Instigator / Pro

Abortion should be legal


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Two weeks
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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.

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--> @Ragnar
Thank you!
I've seen way too many people argue against birth control; so a debate focused on the approximate 13th week, should be refreshing to see. So good luck to you both!
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