newspapers, law, radio, film, theatre, music, literature, visual arts/posters/slogans, tourism, education, etc. [16]

Hitler, through education, indoctrinated the youth movement which played an essential part in turning the country to his way of thinking. The Hitler Youth, the Student League and the Pupils' League, the National Socialist Women's League, were examples. Hitler also used professional groups such as teachers, lawyers and doctors in this effort. Along with positive images and slogans to sway the population were also negative ones. Fear and terror was used as intimidation by the 'brownshirts' or Nazi youth, instigated against Jews and others. Incorporate this philosophy of intimidation with the antisemite feelings prevailing in Europe at the time set the course. [17] [18]

Prewar, Hitler and the Nazi Party enacted over 400 decrees and regulations of antisemitic legislation discriminating against Jews. [19]
1933-34, included "limited Jewish participation in German society." [19]
1935, the "Nuremberg Laws" [20] 
1937-38, laws of segregation. [19]
These laws limited Jewish rights and treated them as non-citizens as of July 14, 1933. [21]
From January 31, 1933, to August 31, 1939, according to one historian, there were "1,448 laws, policies, and decrees designed to remove Jews from the country's political, economic, and cultural life. 
In 1933 alone, 316 anti-Jewish measures were taken in Germany..." [22] 

By labelling the Jews as racial enemies of the state (not conforming to the "Aryan race") with inferior genetic makeup, The Nazis started segregating them from the rest of society.

"If Germany did not act decisively against the Jews both at home and abroad, Hitler claimed, hordes of subhuman,[23] [24] uncivilized Slavs and Asiatics that the Jews could mobilize would sweep away the "Aryan" German race." [25]

They believed, through social Darwinism, "consistent with the law of nature" [25] and other philosophies, that it was their "obligation to subdue and even exterminate inferior" [25] races.

Thus began the eugenics program and extermination of the Jew and other "inferior" races. Some believe the "Final Solution" began in 1941 and lasted until 1945. [26]

5) The Dehumanizing of the Unborn 
Planned Parenthood is somewhat instrumental in shaping today's views on abortion. Its founder, Margret Sanger, regularly used discriminatory and demonizing language against the unborn, people of colour, the poor, and weaker human beings. She used derogatory language (just like the Nazis) to change opinions on women's issues. She wanted "conservation of the race through birth control" and a "plan to stem the tide of production of the unfit and try to turn it in the right direction" [27] through eugenics, again, a view similar to Nazi Germany in weeding out the "unfit" as they saw them. She also espoused social Darwinian. Some human beings were inferior, for she wrote, "The lower down in the scale of human development we go the less sexual control we find. It is said that the aboriginal Australian, the lowest known species of the human family, just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development,..." [28] 

A copyrighted article comparing Nazi concentration camps to Planned Parenthood clinics lists similarities in its dehumanization practices and language used of the unborn. [29]  

Building on Planned Parenthood, Roe v Wade has perhaps shaped opinion on abortion like no other law.  

6) Inequality and Injustice
Law is concerned with equal justice/equality. Lack of those qualities has been the scourge of human history. 

a) Basic Rights
The right to life is the most basic right all human beings should have or else some/any can be treated inhumanely.
b) Devaluing life
Devaluating human life denies basic human dignity and rights under the laws to some humans.

"intentional killing of some human beings would not be incompatible with dignity, for those human beings would have no dignity. Such views arbitrarily designate some members of the human family as unworthy of moral respect despite the fact that they are beings of the same kind as ourselves." [30]

c) Duty and Obligation
When engaging in sex, and an unborn is created, there should be a responsibility, an obligation, to protect it.
d) Bodily Rights
Our bodily rights should not harm the rights of others unless others are threatening to harm us.
e) Function v Substance
Which determines worth?

Round 2
Morality and Law 

If my opponent hasn’t already, I suspect he will present a moral argument against abortion. However, we should keep in mind the resolution – “Abortion should be legal”.  This is an important point, because law and morality are not interchangeable terms. Law is the “system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties”. [5] On the other hand, morality is particular system of values and principles of conduct, especially one held by a specified person or society”. [6] We might tend to think laws come from moral convictions when we consider those against murder, rape, or theft, but there are also laws which run contrary to typical notions of morality such as those which legalized slavery [7] or advocated racial segregation [8]. The point here is that a moral argument for or against something is an insufficient reason to endorse legislation because morality is subjective. On the other hand, my arguments above make an objective practical and ideological case relevant to legislation for abortion in a society which values human health and rights. 
That being said, I have no intention of conceding abortion as an immoral act.  Every person has a moral right to control their own body. Every person has a moral right to defend their body (even if something or someone else might be harmed in that defense). Additionally, disallowing abortion has a negative impact on societal health and human rights. On balance, allowing abortion is morally preferable to abolition of it. 

"..a great deal turns for women on whether abortion is or is not available. 
If abortion rights are denied, then a constraint is imposed on women's freedom to act in a way that is of great importance to them, both for its own sake and for the sake of their achievement of equality; 
and if the constraint is imposed on the ground that the foetus has a right to life from the moment of conception, then it is imposed on a ground that neither reason nor the rest of morality requires women to accept, or even to give any weight at all."  - Judith Jarvis Thomson 
1) Con has made claims on behalf of science and myself which are in error. Scientific consensus does not endorse Con’s scientific claims (it was concluded that biology alone is not able to determine the point at which personhood is established” [9]), and I do not accept personhood occurs at conception. It seems Con equates human and person, and doing so has created misapprehensions with his understanding of scientists and myself. In short, attaching human as an adjective says nothing of the legal status of what it modifies.  For instance, cancer can be human cancer, but it doesn’t make sense to claim murder when someone dies from cancer ...because cancer is not a person. In the same way, attaching human to life does not equate that life to a person.
 2), 3), & 6):

In the interest of conciseness (and conservation of time and characters), I will combine these categories as they rely on similar reasoning and do not overcome arguments laid out in round 1 for the same reason.  

A concept of personhood which fails to account for (at a minimum) the capacity for consciousness is at best incomplete and at worst diminishing. Regardless, no matter how my opponent might personally define personhood he will need to apply rights consistently rather than argue special rights for a particular group at the expense of another's. The personhood Con advances sets up an impossible scenario where the basic rights of one group (women) are in conflict with another proposed group (the unborn). His apparent solution is to revoke rights from women so that new rights (applicable only to the unborn) may be extended. Given that rights are meant to be a shield, removing them so that an entire group can be effectively subjugated by dispensations of a new group is an attack on the rights of everyone.  After all, if rights can be revoked for any individual or group for any reason whatsoever, then they lose their power.

My opponent builds his case on a simplistic understanding of what it means to be a human being (a person). His concern for the unborn sans consideration for the consent of the woman in whose body it resides is problematic. How can we talk of intrinsic value, equality, justice, basic rights, etc., where stripping rights from women and applying special rights to another group is implicitly being advocated? I submit - we cannot. Consent and bodily autonomy go hand-in-hand, and it is not possible to have one without the other. If a woman does not consent to using her biology for pregnancy then no one has the right to say otherwise.

There is one other point Peter raises I would like to address: duty and obligation. It seems Con believes sex creates a new person. While it is true conception is a possibility of sex, it is far from true that this is a given.  In fact, one informal study found that it takes, on average, 78 sessions of sex before pregnancy occurs [10] - and this was among people specifically trying to get pregnant (so the number can be higher among those not trying). In spite of what my opponent may think, sex, more often that not, does not "create an unborn" and has many subjective purposes beyond procreation including pleasure, intimacy, connection, stress reduction, etc. None of which necessitate a duty or obligation to anything beyond those who have given their consent to share their bodies. Additionally, consent is conditional. If a person consents to an activity, they do not consent to enduring any unwanted outcomes that might come from it.  We do not consider an STI resulting from consensual sex to be untreatable. We understand a sexually transmitted disease can (if left untreated) cause unwanted changes to the individual.  We certainly do not consider consent to an activity sufficient reason disallow treatment when something more than intended was shared. The medical treatment of abortion is no different.

One other point, sex is not always consensual. I can't imagine my opponent would seriously entertain a 'duty or obligation' someone else forced upon his biology - and neither should anyone else.  Theft of someone's body is a tragic event and disregard of their rights on top of it is unconscionable. 
4) & 5) 

In Section 4, it seems my opponent is suggesting that abortion is wrong because the Nazis endorsed it. There are two problems with this notion. 1) A position or view is not refuted by the fact that the Nazis shared it (association fallacy [11]). 2) If it were, then my opponent should be just as concerned with his argument as I.  He is correct that the Nazis endorsed abortion (for non-Aryan women). However, the Nazis were also against abortion for Aryan women [11 page 90, paragraph 3] and even restricted contraceptives ([12] page 85 – paragraph 3). The Nazis endorsed both sides of the abortion debate as it furthered their agenda of hate. Suffice to say, it is not as simple as having a *correct view* by avoiding positions the Nazis held.  Ultimately, my opponent has advanced an argument which, by his own reasoning, works against him. 
In section 5, Con continues with this faulty line of reasoning except, instead of Nazis, he points to Margaret Sanger.  Again, a position is not refuted because it is shared by someone with whom we disagree on other views. The merits (or detriments) of legal abortion are important to this discussion and a demonized person or group who may have supported abortion are an irrelevant non-sequitur. 
That being said, my opponent’s sources for these two sections (7-29) should carry no weight in regards to source points. 

***On that, I turn the debate back over to Peter. Belated Merry Christmas, my friend, and happy New Year to you and yours.

Best wishes for this New Year!

Thank you for another chance to expose flaws in the Pro-choice position!

Pros two main arguments center on the woman's health and human rights. Concerning the latter, Pro has given his opinion but no logically compelling or conclusive facts that abortion is right and should be legal. However, with his one statement, there is agreement.

"Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status." 

On this statement alone, Pro undermines his entire position since abortion does not treat all human beings equally under the law.  Where are the unborn's rights?

P1. All human beings should be treated equally under the law.
P2. The unborn (speaking of the human unborn) is a human being.
C. The unborn should be treated equally under the law.

Premise 1 Justice is dependent on equal treatment under the law.

In my R1, Hitler's Germany was given as an example of an unjust society. Various groups were not treated fairly under the law. There are countless other examples of nations with unfair laws, such as slavery in America or Apartheid in South Africa.

"Historically, every single attempt to divide humanity into those who have rights and those who are expendable has proven to be a colossal mistake. Why think abortion is any different?" [1] 

"The principle of respect for every human being is found not just in theological sources but also in the principles of the Stoics, the Hippocratic Oath, the philosophical ethics of Immanuel Kant, and the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights." [2]

The Declaration of Independence declares,

"We 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." [3]
1) Fundamentally first is the right to life. It is the most basic of all human rights. The absence of its defence leads to barbary and unlivable conditions for those less desirable. Without that right to life, there is no existence, hence no freedom or pursuit of happiness. 

2) Unalienable rights - If one human being is not equal, morally speaking, to another human being, then human beings are not intrinsically valuable. Granting this, why not kill the woman and her unborn together? What does it matter what one human being does to another? If the rights of the innocent are not protected, then there is no justice. 

Unequally treatment by the law can set a precedent. A vast number of undesirable or devalued human beings can be discriminated against and dehumanized to death. (I.e., Roe v. Wade is cited as justification for abortion because the unborn human being is not recognized as a person under the law).  

"In Roe v. Wade, the Court said that a fetus is not a person but "potential life," and thus does not have constitutional rights of its own." [4]

Surely the law should protect all human beings from unjust killing or devaluation?

"[T]he standard pro-choice position...divide humanity into those who matter and those who matter a little or not at all." [5]

"If unborn human beings don't have rights, though, then the criterion for having rights must be something other than being human—it must be something that unborn humans don't have." [9]

That last quote shows the inconsistency with the U.N. declaration cited above and in R1. 

Premise 2 is a biological and scientific fact. It is also philosophically and logically verifiable. Pro has admitted in the past that the unborn is a human being. Almost every embryological text will identify the unborn from conception as a human being. [5]  

The Conclusion follows from the major and minor premises as sound. The unborn is a human being, and it should be treated equally under the law (for the law to be just) with the same rights as every other human being.

"If the future experiences of the unborn count for nothing, then they don't count for the born either, and we lose one of the strongest reasons for avoiding our own death, and regretting the deaths of others."  [5]

"Belvedere reproduces the argument this way:
1) What makes killing someone wrong is that doing so deprives her of a future of value.
2) When a fetus is killed, it suffers the same kind of loss.
3) Abortion is immoral just as killing an adult or a child is immoral." [6]


1) All human beings should be equally valuable (Intrinsic worth) under the law.
2) The unborn (speaking of the human unborn) is a human being.
3) The unborn should be an equally valuable human being under the law. 

Premise 1, supported by the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, declares all human beings have human rights. It is a statement of what should be, not necessarily what is the case. It is also logically coherent with justice. 

Premise 2 is consistent with science. The life of a human being begins at conception. Its development does not stop at fertilization, or birth, or adolescence, but continues throughout its life. [7] (ch 1, p. 1)

The Conclusion then follows. 


Woman's Health (and the Harm Done)
Health can be argued for the woman and the unborn. Remember what is aborted. 

1. Compare abortion frequency stats before Roe v Wade with that after. 

Number of Recorded abortions per year
1960 --> 292
1964 --> 823 (sexual revolution)
1973 --> 744,600 (Roe v Wade)
1981 --> 1,577,340 (highest number)
2011 --> 1,058,500 [8]
The abortion numbers escalated after Roe V Wade. It became a slaught of innocent human beings.

Robert Johnston Study (Estimating) Live Births and Abortions Reported
1926 --> (2,839,000) = (2)
1960 --> 4,257,850   = 292 
1973 --> 3,136,965   = 744,610
1985 --> 3,760,561   = 1,588,550 
2017 --> 3,853,472   = 427,111 [9]

Guttmacher Institute Reported/Estimated Abortions 
1973 --> 744,600
1985 --> 1,588,600 
2017 --> (850,200) [9]

Please look at the "Pregnancy-related mortality ratio per 100,000" chart since formating it is a problem. [10] 

"CDC...confirmed that there were more than 3,400 pregnancy-related deaths over a five-year period in the United States." [11]

The estimated abortion deaths, same time period --> 3,156,876 - 5,335,590 [9]

Causes of pregnancy-related death in the United States percentages: 2011-2016
Hemorrhage - 11
Infection - 12.5
Amniotic fluid embolism - 5.6
Thrombotic pulmonary embolism - 9
 Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy - 6.9
 Anesthesia complications - 0.3
 Cerebrovascular accident - 7.7
 Cardiomyopathy - 11
 Other cardiovascular condition - 15.7
 Other noncardiovascular conditions - 13.9
 The cause of death is unknown for 6.4% of all pregnancy-related deaths

 2. What about the health and harm of the unborn? Abortion utterly neglects it. The harm to the unborn's health is irreparably, plus the prevention of these deaths is almost entirely possibly. Since Pro used an emotional appeal, consider the trial of the unborn that go "through lethal suction [12]dismemberment [13], crushing, or poisoning" [14]  

The leading cause of death, in a Florida case study, was unwantedness/no reason. 
The woman's physical health was threatened by the pregnancy .288% of the time.
The woman aborted for social or economic reasons 6.268% of the time.
92.330% No reason (elective) [15]

.288% for health reasons is a small number in comparison to the total aborted.

More human beings in the USA die from abortions each year than any other cause.
Heart disease is listed as the leading cause.
Deaths in 2017: 647,457 [16]

Compare that to abortion:
Estimate in 2017: 850,200 [9]

Pro believes it is okay for a woman to kill her unborn human offspring. As the father, would Pro feel it right for him to kill it too?         

3. What about human equality concerns Pro? He focuses only on the woman's health; the adverse health effects to the unborn is fatal. 
4. The woman's health is also adversely affected both physically (possible uterus or cervix damage, risk of hemorrhage, infection, and future pregnancy complications [12]), and psychologically in many cases. [17] Some controversial studies have linked abortion to breast cancer. [18]  

"..., it seems my opponent is suggesting that abortion is wrong because the Nazis endorsed it."

No, that is not the point, and where was that said? The Nazis first discriminated against a class of people and then dehumanized and alienated them by their system of law. Pro-choice does the same.

"1) A position or view is not refuted by the fact that the Nazis shared it (association fallacy [11])." 

It is factual that the pro-choice movement employs language and indoctrination used by the Nazis to cheapen human life. Therefore it is not guilt by association. 

William Brennan [19] charts nine "semantics of oppression" used by the Nazis describing the Jew also employed to the unwanted unborn, women, Native Americans, African American slaves. The derogatory name-calling list includes deficient human, non-human, animal, parasite [20], disease, inanimate objects, waste products, nonpersons.

Two debates, many devaluing terms
 "Some collection of cells", "potentially non-viable embryo," "such a broad definition of human," [20] (R2 - Con), "an intruder," "abortion...a form of self-defence," "a group of cells," "it cannot be legitimately argued a fetus is a person (an individual human) while it exists as an extension of a person's body," "a potential person," (R2), "an extension of a woman’s body," "slavery," "Human rights apply to individual human beings and not parts of human beings. A fetus is part of a woman." [21]

Round 3

Thank you, Peter.  I hope your New Years was memorable! 
It seems my opponent and I are talking passed one another. He would like for the reader to accept a fertilized egg is a person. For reasons already mentioned, I do not consider this to be reasonable.  More importantly, I consider the discussion on personhood to be beside the point.  As I’ve said previously, even if we were to grant personhood as my opponent understands it, there is no right to use the body of another. In an attempt to better illustrate this point, I will draw on thought experiments by Judith Jarvis-Thomson (JJT). 
People seeds 
Again, suppose it were like this: people-seeds drift about in the air like pollen, and if you open your windows, one may drift in and take root in your carpets or upholstery. You don't want children, so you fix up your windows with fine mesh screens, the very best you can buy. As can happen, however, and on very, very rare occasions does happen, one of the screens is defective; and a seed drifts in and takes root. [13] 
In this, ‘people-seeds’ flying through the window represent conception and mesh screens represent contraception.  While attempting to protect oneself from unwanted consequences, a person still finds they have people sprouting in their home.   JJT asks would it be impermissible to rid a home of unwanted consequences from reasonable actions – especially given the precautions taken to avoid this outcome and the burdens they represent?  
This scenario is analogous to the occurrence of a pregnancy in spite of contraceptives being employed. The pill has a failure rate of 7% - which means 7 out of every 100 women using only the pill will become pregnant every year. Condoms have an even higher rate of failure at 13% [14]. This is a very real concern - contraceptives are no guarantee against pregnancy.  As mentioned previously, pregnancy disrupts body, education, employment, and family. Abortion allows a woman to maintain control of her life when countermeasures fail. 
The Violinist 
You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. [If he is unplugged from you now, he will die; but] in nine months he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you. [13] 
In this scenario, a person’s biology has been co-opted against their will to bring someone else to full health. JJT argues the kidnapped individual has no obligation to the violinist.  Yes, the world may be without a world-class violinist, but there is no duty to his life at the expense of another’s biology.  There is no right to life that includes the use of another person’s body. For the same reason, abortion does not deny a fetus’ right to life – it merely deprives it of the non-consensual use of another’s body. This is analogous to conception as a result of rape.
Defense - R1 – Human rights 
P1. All human beings should be treated equally under the law. 
P2. The unborn (speaking of the human unborn) is a human being. 
C. The unborn should be treated equally under the law. 
**Premise 1 – I agree with the premise, although I take issue with some of Con’s defense of it. I will focus on those parts. 
2) Unalienable rights: Unalienable means ‘irrevocable’ [15] not ‘equality’.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for equality and I, like Peter, accept this as a basic human right. However, I also hold that rights are not revocable and I’ve pointed out how the pro-life position seeks to revoke bodily autonomy from women so that a new group (the unborn) may use their body – whether they consent or not. That is the opposite of inalienable rights. 
As for the rest – I have not challenged personhood as Con understands it and the perceived problems related to personhood are ultimately a distraction from challenges to the Pro-life position presented in this debate. 
**Premise 2 – In round 2, I expounded how neither science, nor I, support Con’s understanding of personhood.  This ultimately boils down to semantics.  Attaching the adjective “human” to a noun like, say, “being” does not equate to personhood. I would be willing to entertain personhood beginning late in the pregnancy, but this does nothing to help my opponent since personhood of the unborn does not bestow a special right, but rather the same rights to every person. 
**Conclusion – The conclusion does not follow from the premises - All human beings should be treated equally under the law and, whether the unborn is considered a person or not, there is no right to use the body of another without consent. 
1) What makes killing someone wrong is that doing so deprives her of a future of value. 
2) When a fetus is killed, it suffers the same kind of loss. Thus, 
3) Abortion is immoral just as killing an adult or a child is immoral." 
The first premise does not take into account instances where killing someone can be justified such as war or self-defense and the conclusion is faulty. 
1) All human beings should be equally valuable (Intrinsic worth) under the law. 
2) The unborn (speaking of the human unborn) is a human being. 
3) The unborn should be an equally valuable human being under the law.  
This syllogism suffers the same flaws as the first presented – so I won’t beat a dead horse. More importantly, the conclusion does not argue against abortion since there is no right to use the body of another. It is possible to respect the unborn as equally valuable AND acknowledge being equally valuable does not permit non-consensual use of another person's body.  Being equally valuable means one has the same rights as every other person.

Defense –R1 - Women's Health 
  1. I am willing to accept Con’s stats showing *legal* abortion increased after Roe V. Wade. This is not surprising or beneficial to my opponent’s case. As stated in round one, restrictive laws regarding abortion do not appear to reduce abortion overall. What they actually do is force more abortions to be unsafe.  According to Guttmacher, “estimates of the number of illegal abortions in the 1950s and 1960s ranged from 200,000 to 1.2 million per year. One analysis, extrapolating from data from North Carolina, concluded that an estimated 829,000 illegal or self-induced abortions occurred in 1967.” [16] The causes of pregnancy related death percentages are not surprising either. The percentages are in the context of legal abortion, and as my opponent seems to suggest, these are relatively low numbers. The stats he has provided would be part of 55% of safe abortions (worldwide) I mentioned in round one since abortion is legal (and safe) in the US.  On the other hand, 93% of women of reproductive age in Africa live in countries with restrictive abortion laws, and Africa is the world region with the highest abortion related deaths - 9% of maternal deaths in Africa are from unsafe abortion. [20] A clearer demonstration of the harm illegal abortion attributes to can be had by comparing abortion related deaths in Eastern Asia (where abortion is largely unrestricted) to Sub Saharan Africa (where abortion is much more restricted).  Eastern Asia has abortion related deaths at .8% whereas SSA is at 9.6% (as of this report in 2014). More than 10 times as many women die in SSA over Eastern Asia due to abortion - making abortion illegal makes it less safe, not less prevalent. [21 Table 1]2
  2. Con ask about the “health and harm” of the unborn. He might as well ask about the health and harm of self-defense. Is it unfortunate harm can come from protecting oneself? Yes, but the alternative is much worse: no right to do so. Also, the various surgical abortion procedures described are not the norm and might be required when a woman’s life is in danger – which Con himself allows for. This is another inadvertent ‘own-goal’ [17] (Nazi argumentation from rnd 1) and as Con admits himself - an emotional appeal. However, the typical abortion (occurring before 13 weeks) utilizes medication (not surgery) and Con’s emotional appeal has limited applicability (if any) to the notion that a person has a right not to be used by another. 
  3. Equality means everyone has the same rights.  Con is not advocating for everyone to have the same rights, but rather for the unborn alone to have a special right. This is not equality. 
  4. The adverse health effects described by my opponent are not an argument against abortion any more than they are an argument against rights overall. Defense of one’s person and personal sovereignty (for example) comes with the potential for harm to the self and others, but this certainly doesn’t mean it is unwarranted. Also, I dispute some of the effects listed. For instances, surgical procedures, which typically happens later in the pregnancy and/or out of necessity (the mother’s life being in danger) do not come into play in most abortions. Additionally, abortion does not affect women’s mental health more than not having an abortion. [18] [19]. 
Round 2 
Con denies he is employing the association fallacy, but I stand by my evaluation and related refutation. Even while denying the fallacy, we see a recommitment to it.

Thank you, Pro!


Pro did not grasp the significance of my arguments. He said we talk past each other. Let me clear up some of the misunderstandings. 

My main arguments (that Pro largely ignores) are 1) what is the unborn, and 2) why does it matter? Unless Pro can prove that it is less than a human being [1] or less than a person and that human beings have no intrinsic value, he does not address the heart of the debate regarding abortion laws. Pro agrees it is a human being. Does it matter then that we kill innocent human beings? Pro suggests that killing one does not matter when it is unborn. Why not?

Human Rights
How does killing innocent human beings relate to legalized abortion? Is such a law unjust? This rule of law is unfair if justice exists. Justice relies on applying the law equally and impartiality. Can Pro experientially live with this view of not all human beings as intrinsically valuable? Pro is a human being. If someone decided his human life did not matter, would he think otherwise?
To illustrate this injustice, I pointed out with Nazi Germany that laws that discriminate against or dehumanize innocent human beings are not just laws. I believe Pro and pro-choice advocates fall into the pattern of minimalizing unborn human life, opposing and downgrading the most vulnerable amongst us. Just like the Nazis with the Jews, such laws prey unjustly on the powerless. Both cultures used language and laws, along with the media, educational institutions and propagation machinery to change people's thinking negatively towards targeted human beings.

Indoctrination"[T]he process of influencing a person with ideas and attitudes (AKA brainwashing)...[I]t is getting someone to accept a "doctrine" as their own ideology...The purpose of propaganda is to indoctrinate someone with a viewpoint,..., and the intentions behind the indoctrination matter in terms of judging the morality of the indoctrination." [2]

Propaganda can be misinformation that often denies, trivializes, or distorts the obvious, the facts. Pro-choice has done the same with abortion. They have desensitized people to what is killed and why it matters in its devaluation of the unborn. Pro did not prove the unborn a non-person, he just asserted it. He says, "Attaching the adjective "human" to a noun like, say, "being" does not equate to personhood." In our previous debate, Pro defines a person,

"Person: A human being regarded as an individual." [3] (R1)

Pro, how does adding the adjective change what the unborn is? It either is a human being, or it is not. A living human being is also an actual human being, not a potential human being like Pro has previously suggested. "Potential" degrades its worth. It makes it less than it is, as was done in Roe V Wade, the erroneous case that changed abortion practice and thinking. 

"(c) For the stage subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother." p. 164-165 [4]

Human beings, by nature, are personal beings. Can Pro demonstrate otherwise?

Substance V Function
A substance exists in itself, not as a part of something else. The difference is that function is acquired, but the substance is what the being is throughout its existence. You are the same person throughout your life. If you lose a leg, that does not make you a non-person or a different person. You are still you. An arm or leg (functionality) is not needed to be a person.

Misrepresenting My Stated Syllogism
Please notice what Pro did with Premise 2. He exchanged the word 'human' with 'person' and then reconstructed the case around personhood. Pro dehumanized and trivialized the unborn human being to something less than it is with language. The syllogism clearly spoke of human beings, which the unborn is. There was no mention of personhood. If he wants to argue it is not a person he must prove it, which his earlier link did not establish. 

The crux is that Pro believes it is permissible to kill innocent human beings at least until they are deemed by law to be persons. How is it ever just to do so? Pro bases that on the woman having autonomy over her body. Does that argument work? "Bodily autonomy is important, but there are obvious limits to that autonomy when someone else's body is also involved." [5]

Bodily Autonomy
Pro focuses on the woman's bodily rights argument. He is using a minimalist ethic. He applies the term 'harm' to the woman yet fails to include the fatal injury done to the unborn nor consider the potential damage to the woman's body from abortions. 

Pro: "A woman being forced to give birth against her will is being subjected to torture." [7 - R1]

That statement is emotive language, an appeal to pity, that paints a one-sided picture. Two can play that game. What about the torture of the unborn? [6]

Pro: "Every person has the right to control their own body. When this is denied, human rights are being attacked." [7 - R2]

That right does not include the right to kill an innocent human being except in self-defence. Again, the right of the unborn human being is forgotten. What of its rights?

Judith Jarvis-Thomson
Her Violinist arguments have been refuted many times. 
1. The unborn is not a part of the woman's body but a separate being. Pro mistakenly has argued for that very premise in a past debate

Pro: "...the line of distinction I am interested in is when human becomes person, and that occurs at birth. Before birth, a fetus is an extension of a woman's body, and as such, any rights it has are an extension of the mother's rights. After birth, a new individual human being exists in the world with rights of their own." [3 - R3]

Not true. The 'fetus' is another body, another being.

Pro: " extension of a woman's body, and cannot be considered a person until they are well and truly an individual human being." [3 - R4]

This is a fallacy of Affirming the Consequent, Appeal to Common Belief,  and Begging the Question. The conclusion does not follow. 

Pro: "He would like for the reader to accept a fertilized egg is a person." [7- R3]

Another misrepresentation. Once an egg is fertilized, it is no longer an egg; it becomes a distinct, separate individual human being. And unless Pro can prove that personhood does not start at conception/fertilization, the unborn should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Nowhere have I argued a fertilized egg is a person, nowhere. When an egg is fertilized it becomes a human being and stops being an egg.

"...[U]pon fertilization, parts of human beings have actually been transformed into something very different from what they were before;...a single, whole human being. During the process of fertilization, the sperm and the oocyte cease to exist as such, and a new human being is produced."  [8] [9]

Pro argues,
"I consider the discussion on personhood to be beside the point." [7 - R3]

Yet, Pro continually comes back to and rests much of his argument upon personhood, as does the legal case of Roe V Wade.

2. Sovereign bodily rights should not be absolute. 

Pro: "Abortion allows humans rights to women equal to that of men."
Again, what he states gives a woman more rights than a man, not equal rights. Generally speaking, a man can exercise his right to use his body in causing the death of another only in self-defence. Pro believes the woman should be completely sovereign over her body. No one has absolute rights to kill an innocent human being on their property who has no intent on wrongdoing. [5 - ibid] 

3. Abortion is more than withdrawing life support from the unborn, it is intentionally killing her own offspring, violating its right to life, thus the violin analogy is not parallel. 
"[I]t is the intentional and active killing of that child, often by dismemberment. This killing violates the child's right to life (the right not to be intentionally killed) and right to bodily integrity." [5 - ibid]

4. The woman knew the possible biological consequences of sex. In most cases, she willingly engaged in the sexual act.

Pros arguments about the failure of condoms/devices or the average number of times it takes of having sex before pregnancy results (78) are non-sequiturs and irrelevant since the woman knows that engaging in sex always leaves open the possibility of pregnancy unless she or her partner is sterile. Abortion speaks after the fact of pregnancy, not before.

5. The unborn have a right not to have their bodies "fatally violated through abortion."

The woman is treating the unborn as less than it is, a human being, thus unjustly. The most basic human right is the right to life. That is where rights begin, with a new life. That is a natural right, not a legal right. It is included in the Declaration of Independence, the UN Declaration on Human Rights, as well as being common sense where justice is concerned.

6. The woman has a maternal obligation to protect her offspring, not destroy it.

The woman has more obligation to her own than to a stranger.

7. The woman has a moral obligation to protect her vulnerable offspring. 

Who would be allowed to treat an abandoned baby as the woman is treating her own biological offspring? Not only this but people recognize there is something wrong with abortion legally. It does not treat every human being with equal rights to life and dignity, or as Pro  previously (R2) said well, "human rights applied discriminately is an attack on human dignity."

8. The uterus is where the unborn lives, its temporary home, its natural environment for the duration of pregnancy.

Abortion advocates want to deny it is rightful home. It is in its necessary environment.
Round 4
Thank you so much, Con!

Round 3 Rebuttal and refutation

Human Rights

Con attempts to simplify the situation by equating my life with that of the unborn. However, I doubt Con would argue for my right to use the body of another person without their consent as he does for the unborn. In fact, I imagine he would understand my life being lost in a defensive act by my would-be subject if I were attempting to do such a thing. I ask that he be consistent.

In short, It is possible to accept the unborn is fully human, humans have inherent value, AND argue for abortion.  Con is presenting a non-sequitur/ false dilemma suggesting otherwise. Thus far, he has made no attempt to account for how a fully human and inherently valuable woman can have her body used for purposes other than her own. A logically consistent view of rights accepts all people (even the unborn should we choose to view them as persons) have the same rights - and no one (not even the unborn) have a right to use the body of another without consent. It is not an absence of value that leads me to support equality, personal sovereignty, and human rights in general, but very much the opposite.  Are we prepared to have our bodies forcibly used for another being? If not, we shouldn't expect others to do any different.

Judith Jarvis Thomson

Con has imported arguments from another debate in order to attack them rather than addressing arguments presented here. This tactic has been used elsewhere in this debate, but in response to this argument it was too blatant to disregard. 

PGA explicitly states “sovereign bodily autonomy should not be absolute”. This is an extreme difference between our positions and a contradiction to his endorsement of inalienable rights. If human rights are conditional then they are undermined.

My interlocutor insinuates abortion is merely ‘killing an innocent on owned property’ and states “no one has the right to kill an innocent with no intent to do harm”.  However, I very much see abortion as a form of self defense.  An unwanted pregnancy can send a woman’s life in a direction from which she cannot recover.  It will affect her body, her ability to earn a living, and ..her future. Additionally, Con himself allows abortion when a woman’s life is endangered – would this not be ‘killing an innocent with no intent to do harm’? The same applies to PGA's assertion that "The unborn have a right not to have their bodies "fatally violated through abortion". Ultimately, his words do not square with his own position. My opponent suffers more self-inflicted wounds.  

In round 1 under the title "3) Personhood", Con argues the unborn should be granted the status of personhood because of what human beings are. Apparently, Con has changed his mind and now views equating human and person as a 'dehumanization and trivialization' of the unborn when I interpreted his arguments to match the subject of this debate which is the legality of abortion: one need be a person for human rights to be applicable. I’ve not seriously challenged his view of personhood though, so this is nothing more than a distraction.


Let us evaluate the debate thus far.  I have presented arguments regarding women’s health, human rights, a moral argument, as well as thought experiments to provide (perhaps) a different perspective on pregnancy and abortion.

Women’s Health

In the women’s health argument I submitted ‘restricting abortion does nothing to reduce the frequency  - it merely makes abortion less safe’. Con attempted to show (legal) abortion frequency increased after Roe V. Wade, but this had already been addressed in round 1 – rates of abortion in countries where it is highly restrictive are roughly the same as countries where it is not (37 of 1000;34 of 1000 respectively). This was further addressed in round 3 when the number of (illegal) abortions pre-Roe abortions were shown to be roughly the same or higher than post-Roe frequency of (legal) abortions.
Secondly, Con attempts to suggest abortion should be made illegal because of the “harm to the unborn”.  I don’t consider this to be a particularly compelling argument since the measures Con proposes would do nothing to reduce harm to the unborn given the consistent frequency of abortion regardless of legality. That leaves us with only one solution which has a net reduction in harm: legalized abortion which reduces the harm to women. Ultimately, Con drops his defense on this front in round 3. Argument to Pro.

Human Rights

In this section, my argument was that disallowing abortion denies basic rights to women like equality. My opponent argues for human rights as well, namely, that the ‘unborn have the right to life’.  I am not unsympathetic to his argument, but the situation is much more nuanced to stop there. First, there is the question of personhood, I mean, we don’t generally see folks arguing for the right to life for gametes.  That is because they are sufficiently different from what is typically recognized as “human” that most everyone accepts gametes do not have rights even though they ARE human (“human beings” if you like). The line of demarcation my opponent presents for human rights seems more semantic than the substantive. What makes humans special isn’t our cells or our DNA (which is pretty much all there is at conception). However, rather than have a fruitless argument about personhood, I have chosen, for the sake of the argument, to imagine the unborn as people. Even doing this I find that my opponent’s view is incoherent. He argues for inalienable rights, and, at the same time, “bodily autonomy should not be absolute”. These two statements are contradictory.  He argues for equality while arguing the unborn should have the right to use the body of another – a right everyone doesn’t have (nor should they). These notions are contradictory. The Pro side of the debate has been logically consistent. A person should have the same rights as every other person and abortion does not violate this notion. A man, woman, or fetus (even assuming personhood) cannot use the body of another without consent. On coherence alone, this argument should go to Pro.

Morality and Law

To be honest, I didn’t consider this argument to be very strong – it is a simplistic argument which pushes legal abortion as morally preferable to disallowing abortion because the latter causes more harm and less freedom to women. It is a very utilitarian outlook. Con did not directly address this argument. Later he suggested a woman has a moral obligation to “protect her vulnerable offspring”.  Not to be overly pedantic, but to be an “offspring” one would need to spring-off! (ie. Be a separate and independent entity)  Besides, he suggests harm to the fetus should be taken into account, but as stated above, Con did not provide an alternative which allowed for less harm to the fetus – only the same frequency of fetal harm combined with more harm for women.  He later equated an abandoned baby to the unborn, but this analogy fails. The unborn draws it sustenance directly and exclusively from the body of another, whereas, a baby (abandoned or otherwise) need not. Suffice to say, this is an oversimplification and fails to account for the broader context of pregnancy. Argument to Pro.

People seeds

This thought experiment explored what should be done when reasonable measures to avoid pregnancy fail.  Pro’s indirect response seems to be that there is no such thing as a reasonable measure (except presumably abstinence) because, in his mind, sex equates to pregnancy.  Of course, this simply isn’t true as highlighted by the facts that:
1)unprotected sex on average yields conception every 78 attempts (far from sex and pregnancy being synonymous), and;
2)people have sex for many reasons other than reproduction (none of which abstinence could address).
The fact of the matter is that people are going to have sex because it satisfies many needs, the unexpected sometimes happens, and a woman is within her rights to forgo pregnancy and what it might do to her body and life. Of course, if she chooses to bring a child into the world – that’s her prerogative as well. That’s personal sovereignty. Ultimately, Con did not (at least not directly) address this argument. Argument to Pro.

Violinist argument

Con has imported arguments from another debate in order to attack them rather than addressing the argument presented here. The argument as stated does not suggest the violinist is part of the person’s body – only that the person’s biology has been co-opted against their will AND this creates no obligation on their part.  The argument allows the personhood of both entities, and stresses the thrust of my case which is that there is no right to use the body of another without consent (regardless of personhood). This argument is completely unaddressed due to this misrepresentation. Argument to Pro.

Grammar and Spelling

I see no advantage going to either debater on this.

Final word

Given that this is my final word in this debate, I would like to ask my opponent not to provide anything new as that would be unfair to me. I'll rely on the reader and the judges to hold Con accountable. That being said, I would like to thank my opponent for this debate.  It has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and on that, I will turn this over to him. May your words be true and your arguments strong! 

Vote Pro!

Why Abortion Should Not be Legal

Fact 1: The unborn is a human being.

Pro did not challenge this fact, nor is it reasonable to do so scientifically.

Fact 2: Pro admits it is a human being, but he and abortion advocates lessen its value and status through disparaging language (see the last heading).

Fact 3: Killing innocent human beings is unjust. The unborn is an innocent human being.

Pro never outright disputed the status of its innocence or humanity but did so subtly with semantics.

Fact 4: The Nazis lessened the value and status of many groups of human beings living within Germany by their laws and propaganda, leading to the Holocaust.

A section of my R2 established that Nazi law and Nazi practices devalued and dehumanized particular groups within German society. Pro never disputed those facts, although he argued my comparative analogy between unwanted groups (Jews) and the unborn were unfound. Not true. In both cases, the language undercuts the humanity and personhood of the group(s) it isolates. 

Fact 5: Abortion is a colossal human Holocaust unsurpassed by numbers killed to date in the history of the world (over 1.5 billion human beings legislated out of existence since 1980). [1]

Pro never demonstrated these unfactual. He turns a blind eye while he pushed for a woman's "right" to control her own body, regardless of the consequences which he trivializes in killing the unborn. Pro also misunderstands the difference between him using someone else's body without consent and the unborn's situation. They are not parallel (see Violinist).

Fact 6: Pro could not establish the unborn was not a personal being from conception. He granted it for the sake of this argument. His one supporting citation as evidence of non-personhood [2] was highly speculative, loaded with uncertain language,

"In 1973 the Supreme Court had refused to resolve the question," 

"...the scientific point of view...concluded that biology alone is not able to determine the point at which personhood is established," 

"scientists expressed their view," 

"Reasons for not defining the fetus as a person included the negative impact on providing medical services to the mother and the fetus,..."

"further explorations of the question are necessary." 

Although Pro did not prove it was a non-person (his onus), he is okay with stripping it of any legal rights. I argued that from conception, the unborn is a person by its very nature from a philosophical as well as logical perspective. Pro failed to challenge my contentions adequately, even conceding for the sake of this debate that it is a person, yet treats it differently from other persons. In America, what other innocent people can you kill because you don't want them? Hence, Pro has a double standard unless its lack of personhood is proven.

Two Main Arguments - Health and Bodily Rights
a) Woman's Health
Pro was unable to establish that the woman's death rate from pregnancy, was lesser numerically, to the unborn death rate from abortion. Statistically, the death rate from abortion is far higher than the death rate for pregnancy complications. Pro says that "restricting abortion does nothing to reduce its frequency." Even if this were true (due to choosing an illegal abortion as the contributing factor of those deaths, not pregnancy), that does not make two wrongs a right. Even if illegal abortions contribute to just as many deaths as do legal abortions when did ever breaking the law or ignoring the most basic right to life for innocent human beings justify doing something wrong?

Pro never established but only claimed the moral right of abortion (for any reason), especially for bodily rights as being right. Morally, Pro pushed for human equality, citing the UN Declaration on Human Rights, at the same time undermining such rights with his stand on Pro-choice. He says we should treat all human beings equally then proceeds to argue the innocent unborn human are not equal. His position is a glaring deficiency and contradiction.

Only "a small proportion of women who have abortions do so because of health concerns or fetal anomalies, the large majority choose termination in response to an unintended pregnancy." [3]
"Worldwide, the most commonly reported reason women cite for having an abortion is to postpone or stop childbearing." [4]

Again, the reasons are not usually health-related but unwantedness for a variety of factors. Sub Sahara Africa does not fare well in family planning. Abortion becomes a method of contraception there as well as in Asia, such as in Japan (89%). [5]

In the USA, the risk to maternal health is 2.8%; with fetal health, the risk is 3.3%. [6] Health reasons, other than for Pakistan and India play a tiny percentage in why women opt for abortions. [7]

The data available is considered inconclusive and unreliable in many countries. The primary health factor could be for psychological reasons - e.g. ostracization, guilt, shame. For fetal defects, the sex of the child factors into such evaluations in the pregnancy (the Chinese bias to want sons). Health concerns play a minor part in abortions.

b) Bodily Autonomy
Regarding bodily autonomy, Pro wanted to absolute the woman's bodily autonomy. He repeatedly argues that others should ask the woman's consent before using her body, rightly so, yet the unborn is unable to do this. What is more, by the woman consenting to sex, she understands the possibility of pregnancy occurring. With most cases of pregnancy, she agrees to sex. Rape related abortions count for about 1% of all abortions in the USA. [3]

The Violinist
Pros misapprehension here is that the innocent unborn is a stranger (the unborn shares a part of her DNA) who was forcibly attached to the woman's body. In most cases, the sexual union carried with it her consent with the possibility of pregnancy occurring and is a natural biological result of sexual union, not a forced one. Non-consensual sex or rape is the 1% exception to willing intercourse in the USA.

People Seeds 
Pro mistakenly thinks that I equate sex to automatic pregnancy. My point is there is a moral responsibility involved with sex that happens with pregnancy. By consenting, there is a chance of forming a new life. I addressed his argument of the woman's bodily "sovereignty" under absolute rights. Nowhere should any person have absolute rights over their body to do with it whatever they like if it involves killing another innocent human being. Pro gives the woman greater rights than men.

Human Rights
Pro continually led me to believe he conceded the personhood argument, so I did not pursue it further, yet in R4, he again puts the onus on me. He has the burden to prove it is not a person of which he did not do. 
As mentioned previously, human rights are the weakest part of his argument as explained in Facts # 2-6.

Morality and Law
Pro does not consider my moral or legal arguments to be "strong" for illegalizing abortion. Pro is wrong; he pushes legal abortion as "morally preferable" not as morally right. The harm done to the unborn is irrevocable. Pro does not recognize the "offspring" as a separate "independent entity," but has the illusion it is part of or and "extension" of the woman's body. Therefore he believes the woman can do with it as she pleases. His logic is faulty. If the unborn is part of or an extension of a pregnant woman, she would have four arms and legs, a separate, distinct DNA and blood system, and sometimes a penis. The unborn is its own entity, a different organism, directing its personal development internally. These are scientific facts that Pro conflates and confuses with false assertions. Granted, the unborn relies on the woman's womb and nutrients for its temporary home and food source. Perhaps Pro mistakenly thinks that the only analogy is one of sustenance, but it is one of moral right and wrong, per the heading.

Furthermore, Pro equates harm to the unborn in killing it as lesser harm that the woman endures in carrying it for nine months then perhaps putting it up for adoption. As for the charge that I equate the unborn and abandoned baby as equal, what does that mean? They are equal from a moral perspective, not a developmental perspective, just like a baby and a teen are somewhat different developmentally but no less a human being

The Loaded Dehumanizing and Depersonalizing Language of Abortion
Although Pro and many Pro-choicers are most likely unaware, they used the same kind of dehumanizing language used by oppressive totalitarian authorities to marginalize opposing groups of society for their purposes. [8] By applying a different legal standard to such groups, Roe V Wade set a precedent for abortion. Roe V Wade questioned the personhood of the unborn, was wrong in its historical summation and used devaluing language to sway public opinion to change laws. Pro used suggestive, dehumanizing, and devaluing language during this debate, with terms like "potential life" or suggestions that the gamete is "sufficiently different from what is typically recognized as 'human'" to lessen what the unborn is.

He made misrepresenting, unscientific statements like "what makes humans special isn't our cells or DNA (which is pretty much all there is at conception)," but that DNA is what does make us unique for it directs the human organism to be what it is. The unborn is more than a collection of cells. At conception, the unborn is a separate, individual, unique human entity with everything it needs internally to direct its growth to its full potential. Like every other human entity or personal being, it needs an environment and nutrients ( that the woman supplies) to aid it in its development.

I thank Pro for willingly debating this important subject!