Instigator
PGA2.0 avatar
Points: 21

Abortion: The Woman Should NOT have the Right to Choose, with one exception.

Voting

The participant who scores the most points is declared the winner

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Debate details
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Category
Health
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Judicial decision
Voting period
One month
Point system
Four points
Characters per argument
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Contender
SkepticalOne avatar
Points: 11
Description
Pro contends that abortion is taking the life of a human being and therefore should be considered murder/a wrong, not a woman's right to choose.
Con contents that abortion should be the woman's right to choose and that it is not wrong for the woman to abort that life, whether the woman chooses to do so before or after the "age of viability" of the unborn.
Termination of pregnancy because of a threat to the life of the mother will be the exception to the rule (i.e., tubal pregnancy/Ectopic pregnancy).
The debate aims to convince others that the position held is the most reasonable of the two.
1st Round - Pro Definitions
1st Round - Con Definitions and Acceptance
2nd Round - Opening Arguments
3rd Round - Rebuttals and Additional Arguments
4th Round - Rebuttals and Additional Arguments
5th Round - Summary and Final Rebuttal; No New Arguments
I request that forfeiting one round will automatically grant the opponent the win. Please consider this before accepting.
Round 1
Published:
I thank the judges for accepting the responsibility of judging our debate and thank SkepticalOne for agreeing to debate me on what I consider a most important issue.

The purpose we designated to Round 1 is for defining our terms.

DEFINITIONS

Abortion
The deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Abortion Law and Legal Definition
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by various methods, including medical surgery, before the fetus is able to sustain independent life. In Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113 (1973), the U. S. Supreme Court determined that the Constitution protects a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. Specifically, the Court ruled that during the first trimester of pregnancy the state cannot bar any woman from obtaining an abortion from a licensed physician. During the second trimester, the state can regulate the abortion procedure only to protect the woman’s health. In the third trimester, the state may regulate to protect fetal life, but not at the expense of the woman’s life or health.

In a companion case, Doe v. Bolton, 410 U. S. 179 (1973), the Court held further that a state may not unduly burden a woman's fundamental right to abortion by prohibiting or substantially limiting access to the means of effectuating her decision.

***

Definition of human:
1 of, relating to, or characteristic of humans
2 consisting of humans
3 a) having human form or attributes
b) representative of or susceptible to the sympathies and frailties of human nature

Medical Definition of human:
1 a: of, relating to, or characteristic of humans
b: primarily or usually harbored by, affecting, or attacking humans
2: being or consisting of humans
3: consisting of members of the family Hominidae

Definition of conception:
1 a : (1) the process of becoming pregnant involving fertilization or implantation or both (2) embryo, fetus
b: beginning

Definition of person:
1: human, individual —sometimes used in combination especially by those who prefer to avoid man in compounds applicable to both sexes
5: the personality of a human being

Legal Definition of person:
1: natural person
2: the body of a human being

Medical Definition of a Person:
1. A living human.
2. The composite of characteristics that make up an individual personality; the self.
3. The living body of a human.
4. Physique and general appearance.

Definition of a Person:
1. a human being, whether an adult or child:
2. a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.

Age Of Viability
The age of viability (also known as fetal viability) is the age at which a fetus can live outside of the womb. The age of viability is around 24 weeks but fetuses as early as 22 weeks can survive with stringent and intense medical intervention.

Viability
Capability of living; the state of being viable; usually connotes a fetus that has reached 500 g in weight and 20 gestational weeks (i.e., 18 weeks after fertilization).

Published:
After much nail biting, we got a group of judges to accept and you all have our thanks! This round has been designated for acceptance and definitions. I accept.  As to the definitions, PGA has provided some definitions I feel are meaningful to this debate. However, I will provide my own so that it will be clear what I mean when I say these words and in an attempt to avoid any equivocation. All definitions are from the Oxford dictionary and are as follows:

Person: A human being regarded as an individual.

Autonomy: The right or condition of self-government; Freedom from external control or influence; independence.

Individual: A single human being as distinct from a group.

Right: A moral or legal entitlement to have or do something.



Good luck to my opponent, thank you (again) to the judges, and may the best argument win!
Round 2
Published:
I thank my opponent for his gracious and kind words!
Con = Contender for this debate.
 
Introduction
Whether or not the unborn is a human being and whether human beings have intrinsic value is the heart of the abortion debate. If it is, and human beings are intrinsically valuable, the woman should not have the right or choice to kill it, with one exception; not killing it will result in the mothers and/or the unborn death. If it is human and valuable, it is our moral duty to protect it, for it is the most innocent and vulnerable of all human beings. If humanity establishes it is human then why are there an estimated 1.5 billion such human beings killed since 1980? To date, such killing would be the most significant human genocide in the history of the world to one class of human beings.
 
Number of Abortions - Abortion Counter
“Each real-time abortion counter is based on the most current statistics for the number of abortions in the US & the number of abortions Worldwide.”
As of 11/2/2018 10:54 PM:
The US since 1973: Roe vs Wade 60,846,841
Worldwide since 1980 1,513,551,204
 
This Pro-life argument will include five points:
1) What is the basis for right and wrong?
2) What is the unborn and when does human life begin?
3) When does a human being become a person?   
4) Does the female have the right to choose whether or not the unborn lives?
5) Is taking the life of an unborn murder?
 
1) Who determines what is right and wrong?
 
a) Is morality relative? If it is, then it is arbitrary and meaningless for determining right and wrong since it makes a woman’s choice no better than one that opposes it? It also makes a choice a preference, not a moral right or wrong.

Scott Klusendorf points out that when someone says, “It’s a woman’s right to choose”[2] they confuse preference with a moral right. It is like saying, “If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one.” “It confuses the two types of claims.  (Try this: “Don’t like slavery?  Don’t own a slave!”)” [2]

There is a difference between offering an opinion or preference and claiming to be right. A woman choosing an abortion is opting for a personal taste that has been made into a moral right when it is no such thing.

Scott continues, “Preference claims cannot be evaluated as true or false because they are matters of personal taste.  You cannot reasonably argue that vanilla ice cream is objectively better than chocolate.  But moral claims are different.  They can be evaluated as true or false based on the evidence. They are not tastes. They do not say, “This is better tasting,” they say, “This is right”.”  [2] Ibid
 
Scott then goes on to show the intolerance of moral relativism masquerading as tolerance, that it is “self-refuting rhetoric.” When a person objects to the counter view as wrong (no longer tolerant), they show their intolerance. So moral relativism does not work in legislating right and wrong.
 
With abortion rights legislated on the grounds of moral relativism, anything can be passed off as “right.” Arguably, this has been done regarding abortion and the woman’s right to choose. More on it later if space permits.
 
b) Science, alone, is not the sole determiner of judging whether a woman should be allowed to choose to abort. Science is a descriptive field, not a prescriptive field. It describes what is, not what should be. Science does not determine right and wrong. It is a tool used. Science rules, “if she continues with her tubal pregnancy both she and the unborn will die.” Based on those grounds the moral decision is evaluated and made.
  
c) The intrinsic worth of a human being is either a universal or particular. Either being human is valuable because of what humans are, or it is not. It either applies to all cases and classes of humanity or particular cases or classes can be discriminated against, devalued, or eliminated. So, to legislate abortion as right on the grounds of particularism leads to not all humans as intrinsically valuable, and there is no equality in justice. An intrinsic value must be applied to all equally.  
 
d) If there is any truth to morality, then there must be an objective, non-relative standard of measure. What does Con in this debate see that standard to be, since his views on morality are that there are universals (applying to everyone)?

“Moral actions can be objectively known once we agree human life (and life [in] general) is special and worth preserving. Anyone who does not agree to this has no place in a legitimate discussion on morality.” Post # 66 

The problem is agreeing. We agree life is special and worth preserving but does the woman who chooses to kill the unborn? Does she see the worth?
Is the right to life a fundamental right of all humans? Con suggests that it is for him; otherwise, there is no place for legitimate moral discussions. He thinks we can base objectivity on actions.
 
When Does Human Life Begin? What is the Unborn?

Logically, human life starts at conception. A male gamete or sperm unites with a female gamete or oocyte to form a zygote, the beginning of a separate and new human being. [4a] The two donor DNA codes combine to create a unique human being. Not only do medical and biological textbooks confirm this [4], but so do many abortionists themselves [5].

Here is a “list of 41 quotes from medical experts and medical textbooks that prove human life begins at conception/fertilization.” [4a]
 
 
“Some of the world’s most prominent scientists and physicians testified to a U.S. Senate committee that human life begins at conception.” [4b]
 
Another “list of Quotes From Medical Textbooks/Scientists Proving Life Begins at Conception.” [4c]
 
Abortionists on abortion confirm they think the unborn is a human being and the methods used to kill it are grotesque.
 
If Con wishes to dispute that human life begins at conception or the process of fertilization, then he needs to explain what exactly this new life that has begun to grow is and how he confirms his opinion as true?

During the process of fertilization, the sperm is no longer alive, neither is the ovum, but a new, individual, genetic human being is developing.
 
When Does a Human Being Become a Person?

The Start of Personhood
What is a person? Is every human a person? Is the fetus a person?
 
The argument is that the unborn are persons because they are humans. Biologically it is human, genetically the unborn (in all its stages) has the essence and nature of a person built into its DNA. If Con argues that the unborn is not a person because it is not functioning as a person I will argue that a person is not a person because of what they do (function), but because of who they are – by their nature. The unborn have a personal nature and capacity from conception with the ability to grow into personal functionality because that is the being a human being is.
 
Robots do functions that a person can do, so functioning is not what makes a person such, but nature, or else Con will have to argue that robots are persons. One must be a human being to grow a human brain. Likewise, one must be a person to be personal. The gradual development does not make a human being less of a human because it has not developed a human trait or function yet. Otherwise, the gradual development of a female toddler is less of a human being than a pre-teen girl, and a pre-teen less than a teen, a teen less than a woman for the fact that she has not developed her reproduction system yet?

Peter Kreeft expresses these thoughts further in the link that follows, concerning robots, brain functions and levels of development.
 
Regarding function, Peter Kreeft said:
"One cannot function as a person without being a person, but one can surely be a person without functioning as a person. In deep sleep, in coma, and in early infancy, nearly everyone will admit there are persons, but there are no specifically human functions such as reasoning, choice, or language." [10]

 Does the level of growth make someone more of a human being now than when conceived or less of a person at conception than now? No, level of growth does not, because that is its nature. It has always been its nature. If Con thinks otherwise, then he needs to identify with certainty when the change takes place between these two aspects of a person's being (humanity and personhood). Can Con believe so with certainty? If not, it is wrong to kill an unborn human. 

When does the degree of function make them human or a person? Con, please identify the actual ‘when,’ the certainty! 
 
There is another point about personhood to highlight. It is/has been in the interest of people in power (a tyrant, a mother) to argue that particular human beings or classes are not persons because it is not in the best interest to look on them as people. This classification of non-persons in history has resulted in the extermination of approximately 11 million undesirable humans in Nazi Germany, apartheid in South Africa, the caste system in India, and slavery in North America, to name a few. All these systems look at one particular type of human being as less than another human being by stripping away their rights as people by those in power. The result in Nazi Germany was the justification of mass extermination or a holocaust. The greatest holocaust the world has ever not known is the holocaust of abortion. The mother can justify that her unborn has not yet become a person to satisfy its destruction, but is personhood its nature?

Many others echo the thoughts above such as Peter Kreeft:
"Traditional common sense and morality say all humans are persons and have rights. Modern moral relativism says that only some humans are persons, for only those who are given rights by others (i.e., those in power) have rights. Thus, if we have power, we can "depersonalize" any group we want: blacks, slaves, Jews, political enemies, liberals, fundamentalists—or unborn babies."

Does the Woman have the Right to Choose Whether or not the Unborn Lives?

What is the woman choosing to do? Unless Con can prove that the unborn is not a human being, the woman is choosing to take the life of that being.
 
What argument is sufficient in taking this life; the argument based on dependency, or that the unborn is not a separate human? Alternatively, is it the argument based on its level of development, or that the mother has the right to do with her body as she desires, and she does not want the human in it?
 
What kind of humanity allows the right of a woman not to be pregnant at the expense of eliminating a human being during pregnancy? It is the kind that does not see human beings as intrinsically valuable. It is not the kind of humanity that is livable because the principle then can be turned on any class of human being once one class is deemed unfit. This principle has been applied unjustly to many classes of humans through history.
 
Why does the innocent unborn human being not have the right to live? It should have the greatest right since it has not done anything wrong.
 
Why should one class of human beings (the woman) have rights to life and another (innocent unborn human being) be denied those same rights? Which right should be more fundamental, the right to abort or the right to life? Which position should be more fundamental, to remain pregnant for nine months or the right to terminate that unborn life? Which position is more responsible, to take precautions if the woman does not want a child and is sexually active, or if she gets pregnant to then look for an abortion to take care of the situation? Which is more selfish, to guard the unwanted unborn life to term or eliminate it? Which is more permanently harmful, to eliminate an unborn human being or safeguard it to term?
 
The law exists to protect a person’s most basic rights, but not in the case of the unborn. Protecting basics rights is common sense that is no longer so common.
 
Abortion, IMO, is the worst kind of child abuse, for it results in the violent taking of innocent human life. Provided are pictures [7] of an unborn after being ripped apart in the abortion procedure (Warning: Graphic violence, not for children). The question is why anyone/a woman would allow this except her life was threatened, and there was no other choice?
 
Is Abortion Murder?

Which one of these four positions does Con advocate? (PS. I cannot put the graph to the screen. Please follow the link)
 

The argument is presented in more detail here:
  1. The fetus is a person, and we know that; The fetus is a person, but we don't know that; The fetus isn't a person, but we don't know that;
  2. The fetus isn't a person, and we know that. What is abortion in each of these four cases?

In Case 1 it is murder, in Case 2 it is manslaughter, in Case 3 it is negligence, in Case 4 it is permissible. 
 
Scott Klusendorf’s syllogistic argument that abortion is immoral:
 
1) It is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being
2) Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being
C) Therefore abortion is wrong
 
Peter Kreeft words:
"The major premise is: Thou shalt not kill i.e., all deliberate killing of innocent human beings is forbidden. The minor premise is that abortion is the deliberate killing of innocent human beings. The conclusion is that abortion is wrong." [10]
 
Here is another:
1) Murder is the intentional killing an innocent human being
2) Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being
C) Abortion is murder





Published:


Bodily Autonomy

According to the UN, “Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more [1].” Another, simpler way of stating this is, “Human rights are the minimum standards that allow all people to live with dignity, freedom, equality, justice, and peace. [2].
 
The respect of the inherent dignity in human life afforded by human rights can only be fully realized when rights apply to everyone equally, and conversely, human rights applied discriminately is an attack on human dignity. We extend rights to other humans not because they are better than us, but because they are equal to us. Therefore, it stands to reason, when the rights of any individual is besieged, the rights of all humanity are. Life isn’t just about being alive, but being able to live as individuals independent of the will of other persons especially where our bodies are concerned.
  
We recognize an individual can use lethal force to protect his family, himself, or even strangers from harm.  For example, a homeowner may rightfully kill an intruder or a rapist may die at the hands of his would-be victim. For someone to be an intruder they must enter a place where they are not wanted.  The same goes for a rapist – their actions are considered a violation because they do not have consent.

An unwanted pregnancy is analogous to these situations as there is an intruder that potentially threatens life. Every year, about 700 hundred women die in pregnancy or due to pregnancy related issues [3] which equates to 18.5 in 100,000 pregnancies [4]. To put this into perspective, in 2016, 11.8 in 100,000 died due to firearms [5] which means women are more likely to die from pregnancy than gunfire. Death is a serious concern for the pregnant. This says nothing of the unwanted and irrevocable changes to the mother's body. Considering this danger, potential for disfigurement, and absence of consent, I submit abortion can be viewed as a form of self-defense.

Viability and personhood

My opponent will do much to label this unwanted intrusion, but every label he might use could be applied to our intruders above and the rights of the victims are not negated. It does not matter if this intruder is considered a group of cells, viable/inviable fetus, human being, and/or a person.  Argumentation in this in this regard is nothing more than a red herring to distract away from the meat of this debate: human rights. What's more, definitionally, it cannot be legitimately argued a fetus is a person (an individual human) while it exists as an extension of a person's body.  In short, a fetus is, at best, a potential person while inside of (and dependent on) the body and will of another, and (assuming fetal rights) the rights of the mother have priority. 

Rape and Incest

The accepted reason for abortion provided in the debate description, "threat to the life of the mother", is a very broad allowance.  As we've discussed above, a pregnancy itself is a threat to the life of the mother. It seems this is sufficient reason to allow abortion in all cases!  That is for the judges to weigh. For the time being, I will assume the exception should be something a little less low-hanging such as 'imminent danger to the life of the mother' and continue on.

No matter how the exception is worded, Pro has made no allowance for cases of rape and incest. This means these pregnancies should go the distance regardless of the inevitable physical pain and mental suffering of the mother or the potential child.  In the case of rape, disallowing abortion and forcing to term the unwanted result might be seen as a form of mental torture for the would-be mother. Not only has her body been violated by an unwanted coupling, but, if the pregnancy is unwanted, she may view it as an ongoing violation. Additionally, considering incest between first degree relatives has an astonishingly high chance of producing offspring with severe birth defects and/or a miserable short life (it's nearly 50-50) [6] Table IV], it is a particularly unsympathetic and/or unconsidered edict. 
 

I look forward to addressing my opponents arguments in the next round!  

Round 3
Published:
On a personal note, I commend Con on his use of links and how he tied them into the text.

Cons objections and their rebuttal summarized:

1) Bodily Atonement of the Woman
Bodily autonomy should not override an innocent human life.
Bodily autonomy at the expense of hurting others is the issue.  
The unborn are human beings.
Human beings are either all intrinsically valuable or any class or group of humans can be devalued, discriminated against and in extreme situations, exterminated, such as the unborn, based on choice.
The woman has a duty to her offspring, to part of her DNA.
The woman's offspring should not be considered an intruder.

2) Viability and Personhood
Human rights should be the right of all human beings or it becomes a slippery slope.
A human being is a person.
All human beings have a personal nature, regardless of their level of development.
If the human being is a potential person when does personhood begin?
Dependency is also something other human beings experience (i.e., the newborn). Should they be eliminated too on the whim of the woman?
Location (where a human being is - i.e., in the womb or in Kentucky) should not be a reason to kill it if it is innocent and doing nothing wrong.

3) Rape and Incest
What is being killed in the case of the unborn? - an innocent human being.
Once one birth defect is cause for an abortion what about others?
Rape, incest, or disability are not permissible for killing an unwanted infant after birth, yet abortion allows it before birth.
"Threatening the woman's life" means an imminent danger of her survival if the pregnancy continues.

Expanded Rebuttal to Specific Arguments

Bodily Autonomy
Con states,

"Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture,"

 and that

"The respect of the inherent dignity in human life afforded by human rights can only be fully realized when rights apply to everyone equally, and conversely, human rights applied discriminately is an attack on human dignity. We extend rights to other humans not because they are better than us, but because they are equal to us."

Most would agree, this is very reasonable. The disagreement comes when a woman chooses an abortion. Those same rights are not being applied equally to the unborn who is human too.

***

Con says, 

"Life isn’t just about being alive, but being able to live as individuals independent of the will of other persons especially where our bodies are concerned."

1) Life is about being alive and letting others live even if that gets in the way of individual independence.
2) Exterminating the unborn is not allowing that unborn individual the right to life or the exercising of that will later in life.
3) The unborn body is a concern also, but the woman's body is the only one Pro-choice is taking into account here.
4) Individual rights should never be at the expense of an innocent human beings life.

***

Con uses an analogy:

"An unwanted pregnancy is analogous to these situations as there is an intruder that potentially threatens life."

But remember Con's quote,

"We extend rights to other humans not because they are better than us, but because they are equal to us,"

The Pro-choice argument diminishes, devalues, dehumanizes, discriminates against, downplays, and demonizes the unborn life by comparing it to an unwanted intruder. Why are they not extending that noble right of equality to the unborn human? Is the unborn not human? Do they not deserve the right to live?

Con's intruder analogy fails for a variety of reasons. 

Con says,

"For someone to be an intruder they must enter a place where they are not wanted."

How close to a parallel are the two positions?

The unborn did not choose to enter, nor did it have the ability to put itself there. Someone else put it there through (more than likely consent to have) sex (approximately 5% of pregnancies are from rape). [1] Now instead of a grown, mature intruder, the so-called intruder is found on your doorstep to be a helpless, defenseless, innocent, baby (or unborn in the womb). Will you consider it an intrusion and want to harm it, starve it, or even kill it?
 
What makes Con's intruder different from an unborn who did not ask to be put in the woman's womb? Yes, in the case of rape the intrusion was not welcome, but this harmless, innocent human being does not deserve butchering for no crime of its own. What is more, killing someone in self-defense is permissible by law, but what about this intruder? It harbors no ill-will. It can't defend itself. Thus, the parallels are not parallel. Greg Koukl compares the analogy of the intruder to a slippery slope fallacy, 

"The key question in any slippery slope appeal is whether the two situations are truly similar in a morally relevant way. If not, then the illustration is guilty of a logical slippery slope fallacy. "  [2]

Greg Koukl believes the womb is the "natural environment" of the unborn, the place where it "rightly" belongs, so the unborn is not intruding. He states, 

"A child is not an invader, though, a parasite living off his mother. A mother's womb is the baby's natural environment. Eileen McDonagh wants us to believe that the child growing inside of a woman is trespassing. One trespasses when he's not in his rightful place, but a baby developing in the womb belongs there." [3]
Another way the analogy fails is that the unborn is not a strange intruder but shares in the same genetic makeup as the woman. It shares a part of her DNA and is her offspring. She has a duty to protect its well-being. What kind of woman would abandon or kill her own two-month-old human offspring, shun the responsibility, and not be charged? Yet this is the choice the woman is presented with by the State regarding her unborn, without consequence.

***

Con cites, 

"700 hundred women die in pregnancy or due to pregnancy-related issues, which equates to 18.5 in 100,000 pregnancies."


The number is infinitesimal compared to the number of pregnancies and the reasons why women die. That number is between 1-2% - about 0.0185%.  The stats of pregnancy-related deaths again reduce the significance of the data from that which is caused by the unborn. For instance,

Cardiovascular diseases, 15.2%.
Non-cardiovascular diseases, 14.7%.
Infection or sepsis, 12.8%. [4]

What is more, the number of abortions attributed to complications with the unborn is also minimal. Florida keeps track of every abortion performed in the State.
 

The percentage and reason for all 71,740 abortions that were performed in Florida in 2015:
 
.001%    The pregnancy resulted from an incestuous relationship
.065%    The woman’s life was endangered by the pregnancy
.085%    The woman was raped
.288%    The woman’s physical health was threatened by the pregnancy
.294%    The woman’s psychological health was threatened by the pregnancy
.666%    There was a serious fetal abnormality
6.268%    The woman aborted for social or economic reasons
92.330%    No reason (elective) 

What does all this mean? It means that almost 99% of Florida abortions are performed on healthy women, with healthy babies, who chose to have sex. There was nothing problematic with the circumstances of conception and nothing problematic with the health of the mother or baby.
 
Secondly, according to these numbers, only 6% of Florida abortions are performed for economic reasons. Taken altogether, more than 92% of the abortions performed in Florida have nothing to do with “necessity” and everything to do with expedience. [5]
Viability and Personhood
Con again brings up the argument of unwanted intrusion. How does this relate to the heading except to present the unborn human being as nothing more than "a group of cells" or something unwanted and of no consequence? It matters immensely if the unborn is human and a person. That is what a human is, a person. 

***

Con believes the "meat" of this debate is human rights. It is, and along with human rights comes the right of every member of humanity to have a right to life.
Is Con speaking of natural rights or legal rights? Natural rights are the rights a person/human has because of what they are. By nature, the unborn is a human being. Does Con agree that every human being has a right to life since he stated it in his opening remarks?
 
Is Con contradicting his original opinion here since he is not granting the unborn the most basic and inherent dignity of human life? Again, the judge must question what exactly Con believes the unborn to be? Is it a human being? Its humanity is not in question by science or medicine according to a vast amount of information available.

***
 
Con argues that,

"it cannot be legitimately argued a fetus is a person (an individual human) while it exists as an extension of a person's body."

What else can it be? Is it not a separate, individual human being? 

Cons argument is flawed if Con cannot establish exactly when personhood begins. What he is arguing for here is the unborns level of development and its environment. Do either of these two issues change what a human being is BY ITS NATURE? Does Con know of any human being, when left to DEVELOP that does not become a person by nature of being human? Does the existence of a human being determine whether it is a person or not? Am I any less of a person if I live in Alaska than if I live in Southern California or Canada? Does my location alter what I am? If not, why does the womb alter the status of a person? 

***

Con says the unborn is "a potential person" (at best) "while inside" ("and dependent on the body and will of another").

Again, does where a human being is located determine what they are? 
Does its level of dependency make a two-month-old or a two-year-old "a potential person" since both are dependent on the mother?

Rape and Incest
Con charges,

"The accepted reason for abortion provided in the debate description, 'threat to the life of the mother,' is a very generous allowance."


There were examples provided of the kinds of threats that would result in the death of the woman, unborn or both.
Description: 
"Termination of pregnancy because of a threat to the life of the mother will be the exception to the rule (i.e., tubal pregnancy/Ectopic pregnancy)."

The reason was also eluded to in the 1st Round definitions under Roe v. Wade.

"During the second trimester, the state can regulate the abortion procedure only to protect the woman’s health. In the third trimester, the state may regulate to protect fetal life, but not at the expense of the woman’s life or health."
Additionally, it was stated a third time in Round 2:

"...the woman should not have the right or choice to kill it, with one exception; not killing it will result in the mothers and/or the unborn death."


The majority of abortions is not because the woman's life is threatened but because of her freedom or bodily autonomy is threatened. If Con wants to argue that every woman should have an abortion because of the threat to her life then that can be a discussion for another time. Dr. Alan Guttmacher of Planned Parenthood acknowledged:

“Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal illness such as cancer or leukemia, and, if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save, life.” [6]

***

Con asks for an allowance with cases of rape or incest since the child will bring up unpleasant images of the woman's painful ordeal and mental anguish every time the woman looks at it. Can Con justify abortion on these grounds?

Is it right to unjustly punish one human being (the innocent unborn) for the crimes of another? Having said that, the rapist should be punished to the broadest extent of the law. Some advocate castration would be a fitting punishment if there is no doubt of the rapist in the matter.

If Con thinks it is permissible to kill the unborn because it will remind the woman of the violence against her does he also think it is permissible to kill the one-month-old newborn because it reminds the woman of a violence? After all, both the born and unborn are human beings. Con has not disputed this yet. Does Con really want to treat one human being as different from another? It is not the kind of philosophy that sits well if Con is on the receiving end of discrimination or the threat of his death because of an unpleasant memory.

Does a hardship experience justify the woman taking the life of an innocent human being?

What is nobler? To suffer the hardships caused by others or inflict that hardship on innocent human beings because of those hardships the innocent are not responsible for? Others can help the person who has these hardships inflicted upon them deal with the hurt but they can't replace the taking of an innocent life.

Should the choice of the woman be permitted as a fundamental right to abort for any of these reasons? What is more reasonable; to allow the unborn to come to term and adopted if it is not wanted by her, or to kill an innocent human being for the crimes of another? I ask the judges.

The overwhelming number of abortions are for socio-economic of elective reasons. Rape makes up about 1% of all abortions, as exampled in the Florida statistical data.

***

Con asks to consider incest resulting in severe birth defects or a miserable short life. Should all people who are now having miserably short lives now be executed? Personally, I am very empathetic to such suffering or conditions, but not to the point of taking their life. The question is still the same. Is it permissible to kill an innocent human being because they have defects? Who gets to decide on what severe is? The question is are humans to be consistent on evaluating the intrinsic worth of all human beings or are there going to be exceptions in which humanity picks and chooses?

Once the 'abortions for deformity' tap is opened where does it end? Should the man, the woman, the unborn be screened for potential defects that may materialize later in life? Shall those whose genetic heritage is suspect be screened and should these people not be allowed to procreate? Should those with genetic defects or deformities be allowed to live? Hitler thought not. Now, to make it personal. What happens if your child has inherited a deformity which has just started to reveal itself. Would you, the reader, be okay in taking the life of your child or having the State do it for you by their decree? He/she is a human being like you. He/she is a human being like the unborn. Why are we making the distinction between the right to life when they are all human beings?


"What defined Nazi Germany as an evil society was its wanton disregard for human life. That disregard surfaced in Hitler’s killing of 275,000 handicapped people before he began killing the the Jews." [7]


 Awaiting for Con to address the issues in his rebuttal!
Published:

1) What is the basis for right and wrong? 

Under this heading, Pro discusses his preferences for what the basis of morality should and shouldn’t be and who decides right and wrong. Pro and I agree on the necessity of human rights. Personal views on objective morality/relativism are irrelevant to this. In my opening arguments, I pointed out,”Life isn’t just about being alive, but being able to live as individuals independent of the will of other persons especially where our bodies are concerned.”  The right to liberty cannot be realized without bodily autonomy, and the right to life is diminished without it. My opponent argues for a lesser version of human rights where the grandeur of individual human life is diminished. 

Objective morality/moral relativism is an entire debate in and of itself.  I encourage my opponent to stay focused on the task at hand..
 
2) What is the unborn and when does human life begin? 

Pro argues human life begins at conception to which I would agree.  As mentioned earlier, the label applied (human being, fetus, person) is irrelevant. An individual is well within their rights to repel an attack or refuse consent to their body regardless what we call the other party. That being said, 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. 

***It should be noted, Pro depends on his sources (quotes) to complete an argument. He did not use anything from these source within the debate, and instead directed his readers to the links. These sources add approximately 50,000 characters to his 2nd round arguments.  

3)When Does a Human Being Become a Person?
 
Argumentation under this heading stresses function and development as inadequate standards to determine personhood.  I agree and have explained above. Strangely, Pro equates mothers and tyrants while misrepresenting the desire to control one’s own body as a slippery slope [10] to holocausts. I question why mothers and tyrants should be equated, and images of Nazis and holocausts are clearly attempts to poison the well. The Holocaust was an indisputable violation of the rights of millions of people. Abortion allows humans rights to women equal to that of men.
 
Rhetoric aside, telling women they have different human rights than men is to grossly misunderstand human rights. We have never mandated a man give of his own blood, tissue, and organs to keep ANYONE (person or not) alive.  However, there are many who will gladly do exactly that to a woman. Equality is one of the core goals of human rights. If we are to scratch out equality, then we might as well strikethrough dignity, freedom, justice, and peace because we are no longer talking about human rights, but the privilege of some humans.
   
4) Does the female have the right to choose whether or not the unborn lives? 

Here Pro deftly switches from discussing human beings to human persons.  However, being human is not necessarily the same thing as being a person.  According to one of Pro’s definitions in round 1, Human is a member of the family Hominidae which is a broad classification including Orangutans, Neanderthals, Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, and modern man.[7] I doubt seriously my opponent means to argue for the personhood for all these species. I agree with Pro that a fetus is, without a doubt, human, but personhood requires more than this.  

5) Is taking the life of an unborn murder? 

1) It is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being 
2) Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being 
C) Therefore abortion is wrong 

1) Murder is the intentional killing an innocent human being
2) Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being
C) Abortion is murder

Premise 2 in both syllogisms suggests a fetus of an unwanted pregnancy is innocent.  I disagree. If I were to take a hike through the wilderness and unintentionally wander onto posted property, I am guilty of the trespassing in spite of having absolutely no intention of doing so.  If I go to sleep in my bed and wake up in my neighbor’s house, I’m still guilty of being in a place I am not allowed no matter how I got there. It is the same with an unwanted pregnancy: the fetus occupies property owned by another and cannot stay without consent. There are no Squatter's rights on persons! [8] As such, the conclusion cannot logically stand. 

The Right to choose

In round two, I made a case for abortion being viewed as a form of self-defense. Here I will dig a little deeper in the pure right of bodily autonomy. First off, no attack is necessary for bodily autonomy to be realized.  Let me say that again, a threat to health or safety is not needed to invoke the right to control one's own body. Human rights are inalienable, indivisible, interdependent and granted by birth.  If we allow a right to be part-time, then we also debase human dignity part-time. For instance, part-time personal sovereignty allows for part time-slavery, and part-time equality allows part-time inequality. What good is a right if it can be revoked or it only works some of the time? There is no assurance in that.

Pro will argue for the personhood of the unborn, however in everyday life we reject this.  Age is calculated from birth, not conception. The U.S. Census does not count fetuses. The U.S. Supreme Court affirms personhood does not apply to fetuses. In Roe V. Wade, the majority found that "the word ‘person’, as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn.” [9]

Bottom line?  A threat to an individual is not needed for bodily autonomy to be invoked. Personhood is formally/informally recognized at birth.


Back to you, Pro!
Round 4
Published:
Abortion Facts

"...[S]tatistics include only surgical and medical abortions." [1]
Also, an estimated 14 million chemically induced abortions (or around 610 million abortions) have occurred in the USA between 1965-2009). [1 - ibid]

When researching abortion statistics, The Guttmacher Institute

"totals are actually the more accurate since the Institute conducts private research on abortion providers throughout the country and because not all states are required to report to the CDC." [1 - ibid]

Planned Parenthood is a huge business:
Planned Parenthood’s income breakdown for the 2013-2014 fiscal year
PP non-government clinic income: $305.3 million
PP donations revenue: $391.8 million
PP government grants and reimbursements: $528.4 million
Total profit: $127.1 million
Total income: $1.3 billion

The US since 1973: Roe vs. Wade
60,863,368

Worldwide since 1980
1,514,264,973

@ 11/9/2018 11:11  AM [2]


The difference in abortion deaths worldwide (from 1980 until the present) since the data was first noted in Round 2 is 713,769 more lives taken.
The difference between then, Round 2, and now in the USA is 16,527 more lives taken. That is roughly eight days later. It is reasonable to believe abortion exceeds any other single cause of death in the USA in the same period for an eight-day period in the year to date. Look at the yearly projections by one site (only the top 25 causes of death are listed):

CURRENT DEATH TOLL
from Jan 1, 2018 - Nov 9, 2018 (3:15:53 PM)
   
Abortion *:    935346
Heart Disease:    526212
Cancer:    506812
Tobacco:    299788
Obesity:    262957
Medical Errors:    215380
Stroke:    114008
Lower Respiratory Disease:    122436
Accident (unintentional):    116534
Hospital Associated Infection:    84797
Alcohol *:    85654
Diabetes:    65515
Alzheimer's Disease:    80121
Influenza/Pneumonia:    47304
Kidney Failure:    36627
Blood Infection:    28663
Suicide:    36637
Drunk Driving:    28958
Unintentional Poisoning:    27202
All Drug Abuse:    21418
Homicide:    14389
Prescription Drug Overdose:    12848
Murder by gun:    9844
Texting while Driving:    5130
Pedestrian:    4283


Totals of all categories are based on past trends [3]
The National Vital Statistics Report for 2016 on the ten leading causes of death doesn't even list the abortion deaths (p. 9). [4]
It is not keeping track of all human beings. One group is being discriminated against.

***

Critical Summary and Rebuttal of Cons Arguments

1) The Basis for Right and Wrong?
Con did not show his views about morality regarding the unborn human to be anything but subjective, thus relative.
Con admitted the unborn is human in # 2 below.
Pro and Con agree for the basis for human rights - all humans are equal - then Con argues that the unborn is not equal. His views are inconsistent.
Con argues that a woman's bodily rights supersede the right to life for her unborn offspring.
There is a disparity between the unborn offspring and the newborn offspring regarding the woman's rights.
Con contradicts himself. He argues personal views of morality irrelevant, then supplies his own personal view.
Con confuses a woman's bodily rights with her right to do anything with her body.
Con misrepresents bodily autonomy. Nowhere can a human use their body to kill another human except for self-defense (Con's exception: inside the womb).

2) Defining the Unborn and When Life Begins 
Con agrees human life begins at conception. 
Con argues that the terms human being, person, are irrelevant. Then Con tries to convince the judges that the unborn is not a person. (Relevant after all)
Con confuses an invader, attacker, unwanted intruder with the unborn. 
The unborns rightful place is the womb. 
The unborn is not responsible for being placed in the womb.
Con devalues the unborn as nothing more than an extension of the woman's body. It is a separate human being who resides with her.  
Con shuns the woman's responsibility for her offspring. The offspring begins with half of her DNA in its formation.
Con uses legal rights as the basis for the unborn human's worth. What about its natural rights?
Con places the start of the person at birth. One minute before birth the unborn is not a person.
Can Con prove a human being is a person only at birth or is this when the US society chooses to recognize it and legalize its personhood?
Con did not specify in the definitions how sources were to be used.
I defend my use of sources in my expanded argument. 

3) When Humans Become Persons
Function and development are two areas where the unborn and human being outside the womb differ. Two others are environment and degree of dependency.
How does Con draw the line on function and development? A newborn offspring is less functional and less developed than a teenage offspring. Should the woman be permitted to kill it also?
There is an outline that shows the similarities between Hitler and abortion in the main argument. 
Con equates human rights to women as well as men but the unborn are forgotten about.
Con forgets the unborn is the woman's offspring. Why does she bear no responsibility for it?
Con claims equality is one of the chief goals of human rights. What about the rights of the unborn human? Con kicks those aside.
Con discriminates by defending equality, dignity, freedom, justice, and peace for the woman but excludes the unborn.
Con contradicts himself by the inclusion of some humans while he excludes others in his list, all the while defending rights for all humans. 
Con does not include unborns as privileged except where the woman deems it to be so. 

4) The Woman's Right To Choose over the Unborn's Right to Live 
Con does not regard all human beings as persons. 
Con confuses a property with a substance.
Con fails to understand the nature of a human is a personal nature.
From conception, everything needed for personhood is within the DNA of the unborn, just undeveloped and unrealized as yet.
Con confuses function with nature. 
Con confuses the level of development with the person. 
Con confuses environment with the person. 
Con confuses the unborn's degree of dependency and a woman's bodily autonomy with human rights.

5) Abortion and Murder
Con basis his argument on premise 2. 
Con associates guilt with the unborn for the intrusion/attack on the woman. 
Cons analogy is NOT parallel. The unborn is not guilty of a crime or unwanted attack. It is harmless. It is innocent.
Con places guilt on the unborn through the analogy of trespassing. The unborn did not place itself there.
Con places guilt on the unborn through the analogy of being found in the woman's body unwanted. What about the responsibility of the woman? It is her offspring.
Con contradicts himself again. He argues for human rights, inalienable rights, but excludes the unborn not on its humanness but on the preference of the women. Where does he ever take into account the rights of the unborn as a human being, by its very nature? NEVER.
 
6) The Right to Choose
Con uses the self-defense argument of Round 2. What is the woman guarding against - a helpless, innocent, harmless, human being that is her offspring?
It was pointed out in Round 3 that Cons self-defense analogy was not parallel.
Con did not address the issues raised. He dismissed them by employing another argument.
Now Con says the self-defense argument is not needed.  
Con grants human 'rights' only at birth. Therefore, not all humans are equal in his eyes. 
When Con discriminates against one group of human beings why can't he also discriminate against others based on the idea that not all humans are equal?
Con again contradicts himself by arguing for the good of a right for all while revoking it for some class of human beings - the unborn.
Con argues that age is calculated from birth but does this change the essence of what the unborn is?
Con exposes his relativism again. He says that in everyday life the unborn is viewed as a non-person. By whom? Only those who hold his view and can vote it into law. 
Con cites Roe v. Wade and the RELATIVE majority again (7-2). Why is the majority right?

***

Expanded Rebuttal to Specific Arguments


1) The basis for right and wrong. 
Con says,
"Pro discusses his preferences for what the basis of morality should and shouldn’t be and who decides right and wrong."
The discussion on moral relativism focused not on my preference but instead showed the consequences of preference guided choices which are relativistic. I explained that there is a difference between what one likes and what is moral.

It discussed relativism and how it relates to the abortion controversy, especially where it ties into intrinsic worth (which I will expand on later under the topics of Hitler as it relates to abortion and a woman's right to choose).  With relativism, there is nothing that is right or wrong, just personal preference because there is no fixed objective standard. Standards change.

Science describes what something is and isn't. It does not make moral judgments or moral evaluations.

Relativists decide that intrinsic worth is not equal between the born and unborn. Relativism pushes the view that it is the woman's choice (personal preference) as to the value given the unborn, not a universal human right like Con argued for in his UN declaration quotes. If she likes the unborn and wants to keep it, then it is given a favorable rating. If she doesn't like it or want it, then it becomes a group of cells or a non-person, and it is killed.

***

Con said,
"Life isn’t just about being alive, but being able to live as individuals independent of the will of other persons especially where our bodies are concerned."
1) Is this an objective statement, speaking of relativism? Why does Cons relative, individual, independent violation win out over other relative independent wills that disagree? It doesn't take into consideration the unborn AT ALL.

2) What about the 'bodily' rights and autonomy of the unborn? Again, it is devalued, dehumanized and does not count AT ALL.

3) Where do 'bodily' rights ever override the rights of human life, except in self-defense or wartime?

***

Con states,
" The right to liberty cannot be realized without bodily autonomy, and the right to life is diminished without it."

Moral relativism is the reason for this argument. In the USA until Roe Vs. Wade abortion was considered a moral evil and only permitted if the life of the woman was threatened. What changed?

What about the bodily autonomy of the unborn? It has a body too. It is a human being also. A woman's rights without regard to the rights of the unborn is a propaganda tool of the leftist liberally educated. They push this philosophy, as witnessed in American politics. Democrats favor abortion. Democrats are pro-choice.

Con quoting the UN declaration of human rights recognizes the intrinsic value of the human being to equality. Not so in the case of the unborn human being. It is even struck from the mortality stats, as pointed out above.

Con agrees the unborn is a human being, but he does not grant it equality. That is a double standard. The rules that apply to one class of human beings (the born) does not pertain for another group of human beings (the unborn).

***

2) What is the Unborn?
Con again uses the intruder argument, this time using the word 'attacker' as an analogy to the unborn. This argument materializes in many forms by the name change, but it is the same argument.

***

Con mentions the label human being, fetus, or person is irrelevant, then later he treats it as very relevant. Now he argues that a person isn't a person until birth. That is just one of many inconsistencies in his position (i.e., irrelevant vs. relevant, human equality but not for the unborn, the moral argument is not relative, yet it changes between people and time periods from wrong to the right, and it changes depending on the culture). I defended personhood by being the very nature of human beings. Con seems to be suggesting it is not our nature to be persons and needs to support that claim.

Does Con believe that a human being acquires the nature or function of personhood or is it built into its very nature? He thinks it just magically appears at birth, not one minute before. The judges will decide whether this claim of non-person before birth is pure nonsense or reasonable. It will be discussed later in this Round.

Notice also how Con says the label 'human being' is irrelevant; thus the unborn human is again ignored because Con is trying to dismiss its significance until after birth.

He is interested in the rights of the mother/woman but again does not recognize any rights for the unborn that can't be overridden by the woman. A woman is not allowed to kill the newborn HUMAN who is in a similar state to the unborn HUMAN, but she can do whatever she likes with the unborn because it relies on her body for life. BUT so does the newborn. It is just as DEPENDENT on her as the unborn for life. It can't feed itself; it can't walk; it can't speak; it can't take care of itself; it is very unaware of its surroundings, and if neglected it will die.

***

Con claims I rely on my sources to complete an argument, but in listing the source that I did not use anything from these sources within the debate
"He did not use anything from these source within the debate." 

I am not aware of that, and Con needs to substantiate that claim. I used my own words from these sources except when I quoted directly. I did not want to plagiarize the idea as originating from me, so I included the link.

Years ago I started looking at the issue though many keynote people like Greg Koukl, Scott Klusendork, Francis Schaeffer, Ben Shapiro, Greg Bahnsen, Peter Kreeft, and J.P. Moreland. They have been instrumental in forming my opinions and influencing me in this area. I have also read three books on the subject from the pro-life perspective that I support. I have links on my computer to hundreds of abortion articles. That is how I inform myself. 

If Con wants to give an example of his claim on where there is nothing related to the link, please do! He never provided one example, just made a complaint and claim. I request Con to please provide specifics before the fourth round is over so I can reply if this is still an issue.

In Round 2, if I use a quote from a source to make a point, what of it? They defend an argument better by their economy of words over mine in some cases, or they express the idea better. From what I see, I make a statement before using the argument except in the following:

My first three links and quotes are all Cons wording.

Is Con speaking of 4a-c, or 5? I was saving space by not listing the texts or authorities by name. The information is there to verify what was said if the reader or judge chooses to look. The description describes all that is necessary.

In the sixth link, I provided my commentary and then supported it from another source.

In the seventh, I could not quote because these sources are pictures. In the eighth, I could not provide the table. Both seven and eight are inadequacies of the system.

The ninth and tenth speak for themselves. I could not make it any more concise.

In Round 3 I did what Con did. I took from his example in the way he used links. When I provided a quote in this Round, I used the quote feature supplied in the toolbar. I offered many sources, and several of these quoted examples were after I expressed my thoughts. 

Now, should Con be responsible for explaining each one of his links?

Besides this, the idea of the debate was to establish who has the more reasonable and logical arguments. It did not specify how to achieve the reasons. In any case, support is used to bolster a position. The truth is that whatever evidence drives home the point to the reader and the judge that a human being is a personal and intrinsically valuable human being reinforces the case and achieves the desired outcome. Whether the unborn is human, a person, and intrinsically valuable, is the most significant aspect of this debate.

***

3) The Woman's 'Right' to Choose?

Con tries to separate a human being from a human person. He identifies when a human being "acquires" personhood and according to Con it is not natural to its humanness. Somehow it magically appears at birth? 'Natural' is what a being is in its essence. Human beings produce other human beings by nature. "Acquired" is what one receives that is not natural. He seems to think that it is a "function" the human being obtains not built into its original human nature.

The difference between a substance and a property is that a substance does not change its original nature whereas a property can.

Are you the same person you were when you were conceived or are you different?

If you lose an arm or leg, do you change who you are? No, your function changes. If you "acquire" a cancer tumor do you change who you are? No, you are still you.

Is a pig a pig before it is born or does it need to acquire a squeal before it becomes a pig? What happens if it never attains a squeal? Is it still a pig?
If a human being is dumb, is he/she still a person? Are our human traits built into our DNA code (internal) or are they acquired from some outside source (external) like along an automobile assembly line? Is it the pig's nature to squeal? Is it your nature to be a person? Is it part of your essence that you are a person or are some human beings persons and others not? Does someone have to assemble our personhood from outside (an external source) or is it something attained from our internal nature? If the latter, then it is a trait we possess from conception and is internal to our being. It assembles itself. It does not need an outside source to do this for us. A car, on the other hand, is what it is because we make it what it is and we can change its design by external input, like adding a radio, or radial tires, or a V-8 engine instead of a V-6. It comes together externally on how we direct its assembly. It is ordered by an outside source, not from WITHIN. Not so with the human being. What the human is it derives from its internal nature and DNA structure. It is independent of external sources. That is not to say that outside sources cannot shape our personal outlook, but humans cannot derive 'person' from such sources. We develop our nature because that is the being we are, a human, personal beings. 

(I am indebted to J.P. Moreland for these thoughts and his pioneering work in the substance versus property debate)

J.P. Moreland argues that just as a human being is a substance rather than a property, so he argues for an acorn being a substance thing as an analogy.

"The capacities for the acorn one day to develop a trunk, branches and leaves are already embedded within the acorn, prior to their realization. This is true whether the acorn actually grows into a tree or not, since such development is dependent on accidental conditions that are wholly independent of the acorn’s essential nature. When such conditions are met, however, including the proper soil, environment, etc., the acorn will express its latent capacities in the proper way. The absence of such conditions is irrelevant to the essential nature of the acorn." [5]
If a car loses an engine or a wheel, it is no longer a functioning thing. It can no longer function as a car, for the purpose it was designed to be. It is not the same thing that came off the assembly line. If a human loses an arm or a lung it does not change what it already is, a person. The human can still function as a person. It is still the same thing. Again, this is the difference between a substance and a property.

***

It has been argued by many websites that what the argument of 'human' and 'person' centers around is structured in four main areas that the acronym SLED identifies - Size, Level of Development, Environment, and Degree of Dependency. Those are the four areas that the unborn differ from the born human being. [6]

Whenever Con uses a pro-choice argument in this debate, I have been using the SLED argument to defeat his claims. The personhood argument again focuses on three of these acronym pieces, size, level of development, and the environment.

Again, Con is basically saying that a human being is not a person until it is born because it is not in the right environment. What changes at or two minutes after birth? Two minutes before delivery it is a non-person, and a woman should be able to abort it according to Cons PHILOSOPHY.  It does not have the same rights a person has according to Con. Should one human be able to kill another human because of where they live - their environment? Con says, "Yes!"

Does its size make it less of a human being or a person? As we grow, we become more of what we are. Should a human be killed because it is smaller than another? Can we justify killing a baby because it is smaller than a teenager, or a teenager because it is smaller than an adult, or a small adult because it is not of average height? It is ridiculous to think this way, yet this is the thinking used here by Pro-Choice.

The same argument employs for its level of development. Because the human being has not developed what is in its nature to develop then it is not EQUAL to other human beings in Cons view. But the newborn has not developed to the same level as a teenager, or a teenager to the same level as an adult, and some adults to the same level as other adults. Should we be able to kill them because they are not of the same level of development? No, you say, because human beings are equal. Are they? Not by the way Pro-Choice/Con proposes we treat the unborn. Is it treated as human? If so, why is it not treated equally? Why are other humans not applying the same rules to it? Does Con want to define a human being by the level of its abilities, by how well it functions? If you don't function as well as Usain Bolt in the 100 meters, should you be killed if he chooses to do so? If your mind has not developed as well as Albert Einstein's should he put you to death if he wants? Does functionality determine the worth of a human being?

***
4) 6) The Right to Choose

Con says the right to choose and control one's bodily autonomy is a right granted at birth. By whom and in what cases? In the case of Roe v. Wade, a panel of nine determined the 'right.'  It was a relative decision (7-2).

It is the extent of bodily autonomy where the disagreement begins.

If the woman has a right to do with her own body as she pleases, does that make it okay for her to use her body to harm another human being? If so, why can't she hurt the newborn with her freedom like she can with the unborn? Both are entirely dependent on her and picking up the newborn using the woman's body and dropping it on its head from the second story of her home is not permissible. Does the woman not have the freedom to do with her body as she likes?

What Con and pro-choice advocates fail to consider is that any bodily autonomy SHOULD have limits, and that end is when another human beings harm will result in the exercise of her bodily freedom.

America grants its citizens freedoms that only extends so far; if that freedom is used to hurt another human being that liberty ends for the individual for not obeying common sense rules and for endangering others. A person is not free to use their body to hurt another person's body except in personal defense, where their own life is at risk. That is the exception granted in the abortion debate when the woman's life will be lost if the abortion is carried through to term and saving the unborn is not possible because of its level of development.

Con says that human rights, (such as the right to life) are inalienable. They are, but there are boundaries to those rights to protect and safeguard those in the moral 'right.' Those 'bodily' rights cannot or should not be denied unless the person is not willing to live and let live and is in the moral wrong.

***

So, to this point, Con has agreed the unborn is a human being yet he does not see all human beings as equal. He believes a particular class can be treated as worthless. Thus, his position is again inconsistent with what he quoted via the UN declaration. He disguises this inequality with the woman's right to choose. He places more value on her right to choose than he does over the life of a helpless human being. Therefore, he does not believe in equality for all humans.

5) Is killing an unborn murder?

Con disagrees with the validity of the second premise in two of the syllogisms - "Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being."

In Premise 2, Con is placing the 'wrong' or crime on the unborn when it is not responsible for any wrong of its own. Conception was not something it requested. That is the result of the woman and man having sex. One or both are responsible. The crime, the unwantedness, if any, is on one of them, either because one forced the other, or one or both did not take precautions, and in their negligence, the biological sexual function resulted in the conception of the unborn, HER offspring.

Con uses the intruder analogy again to dispute its innocents. The problem is twofold.
1) It did not place itself there. Someone else put it there.
2) The unborn is the offspring of the woman.

The unborn shares some of its DNA with hers just like the newborn does. Both unborn and newborn are reliant on the woman for their well-being. What Con proposes is that it is perfectly permissible for the woman to kill her offspring in the one case, yet if she did it in the other she would be arrested for MURDER. He is making a distinction on the worth and equality of two different human beings.

***

How does the woman's right to choose hereby equate in any way to tyranny and Hitler? 
One class of human beings is devalued, discriminated against, demonized, and dehumanized. 

Hitler devalued the Jew, the gypsy, the deformed, the genetically deformed as "inferior" human beings. He did not want these humans to have the same rights as what he termed his Aryian race. They were not as pure.
"Although Jews were the main target of Nazi hatred, the Nazis persecuted other groups they viewed as racially or genetically “inferior.” Nazi racial ideology was buttressed by scientists who advocated “selective breeding” (eugenics) to “improve” the human race." [7]

Margret Sanger and abortion advocates, including the woman and Con, devalue the unborn human, calling it a group of cells (garbage), a parasite, an intruder, an attacker, unwanted, a non-person. Sanger came up with a program to sterilize African Americans called The Negro Project. [8]
Sangers, who started Planned Parenthood, shared an ideology that had much in common with Hitler's programs that he used on the Jews and unwanted humans whom he sterilized. 

Hitler and his government demonized the Jews.
Pro-choice demonizes the unborn by treating it as less than human, a non-person (i.e., it is not given the same equal rights as other human beings).

Hilter and his government legislated rights that excluded the Jews. 
Pro-choice advocates within the US government legislate rights that exclude the unborn.

Hitler used propaganda to discriminate against the Jews by funneling public opinion. 
Pro-choice advocates use the public educational institutions and mass media to propagate their message. 

Hitler did not believe in intrinsic human worth for all human beings.
Pro-choice and women choosing abortions do not practice intrinsic human worth for all human beings.

***

Choose life!






Published:

Defense:
 
Viability and personhood 

My position is not 'fetuses are dependent or undeveloped thus they are disallowed from personhood' as Pro suggests.  My position is fetuses are an extension of a woman’s body, and cannot be considered a person until they are well and truly an individual human being.  

Pro has said multiple times that ‘location (Kentucky, a womb) does not determine personhood’.  The problem with this thought is that a womb is not a location – it is a person! It’s true, location does not make a difference to personhood, but being an individual human being does and this happens at birth.  
 
Bodily autonomy 

Pro attacks my intrusion analogy by bringing us the ideas of Greg Koukl who believes the womb is the "natural environment" of the unborn.  We’ve already covered that a person is not a “location” and the same should be said about a person being an “environment”. The language referring to a woman, or part of a woman, as a location or environment (rather than a person themselves) should be disturbing to us. The thought that part of a person’s body belongs to something (or someone) else is the very notion of slavery. 
 
Pro continues on to suggest sharing DNA with a fetus requires a duty to it. Does a man share that duty? Obviously not - about half of all abortions are because a woman does not want to be a single parent.  Equality would not have a woman bearing sole responsibility for the result of two people’s actions.
  
Pro states, “Individual rights should never be at the expense of an innocent human beings life.” This is a crucial statement. It demonstrates that there is an underlying belief rights are not permanent.  This would undermine the entire concept of human rights. Rights which are not permanent guarantee no minimum standard of respect for humankind. If we ‘turn-off’ bodily autonomy, then the right to be free from slavery and liberty falls next as the will of someone (or something) else is a controlling influence. The right to equality is gone as well - men will never lose the right to control their body because of pregnancy. Since human rights are interconnected, sacrificing one (even when well-meaning) will take down the entire rights structure: If rights can be taken away from one individual, they can be taken away from anyone. Pro’s statements illustrate how easy it is to lose sight of human rights. 

Pro attempts to diminish the danger to women through pregnancy with various statistics and arguments, but he cannot argue there is no physical danger to life, no danger of disfigurement, and no danger to future. For self-defense to be a valid, a person needs to legitimately feel their life is in danger and the threat is certainly there from pregnancy. In such a case, the legal classification of the attacker is unimportant and the defense is not murder or wrong. 
 
Rape and Incest 

Pro continues to conflate a fetus (an extension of a woman’s body) with a person.  I am not, nor have I, petitioning for the indignity of persons in any form.  I understand my opponent believes the unborn to be persons, but I do not (for the reasons stated). My opponent builds a strawman of my position when he suggests my preference for a person (a separate human being) over a human being (someone who, in this case, is part of a human being - not a person) is the same thing as killing an innocent person. Once a fetus is born, it is no longer part of the woman’s body and no longer under the jurisdiction of her bodily autonomy. The extension of the mother’s rights that once applied to the fetus no longer exist and individual freedoms, along with a new person, emerge.  
In an effort to bridge the gap between our positions, I will consider rape and incest from Pro’s perspective. How does Pro justify inflicting pain and potentially life long mental anguish on one innocent human being (a raped woman) for the life of an innocent human being (a fetus)? Pro will likely tell us that a life of suffering is preferable to no life.  If that were true, then suicide would not be a thing. It could be that mental anguish forced on a raped woman by disallowing abortion contributes to her suicide, in which case, Pro is sacrificing one innocent human being (raped woman) for another.  This is no different than what he (incorrectly) understands my position to be.
 
Finally, Pro stresses the innocence of the fetus while ignoring the innocence of the woman (unless considers the act of having sex a crime). Regardless of Pro’s opinions, sex is not a crime and innocence of a woman or a fetus is not a reason to favor either. Let us avoid being distracted with emotional appeals. 
 
Human and person 

It seems Pro understands personhood is significant to rights because he wants human being to be equated to person. In spite of Pro’s assertions, a human being is not necessarily a person. Human being can refer to a broad range of organisms. It can be the fetus of a Bonobo, a human baby, or an Orangutan. Suffice to say, we don’t grant human rights to all human beings. So, when Pro claims, “a human being is a person”, that’s not necessarily true.  As such, a fetus doesn’t automatically get rights because it is a human being. 
 
Pro does not take into account that granting personhood at conception sets the woman’s and the fetus’ rights in opposition and someone’s rights necessarily must go away. Pro contends the woman’s rights should diminish ignoring the fact that if she were to die so would the fetus because it... is her. In no way does this position make sense. In essence, Pro demands a woman act as a servant to her own body and bring a person into the world. Why should she do this? Because other people want control and/or it makes other people feel better? Human rights apply to individual human beings and not parts of human beings. A fetus is part of a woman, and there is no human right which allows people to control a person’s body. 
 
In an effort to bridge the divide between our positions once more, I will be as generous as I can and attempt a steelman of Pro’s position. Let us discount the medical definition of ‘human’ (if Pro will permit temporarily). I think a definition such as “a human being, especially a person as distinguished from an animal” [11] seems very reasonable. This definition disallows non-human animals and it favors human beings generally as persons. Pro might then argue a fetus is a person (qualifying it for human rights).  

Where the problem occurs is a “person” as defined in round 1 (by both Pro and Con) is an individual and (as also defined in round 1) an individual is a “singular human being”. Singular human being is not an applicable description to a fetus who is a part of another being. That would be like claiming a glass of water in the reservoir...is a reservoir.  So, even allowing better definitions, Pro’s equivocation of human and person falls. 
 
Response to Pro’s defense 
 
1) the Basis for Right and Wrong 

In spite of being warned away from a discussion on moral views, my opponent attempts to saddle me with what he assumes to be my view on morality.  I do not subscribe to moral relativism, and all comments to that effect are an attempt to build an opponent Pro wishes to face: a strawman. The discussion about moral relativism is an irrelevant dead-end for Pro in this debate. Pro continues to reference this throughout many of his arguments, but my response here will apply to all. 
Additionally, Pro also assumes my political affiliation (a bad assumption) and all references to Left, liberal, and Democrat are incorrect, irrelevant strawmen. Pro continues to reference this throughout many of his arguments, but my response here will apply to all. 

Once the strawmen are removed, I found Pro did not offer much defense here.  He claimed I was being inconsistent in granting bodily autonomy to a woman and not a fetus since both have a body and are human. I addressed this in my defense above under the “Rape and Incest”.  In short, the right of bodily autonomy is not granted to all human bodies. 

2) What is the Unborn?
 
Pro relies on strawmen again:

Now he [Con] argues that a person isn't a person until birth. 

Of course, I’ve not argued a person is not a person, or that a person doesn’t become a person until birth.  That’s absurd.  I have acknowledged a fetus as human, but this in no way compromises any of my arguments. Additionally, nowhere have I claimed the unborn is a person.  Long story short, Pro’s inappropriate conflation of human and person does not undo my arguments.
 
Pro brings up the question of personhood as part of human nature – to which I point out, personhood cannot be nature because it is humans that came up with human rights. Furthermore, if human rights are to be honored, personhood cannot be granted at conception because the rights of the fetus and mother will inevitably and irreconcilably conflict. If rights can be lost, they serve no purpose. 

**The sources to which I was referring were 4a, 4b, 4c, and 5. These are quotes - none of which Pro used in the debate.  
 
3) The Woman's 'Right' to Choose? 

Pro asserts personhood is part of human nature.  I’ve address this just above, so I’ll not bore everyone with repetition. Pro’s analogy of the acorn is interesting, but ultimately, if an acorn is still attached to the tree, it is silly to consider it a tree itself.  The same can be said for a fetus attached to a person’s body – it is not a person.
 
Pro reveals he is using the SLED strategy in an attempt to refute my arguments.  S.L.E.D. stands for size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency. This strategy would make perfect sense if I had made arguments dependent on size, level of development, environment, or degree of dependency of the fetus! The fact that Pro uses the SLED strategy illustrates he has not understood my part in this debate. 

Con is basically saying that a human being is not a person until it is born because it is not in the right environment.” 

At birth, a being experiences environment for the first time - a womb is not an environment, but part of a person. 

Does its size make it less of a human being or a person? 
 
No, but I’ve not made any such claim. This is a strawman. 

But the newborn has not developed to the same level as a teenager, or a teenager to the same level as an adult, and some adults to the same level as other adults. Should we be able to kill them because they are not of the same level of development? 
Again, I’ve not claimed development determines personhood. Another strawman. 

4) 6) The Right to Choose 

Pro attempts to twist ‘the right to control one’s own body’ into ‘right to do anything to anyone’.  It’s bogus, folks. Autonomy has been defined in round 1 as “The right or condition of self-government; Freedom from external control or influence; independence.” So, Pro is once again misrepresenting my position.
  
In the final paragraph of this section, Pro cherry picks and misrepresents one of my quotes about human rights.  My UN quote does not suggest human rights apply to the unborn.  In fact, the UN affirms abortion as a human right! [12] Pro is misrepresenting my position and that of the organization responsible for the quote. Another strawman. 

5) Is killing an unborn murder? 

First, Pro only addresses part of my objection. He has neglected to explain how finding oneself unexpectedly and without intent in a place disallowed (such a my neighbors house) is not a crime.
 
Secondly, Pro offers a weak defense that conception was not something the fetus wanted. The same could be said of the man and/or woman.  Also, I’d like to draw the judges’ attention to Pro’s conclusion: It is HER offspring.  This type of language is addressed in my defense of bodily autonomy just above. Clearly, sharing DNA with an offspring is not a male requirement for responsibility, at least, as far as Pro is concerned. 

How does the woman's right to choose hereby equate in any way to tyranny and Hitler? 
 
Under this heading, Pro once again compares pregnant women to Hitler and abortion to the Holocaust. The comparison fails though.  There is no dispute millions of people lost their rights and then their lives in the holocaust. However, abortion is not an attack on persons and no human rights are being lost.  As such, pregnant women and Hitler do not compare.  Pro has presented a false equivalence and is letting his bias cripple his logic.
 
In a last stab, we are provided with a comparison of Margret Sanger to Hitler, but this person has not been presented in any of my arguments and does not represent human rights advocates (as I consider myself to be) in any way. Pro offers yet another strawman. 

***

Choose life with dignity! 



Round 5
Published:
Thanks to Con and the judges for the willingness to engage in this topic! The chance to express the Pro-Life view is much appreciated.

***

Viability and Personhood
Con states,

"Pro has said multiple times that ‘location (Kentucky, a womb) does not determine personhood’.  The problem with this thought is that a womb is not a location – it is a person! It’s true, location does not make a difference to personhood, but being an individual human being does and this happens at birth."  

Medical texts recognize that all that changes at birth regard a difference of location, not a difference of kind. 

I.e.,
“Although it is customary to divide human development into prenatal and postnatal periods, it is important to realize that birth is merely a dramatic event during development resulting in a change in environment.”

The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology fifth edition, Moore and Persaud, 1993, Saunders Company, page 1 [1]

The pro-life position never argued for the misrepresentation Con stated. What was meant by 'environment does not determine personhood' is to be taken in conjunction with Con's referral to a person starting at birth, at that physical location (wherever it is born). My argument was that birth, that actual physical location does not determine when a 'person's' life begins. Neither does the LOCATION in the womb. Conception does. What determines a person is whether humans are by nature personal beings, not their function or where they are. Con has failed to show they are not persons while in the womb. Until he does this there is no justification for killing the unborn in the womb. He only wants to give them rights at birth. That is a change of location from the womb. That is why the 'E' in SLED is referenced. The environment is one of the factors pro-choice advocates use to create a difference from an unborn to a newborn, and one of the factors that Con thinks justify killing it.

Con is making a big deal of its environment by issuing it legal rights only when it is born. He forgets about its importance until this point in time and location. 

He states,

"My position is not 'fetuses are dependent or undeveloped thus they are disallowed from personhood' as Pro suggests."

What is the fetus? It is an unborn human being. 

Whether Con states that his position is not the L (level of development) or D (degree of dependency) of SLED, the question is what makes the unborn different from the newborn or any other human being? The pro-choice rest their position on slaughtering the unborn as opposed to the newborn or teen or adult. What makes the unborn different from the others? Its size is one factor. Its level of development is another. Its environment is a third difference. Finally is the degree of dependency that makes it different from more mature human beings. None of these (SLED) makes a human being unequal otherwise all human beings would be unequal. That contrast is illustrated by comparing the newborn, teen, and adult, as well as Bolt and Einstein in the examples. 

Below Con again misleads the readers and judges by stating that the unborn is not truly an individual human being while in the womb because it attaches itself to part of the woman's body, emphasis on the word individual.  
"My position is fetuses are an extension of a woman’s body, and cannot be considered a person until they are well and truly an individual human being."

The evaluation is false.

While attached Con say the "fetus" is an extension of the woman's body, thus not considered an individual or a person. Medical texts on the subject disprove Cons statements. 

“The first cell of a new and unique human life begins existence at the moment of conception (fertilization) when one living sperm from the father joins with one living ovum from the mother. It is in this manner that human life passes from one generation to another. Given the appropriate environment and genetic composition, the single cell subsequently gives rise to trillions of specialized and integrated cells that compose the structures and functions of each individual human body. Every human being alive today and, as far as is known scientifically, every human being that ever existed, began his or her unique existence in this manner, i.e., as one cell. If this first cell or any subsequent configuration of cells perishes, the individual dies, ceasing to exist in matter as a living being. There are no known exceptions to this rule in the field of human biology.”

James Bopp, ed., Human Life and Health Care Ethics, vol. 2 (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1985)

The unique individual begins at conception, not birth like Con is leading the readers and judges to believe. Notice also the mention of the appropriate environment. The quote recognizes the womb as an environment.

Individual, thus, it is not an extension of her body but is attached to her body from which its nourishment comes. Con needs to answer why the unborn cannot be considered a person or an individual while in the womb???

It is a person because it has a personal nature developing within itself.
It is an individual because it is a new and uniquely separate human from the woman.  

“Human life begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo development ) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.” “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).” “It is the penetration of the ovum by a sperm and the resulting mingling of nuclear material each brings to the union that constitutes the initiation of the life of a new individual.”

Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.


“Thus a new cell is formed from the union of a male and a female gamete. [sperm and egg cells] The cell, referred to as the zygote, contains a new combination of genetic material, resulting in an individual different from either parent and from anyone else in the world.”

Sally B Olds, et al., Obstetric Nursing (Menlo Park, California: Addison – Wesley publishing, 1980)  P 136



“It is the penetration of the ovum by a sperm and the resulting mingling of nuclear material each brings to the union that constitutes the initiation of the life of a new individual.”

Clark Edward and  Corliss Patten’s Human Embryology, McGraw – Hill Inc., 30


“Fertilization is the process by which male and female haploid gametes (sperm and egg) unite to produce a genetically distinct individual.”

Signorelli et al., Kinases, phosphatases and proteases during sperm capacitation, CELL TISSUE RES. 349(3):765 (Mar. 20, 201)

Bodily Autonomy

Con says,
"Pro attacks my intrusion analogy by bringing us the ideas of Greg Koukl who believes the womb is the "natural environment" of the unborn.  We’ve already covered that a person is not a “location” and the same should be said about a person being an “environment”. The language referring to a woman, or part of a woman, as a location or environment (rather than a person themselves) should be disturbing to us. The thought that part of a person’s body belongs to something (or someone) else is the very notion of slavery."

A person is in a location.

Nowhere does Greg say the environment is the person. Nowhere does Greg misrepresent what a womb is for. It is the natural environment of the unborn.

A womb is not a person but a reproductive organ of the woman. Con associates part of the woman with part of the unborn. It is a complete entity.

The womb is the environment the unborn lives in. Another way to solve Cons created dilemma is to ask if the womb in a specific location?

Does the womb have what is necessary to feed and look after the unborn until birth? If so then it is an environment.

Here is a medical definition:

Environment: The sum of the total of the elements, factors and conditions in the surroundings which may have an impact on the development, action or survival of an organism or group of organisms. [2]

What is the natural sum total of the unborn's world? It is the womb. A person can be in one location (the womb) or another (the world).
The fact is that the unborn is located in the woman's womb. It is the environment the unborn inhabits during its nine or so months of growth from conception to birth. It is disturbing to believe that anyone can think otherwise. So, Cons argument again is mute. It misrepresents and leads the reader and judge away from what is the case. 

For ALL unborn's, the natural housing, or where it resides, is in the womb. To name the gestation period 'slavery' is not so for the majority of women who nurture the unborn to completion. Without the womb, at one time there would be no humanity. It should be a privilege to house the unborn and see a new life into the world. Instead, pro-abortionists demonize the process. The villain is the unborn. 

***

Con does not see protecting the offspring, the DNA, as a duty. He says half of the men slough the duty. That is a problem and injustice. Should he share no responsibility for the well-being of his offspring? Just throw it away. If US law is like Canadian law, then the father is required to support his offspring in the case of divorce. It is a natural duty for the father in families from day-one to look after the well-being of the offspring.  

Because she does not want to be a single parent, it is okay for her to kill another human being? Why then can she not kill the newborn? The difference is its environment according to pro-choice. The difference is also its level of development, size, and dependency.

***

Stating "individual rights should never be at the expense of an innocent human beings life" did not sit well with Con. He thinks individual rights should allow humans to kill other humans. Okay Con, you are first! There is a fundamental human right that supersedes all others. That is the right to life. It supersedes the woman's right to choose to do with her body as she wants. Liberty or freedom does not give Con the right to do anything. That is anarchy. Rights only go so far. 

Once an individual or group is devalued and dehumanize it lead to more humans suffering the same fate as witnessed in Nazi Germany.

Con argues,

"If rights can be taken away from one individual, they can be taken away from anyone. Pro’s statements illustrate how easy it is to lose sight of human rights."

That is precisely what Con is advocating for with the unborn individual - stripping it of its right to life. That has already been done. Con has lost sight of this human right he stated in his opening UN statement in Round 2 - equality for all humanity! He, nor any pro-choice advocate or the bodily autonomy movement apply that principle evenly. 

Con claims the pro-life position attempts to diminish the danger of pregnancy that women face. The claim was previously addressed. 
Dr. Alan Guttmacher of Planned Parenthood acknowledged: 

“Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal illness such as cancer or leukemia, and, if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save, life.” [6]
 Con NEVER addressed his statement or the one below.

"The number is infinitesimal compared to the number of pregnancies and the reasons why women die. That number is between 1-2% - about 0.0185%." 

If medical experts do not see a threat for most pregnancies that should be reassuring.  

In cases of legitimate concern for the woman's life, then saving her life is the right and key thing to do. Saving the unborn should also be done, if possible. If the unborn is too premature and cannot survive, then the moral responsibility rests solely on saving the woman. As stated before, the cases where the woman's life is seriously threatened if the unborn is not aborted and she will die is relatively slim. As Con pointed out, around half of pregnancies are elective because the woman is a single parent. Stats supplied for Florida in 2014 listed elective abortion as 92.33% of the reasons (or lack of reason) given.  [5]

***

Rape and Incest

Cons argument about the unborn being a person starting at birth have been addressed. He thinks that because someone passes a law, then that makes the unborn a person only at birth. He said:

"he suggests my preference for a person (a separate human being) over a human being (someone who, in this case, is part of a human being - not a person) is the same thing as killing an innocent person."

Regarding the unborn, Con separates a human being from a person based on its individuality not applying here. He claims it is part of another human being thus it can not be a person? How does that figure? Its individuality not applying has been debunked above. It is not true. The unborn is identified as a human being, a SEPARATE individual. Not "separate" seems to be the criteria Con is using here to judge a person. The unborn as being "part of the woman," thus not its own person has been dispelled. It is its own being, not a part of the woman's being. It has its own identity, its own DNA, separate from the woman at conception, a being in its own right. It is not part of the woman; it is attached to the woman.

On Cons absurd logic (the unborn being is part of the woman) does it mean if the unborn have a penis then the woman has one also? Does it mean the woman has four arms and four legs (kind of like a spider)?

***

Con saying at birth,

"it is no longer part of the woman’s body and no longer under the jurisdiction of her bodily autonomy. The extension of the mother’s rights that once applied to the fetus no longer exist and individual freedoms, along with a new person, emerge."  
It was NEVER part of the woman's body. From conception textbook after textbook identifies the unborn as a separate, unique individual. It was joined to the woman's body by an umbilical cord. That blows Cons whole argument out of the water. He is taking damage control.

As an individual human being (and according to the UN declaration on human rights) it is supposed to have equal rights, not no rights, or rights extended from the mother. Con continues to exclude its freedom, rights, equality, and dignity. He bases the unborn's right to life on the woman's whim. Maybe she does not feel particularly kind to it today. 

***

Con is trying to divide human rights from personal rights. He claims that all human beings are equal then he takes that equality away by not granting that all human beings are personal beings and equal beings by nature. That is completely inconsistent. He keeps making the distinction between a human being and a human person. A human being is what it is not because of what it does but because of the being it is. 

I begin at conception. It is not some other human being. It is ME. At conception, my brain, my body, my person begin to grow by nature. That human and personal nature is inherited from my parents. The difference between me now and then is my level of development (SLED).

Con is trying to argue I was a different being at conception (it was not me).

My genetic makeup is who I am now and it was who I was then. If you could kill me as an unborn why can you not kill me now? Birth is a change of location and relationship. How does it change who the unborn is? Con refuses to say. He believes it automatically gets it rights at birth. 

***

The pro-life position on rape and incest was stated earlier. The perpetrator of the act deserves castration and imprisonment. It is sad what the woman has to endure, but many women have testified that killing the unborn does not rid her of guilt, it just promotes more violence. Sometimes it makes it worse. Con is assuming abortion will make the situation better. Some argue that both the unborn and the woman benefit by sparing it. Killing the unborn is not the solution for the crimes of others. That makes two wrongs, not one, and two violent wrongs at that. If the woman is contemplating suicide, she should seek psychiatric help. What the rape and incest abort argument do is fuel the emotions and appeal to pity. 

Killing the unborn human being is not the answer. It leads to the slippery slope of devaluing human life. Nine months is not too long to wait.

***
With the links 4a-c, in Round 2, the explanation given is sufficient. If the reader wishes to reference the link, they know what it is about by the description.

***

Human and Person 

Cons strawman:

1) "Human being can refer to a broad range of organisms. It can be the fetus of a Bonobo, a human baby, or an Orangutan. 2) Suffice to say, we don’t grant human rights to all human beings. So, when Pro claims, “a human being is a person”, that’s not necessarily true.  As such, a fetus doesn’t automatically get rights because it is a human being."
Genus: Pongo: Orangutan
Genus: Homo:  Humans  

"consisting of members of the family Hominidae"

The FAMILY Hominidae is broken down further. Not the same thing. 

Subtribe Hominina
1) When two humans beings mate they do not produce apes or chimps. Con cannot demonstrate this is the case for it has never been witnessed to be the case. Someone with a vivid imagination is drawing inferences from data that this is the case.
2) We can grant human rights to all humans. We do not, but we should. It is true in all sexual unions in which two human beings mate and produce offspring that they are human persons. That is their nature. Con has not demonstrated the unborn human is not. If he does not know when a human becomes a person he should give the unborn the benefit of the doubt.

Con conflates human and ape.

Round 1
Definition of person:
1: human, individual
5: the personality of a human being [4]

Definition of a Person:
1. a human being, whether an adult or child:
2. a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing. [5]

***

"Pro contends the woman’s rights should diminish ignoring the fact that if she were to die so would the fetus because it... is her. In no way does this position make sense."


No, this is not true. Threats to the woman's life because of pregnancy complications is the exemption.

Con continues to claim the fetus is her. He goes against scholarly opinion. The fetus is not her. So he is right when he states, "In no way does this make sense."


"Human rights apply to individual human beings and not parts of human beings. A fetus is part of a woman, and there is no human right which allows people to control a person’s body...
Singular human being is not an applicable description to a fetus who is a part of another being...
 Pro’s equivocation of human and person falls." 

Cons logic is out the window. Scholarly consensus says the unborn is an INDIVIDUAL human being, separate from the woman. Cons contentions are nonsense. It is his ambiguity that fails unless he can prove that the unborn are not human and not a person. He has not done so, just asserted it.

"Pro demands a woman act as a servant to her own body and bring a person into the world."

Letting it live is common decency, a natural right, and selfless act for nine months. Con has a double-standard. Con does not have the right to kill anyone via his body yet he sees no problem with the woman doing so.

The Basis for Right and Wrong
Con is warning me away from an issue of morality when it is the central issue of this debate. Even if Con does not ascribe to moral relativism, he needs to show this is not employed here. The issue is that not all human beings are being treated equally. The issue is that half the US population believe it is okay to kill defenseless human beings. Moral relativists say only some humans are persons. There is no strawman on the pro-life side.

***

Con continues to ad lib and misrepresents what I have said. That is always a problem when not quoting a person directly. I will supply what I said, and then what Con charges I said regarding Democrats.

Me:
"What about the bodily autonomy of the unborn? It has a body too. It is a human being also. A woman's rights without regard to the rights of the unborn is a propaganda tool of the leftist liberally educated. They push this philosophy, as witnessed in American politics. Democrats favor abortion. Democrats are pro-choice."

 
Nowhere did I assume Con was a Democrat but that the majority of Democrats (generally speaking) favor the woman's right to choose abortion. Con states:

"Additionally, Pro also assumes my political affiliation (a bad assumption) and all references to Left, liberal, and Democrat are incorrect, irrelevant strawmen."
I do not care what party Con affiliates himself with. I witness what big government socialism does to a country, and it is not irrelevant in abortion.

***

"the right of bodily autonomy is not granted to all human bodies." 
 
However, Con argues that it should be granted to the woman so she can kill her unborn offspring. He wants to deny the unborn the most basic human right to life.

What is the Unborn?
Con says:
"I’ve not argued a person is not a person, or that a person doesn’t become a person until birth.
Additionally, nowhere have I claimed the unborn is a person.  Long story short, Pro’s inappropriate conflation of human and person does not undo my arguments."

Cons position is morphing. Con has based his whole argument on the unborn not being a person until birth. He cites the law as stating a person is legally recognized only at birth. Not only this, Con states:

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 fetus is, at best, a potential person while inside of (and dependent on) the body and will of another...the line of distinction I am interested in is when human becomes person, and that occurs at birth...being human is not necessarily the same thing as being a person...I understand my opponent believes the unborn to be persons, but I do not

(Legally or legitimately?)

Cons whole argument is inconsistent. He cannot make up his mind when asked to explain when a person begins.
Thus, Cons labels discriminate to the point of death. There is no equality here. Con continues to construct his whole argument under this section on a faulty premise, i.e., "part of a woman's body." That is NOT true. 

"A potential person?" It either is, or it is not. 

***
Con states:

"...personhood cannot be nature because it is humans that came up with human rights...personhood cannot be granted at conception because the rights of the fetus and mother will inevitably and irreconcilably conflict."
This is muddled thinking. How do human rights change what a human being is by nature - a personal being? Con needs to prove rather than assert it is not a person by nature or his argument is mute. If he can not prove it then why is it being killed? It either is a person, or it is not at conception no matter whether someone wants to grant it legal rights then or not. The reason it is not granted legal rights is so it can be butchered at the discretion of the woman. 

***

The Woman's Right to Choose
An acorn is an oak whether it is attached to the tree or not. The soil is the fertilization process that spurs the growth process.  

 ***

Whether Con makes SLED arguments or not (And he has. They have been pointed out) the basis for discrimination is one or more of these acronyms. The unborn are treated differently on these four points. For example, Con continually refers to inside the womb where it is not considered a person by him. That immediately changes once it is born. Therefore, it is the environment (E) that changes its status. BTW, his argument on the environment and the womb is wrong also.

Remember, Con said: 

"At birth, a being experiences environment for the first time - a womb is not an environment, but part of a person."

What are the differences that make treating the unborn different from the newborn? SLED. He is treating the unborn differently. It is as much a human being by nature as the newborn is by nature.

***
  
Con states:

"I’ve not claimed development determines personhood. Another strawman."

That is exactly what Con has done. He does not recognize the unborn as a person. "Person begins at birth."

***

Con says I misrepresent his position:

"Autonomy has been defined in round 1 as “The right or condition of self-government; Freedom from external control or influence; independence.” 
What about the right of the unborn and its freedom? Does Cons freedom give him the right to kill others? Autonomy only goes so far; then the line is drawn. 

***
Con says I misrepresent the UN position on human rights,

"My UN quote does not suggest human rights apply to the unborn.  In fact, the UN affirms abortion as a human right!"
It states ALL humans are equal. Are the unborn human beings? There is duplicity here. 

***

Con fails to understand the difference between a helpless human being and himself:

"First, Pro only addresses part of my objection. He has neglected to explain how finding oneself unexpectedly and without intent in a place disallowed (such a my neighbors house) is not a crime."
How could he charge an innocent human being who did not put itself there, and cannot take itself away, with a crime? He refuses to answer this query. 

***

Con declares,

"Pro offers a weak defense that conception was not something the fetus wanted. The same could be said of the man and/or woman.  Also, I’d like to draw the judges’ attention to Pro’s conclusion: It is HER offspring...in my defense of bodily autonomy."


The unborn had no say in its being, the man and/or woman did. So the same thing cannot be said. Genetically the offspring shares its DNA makeup with hers. 

***
Con continues,

"There is no dispute millions of people lost their rights and then their lives in the holocaust. However, abortion is not an attack on persons and no human rights are being lost.  As such, pregnant women and Hitler do not compare."
Over a billion human beings are killed as opposed to millions. They have been devalued in both cases. Abortion is an attack on the person, and natural human rights have been lost. Just like in Germany, they have been legislated out of existence. 

***
Con says,

"...we are provided with a comparison of Margret Sanger to Hitler, but this person has not been presented in any of my arguments and does not represent human rights advocates..." 
She is the founder of Planned Parenthood. She used propaganda techniques like Hitler to influence millions. Thinking is oppressed. She set up programs of indoctrination as did Hitler. Both used techniques of devaluing and discriminating along with the mass destruction of two specific groups of human beings. 

***

For the Judges Consideration

Cons arguments are logically and factually flawed.
His moral judgments are unsound.

The crux or "meat" of the matter is what is the unborn being and whether it has intrinsic value and rights. That is key.

Con established that he believes that all human beings are equal. He quotes the UN declaration on human equality. Con states the unborn is a human being. Then Con grants it the status of a human being, but he does not recognize its equality. That is a glaring discrepancy and inconsistency in his argument. He does everything possible to undermine the unborn's equality.

First, he mistakenly argues the unborn is not an individual because it is attached.

Second, he mistakenly associates its person to its birth, not its nature. He talks around the issue of whether a human is natural a person but legally he recognizes it as a person only at birth.

Third, he mistakenly believes that a woman can do anything she so pleases with her own body. 

*** 

The unborn human is the one who suffers injustices by dehumanizing and devaluing it. When one group of humans is devalued, it can lead to the genocide of that group as witnessed in history. Con does not see the connection. 

I centered my arguments on five issues and addressed every one of Cons rebuttals. I ask the judges to evaluate the soundness and reasonableness of my arguments based on what I have said and what Con has retorted. If all humans are equal and the unborn is a human, then the woman should not have the right to choose to kill it. Con never demonstrated it was unequal but stated it was. 

He never addressed a multitude of arguments or queries about natural versus legal rights, a natural person as opposed to a legal person, whether functions determine what something is or is it its nature, whether a human is a property or a substance, or whether the unborn human is being treated equally. 

Since Con has the last Round argument, I will not be able to address anything new he adds in his defense of my latest rebuttal. I ask the judges to be aware of a change in his position from what he has stated to date. 

Judges, please note anything in quotations that is not mine is not my grammar or spelling.

***

Since abortion stats were first noted in Round 2, there have been 1,279,421 more abortion worldwide and 29,625 in the US since Roe v. Wade @ 11/14/2018 @ 3:01 PM. What war produces that number of casualties in the space of 12 days?

Vote life as the choice!

Published:
Thank you so much, Pro!

Now, nearly 30k characters have been used in this round to rehash arguments covered earlier in the debate.  I do not intend to redo the entire debate here in the 5th round!  However, there are a number of faults in my opponent’s final round. I will endeavor to highlight a few of these and explain why the thinking used to arrive at the conclusions is broken. Of course, I will address arguments as needed while trying not to beat any dead horses! 
 
Viability and Personhood
  
--Quotemining--
 
Science and medicine do not make claims on when personhood begin, and Pro’s argument about the product of human conception being human is moot as it is simply a statement of fact, and Pro is reading his own understanding into the quotes. A good example of this is provided with this quote:
 
The first cell of a new and unique human life begins existence at the moment of conception (fertilization) when one living sperm from the father joins with one living ovum from the mother. It is in this manner that human life passes from one generation to another. Given the appropriate environment and genetic composition, the single cell subsequently gives rise to trillions of specialized and integrated cells that compose the structures and functions of each individual human body. Every human being alive today and, as far as is known scientifically, every human being that ever existed, began his or her unique existence in this manner, i.e., as one cell. If this first cell or any subsequent configuration of cells perishes,the individual dies, ceasing to exist in matter as a living being. There are no known exceptions to this rule in the field of human biology.” 

What does Pro make of this? “The unique individual begins at conception.” However, that is not what the quote states. It says conception begins the process that can (given the right circumstances) produce an individual. This is not to be mistaken with 'conception equates to th existence of an individual' much less a person.  Quotes containing particular words do not necessarily argue for the same thing Pro does while using those same words. This is why quotemining is a flawed strategy.

Another quote states: 

 ‘conception is the initiation of the life of a new human individual’  

Again, we should not confuse initiation with realization as is seems our Instigator has. Conception is undoubtedly the moment when a new life begins, and that life can become an individual person – there's no dispute here.  However, such quotes easily support a distance in time from conception to personhood. This is, in fact, what I’ve been advocating. Notice, that in my opponent’s provided quotes, we will not find one that states ‘personhood begins at conception’.  That is merely an eisegesis belonging to my opponent – one that he wants us to treat as axiomatic. 
 
Bodily Autonomy
 
--Quotemining-- 

In an attempt to salvage the “natural environment” statement, the results of quotemining for the word environment have been provided. However, a change in environment between the womb and the outside world is quite distinct from the woman being a “natural environment for the unborn”. There is no “natural state” of a womb because it is under the dominion of a living, thinking being. For a womb to be a “natural environment” is to suggest it is outside the dominion of the conscious being to which it belongs.  Excuse the crudeness, but it is akin to suggesting the vagina is the natural environment for a penis. Such thoughts require us to completely discount there is a person who may disagree attached to said body part. 
 
As for the ‘womb is a location’ argument, it is simply incorrect. You will never hear someone seriously say they were conceived in womb because while technically true, it provides no information not already known. A pregnancy may come to term in Kentucky and the fetus before birth, and the child after, were in Kentucky all along – there has been no change of location. There has been a new individual to come into the world though.
 
Rape and Incest 

--Quotemining--
--Non-Sequitur--

Referencing the same quotemining found in his response to Viability and Personhood, my opponent attempts to draws the same faulty conclusions. His interpretation of these quotes is faulty for the reasons already stated. The quotes provided point to an individual not beginning to exist at the moment of conception, but that one can exist at some point in the future because conception has occurred.
  
As to rape and incest, it is suggested castration of the rapist will somehow justify taking away the ability of the woman to control her body. Of course, it doesn’t. Removing bodily autonomy from the woman a second time because the first to do it, the rapist, has been mutilated makes absolutely no sense.  It is offering to feed some sort of dark twisted sense of revenge in exchange for allowing a similar offence to be committed by the authorities. Suffice to say, no matter what punishment is inflicted upon the rapist, it does not follow that the state gets to remove rights from the victim. The argument is a non-sequitur. 

In spite of attestations to the contrary, removing the product of a non-consensual experience can certainly make it better.  On the other hand, being an incubator for a rapist can take a toll on a human mind. The point being, it is not for Pro or I to mandate what a woman should do with her body, but that she has the right to decide for herself. 

***Pro points the reader to links 4a-c.  I’m not certain Pro has provided any of these quotes in this debate.  I draw the judges’ attention to this once more, as I believe Pro is circumventing the character limits in this debate. 
 
Human and Person 

Issue has been taken with pointing out “human” can refer to a broad range of organisms (per Pro’s definitions).  It is not a strawman to point this out. The definition “members of the family Homindae” is overly broad and does apply to more than humans. However, this is not a fault of the contender.
 
In the interest of being accurate, humans are members of the family homindea, but not all members of the family homindae are human. Pro’s definition did not make this distinction, and my argument while highlighting this fact was itself not very accurate. Bonobos and Orangutans are “human” by accurate definitions of the word. 

For the first time in this debate, we see the word “Anatomically modern human” used to make the distinction from Neanderthals and such. It seems fairly late in the debate to be attempting to provide new definitions. Regardless, personhood is not granted because a body is (or is going to be) an "anatomically modern human".  I’ll not beat the dead horse of “persons are individuals”, so I’ll point out the shortsightedness of determining personhood on the “humanness” of the individual. Not only is it speciest ('this being is of my species, so they are superior'), but it rejects the possibility there will ever be individuals worthy of dignity besides humans.
 
It is not unlikely at some point in the future we will encounter another self-aware species deserving of human rights (although the name will need to change!)  It takes little stretch of the imagination that these beings might be of our own creation in artifical intellingence (AI). If “anatomically modern human” is the criteria by which rights are granted, then there is no room for the discovery and recognition of future intelligent species or self-aware entities.  I have provided a more robust understanding of person and one that can stand in a world where humans are not the only persons.
 
The Basis for Right and Wrong 

In spite of acknowledging human rights are the meat of this debate, Pro now claims morality to be a “the central issue” of this debate.  What Pro considers to be moral actions or his view on the basis of morality is not justification against the right of a person (other than Pro) to have an abortion. This topic is irrelevant to this debate. 
 
What is the unborn 

--non-sequitur; or--
--circular argument--

My esteemed counterpart does not understand the criticisms I lodge against his misrepresentation of my position. At least partially, this is because he believes person and human to be interchangeable terms. Colloquially, they may be, but in the context of rights they are not, and we are talking about rights. When he claims I argue a “person is not a person until after birth”, this should be seen as an absurd misrepresentation because before birth the unborn is not a person. The supreme Court has ruled to that effect. The downfall here is in Pro’s lack of understanding the distinction and not in my position changing in any way. 

Continuing on, we are given “one must be a person to be personal” which is a non-sequitur. One can be impersonal and still be a person, so it doesn’t follow to suggest “personal” as a standard for personhood. If we use a definition of personal with the word “person” in it, then the statement is circular (eg. One must be a person to be a person) So, this statement seems important, but ultimately it is insignificant piffle 

--Reductio Ad Hitlerum--

Hitler is one of the most despised individuals to have ever existed on the face of the Earth. Pro attempts to draw from this hate by associating my position with that of Hitler and his actions.  I consider it to be a rather despicable and dishonest tactic. I’ve already shown abortion is a recognition of women’s rights rather than the stripping of rights as the holocaust was, and abortion existed since long before Margret Sanger, so even if she were/was an evil person (I don’t know anything about her), she is not representative of those who recognize the right to choose. Pro is merely attempting to poison the well with such strategies. 

SLED  

These arguments have been designed by anti-abortionists to respond to pro-choice advocates when using arguments regarding size, level of development, environmental change, and dependency. I have not argued these points.  Yet my opponent attempts to use SLED as freestanding arguments. My interlocutor contends, “None of these (SLED) makes a human being unequal […]”. Guess what? Except in the cases where the language subjugates the woman, I agree! Pro’s case is not stronger for my agreement though. From the start I’ve advocated abortion is justified by self-defense, personal autonomy, and in cases of rape and incest. Never, unless responding to Pro, did I suggest anything resembling SLED and it has no teeth in this debate. What does that leave against a woman's right to choose in this debate?

Debate summary 

Pro has argued a fetus is human and humans deserve rights simply because they are conceived (not born) human. Let us follow the rights Pro advocates in this.  A new human is conceived thereby taking on human rights. It is then born and grows into a young woman who then unexpectedly becomes pregnant.  Per Pro, her right to control the function of her own body should be restricted in order to accommodate human rights of another being. In other words, her human rights must be suspended for... human rights. Pro doesn't see the contradiction here.
 
On the other hand, I see unborn rights as an extension of its mother’s rights. Barring specialized medical equipment, the death of a mother will inevitably lead to the death of the fetus.  The woman and the unborn share life, body, and given this, rights are shared as well. If the fetus resides in the body of a woman against her will, then the woman may not extend her rights to the fetus, and the fetus has no rights comparable to its host. With that in mind, I do not argue for rights to be diminished, much less suspended, as my opponent does. Of the two positions, only this view allows human rights to be maintained throughout pregnancy. 

My first argument sets unwanted pregnancy as a threat to health and physical body. Considering this threat, I contend a fetus may be aborted in self-defense. It’s no surprise that this scenario should fit into my core position nicely.  What is interesting, is that self-defense works in Pro’s view as well because the legal status of the attacker is unimportant. He has done his best to distract away from this by providing stats to diminish the perceived threat, but the fact remains: pregnancy does kill and disfigure, and reacting to a perceived threat is not unreasonable. Presumably, Pro would tell a homeowner lethal force is disallowed in self-defense because ...criminals are not that dangerous.
  
In my “Incest and rape” argument, I further establish the trouble with Pro’s view as associated with human rights. Per Pro’s position, aborting unwanted pregnancies due to rape and incest are not allowed, thereby taking away bodily autonomy from women.  Pro had no justification for this. Instead, he suggested I might think aborting an unborn fetus and killing a newborn were equivalent (ad hominem), or that it was noble for women to be forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. This is a fairly explicit admission his position would strip human rights from a victim of incest of rape.  It is the same with disallowing abortion in favor of adoption, he cannot avoid taking rights from the mother in order to bestow the same rights on the fetus. This runs contrary to human rights, and Pro makes no apology. At the very least, Pro's abortion exceptions are not broad enough. 



 I share PGA’s enthusiasm in discussing this subject.  I believe it is crucial we recognize women’s right to bodily autonomy and abortion for our world to progress in equality, freedom, justice, peace, and dignity. Thank you, Peter, for instigating this debate. Judges, I turn it over to you. 


PGA2.0 avatar
Added:
"Thank you for the detailed RFD, WF. I appreciate the guidance!"
It was good! I appreciated FaustianJustice honesty too.
Instigator
#90
SkepticalOne avatar
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--> @whiteflame
Thank you for the detailed RFD, WF. I appreciate the guidance!
Contender
#89
PGA2.0 avatar
Added:
"All this rehashing the debate here in the comments is pointless. That being said, I will bow out. Good luck to you, sir." - SKEP1
Thank you for your good will!
Instigator
#88
SkepticalOne avatar
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--> @PGA2.0
All this rehashing the debate here in the comments is pointless. That being said, I will bow out. Good luck to you, sir.
Contender
#87
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--> @SkepticalOne
So, unless you can show me that the unborn is not a human being, which you have confirmed it is, then it should have the same inalienable rights as every other human being. There should not be a distinction at birth. That is ridiculous and unequal treatment of a class or group of human beings.
Instigator
#86
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--> @SkepticalOne
"The woman, just like anyone else, has a right to control her own body. This right does not magically go away if she becomes pregnant. So, the bestowing rights at birth is the only logically consistent solution where rights are inalienable." - SKEP1
I agree the woman does have the right to control her own body, to an extent. There is no disputing this. The limit is where she uses her own body to hurt or kill another body. That is a different matter.
You're right, the law does not magically go away. If the woman uses her body to hurt or kill another human being (outside the womb) she is charged with a crime. Unfortunately, the law is discriminant and not equal in the case of the unborn human being. It is not given what every human being should be given, inalienable rights, universal rights to every human being. The most basic right of an innocent human being is the right to life. With the most vulnerable human, the one who should have the greatest protection, the right is stripped from them by unjust laws that do not follow the Declaration of Independence.
When you say, "the woman JUST LIKE ANYONE ELSE," you make an exception because you are not treating her in the same manner as everyone else. If you use your body to kill another innocent human being either intentionally (murder) or in particular cases because of negligence (manslaughter) it is a crime. So you are not being consistent in your thinking here. I can do with my own body as I see fit as long as what I am doing does not hurt someone else, or myself. If I went around pounding my head against a brick wall I would probably be locked up and prevented from hurting myself. If I constantly went around pounding my head into someone else's head I would expect the same results. I would be classed a danger to myself and/or others. So the freedom to do what you want with your body is a limited freedom. The crazy abortion laws are not consistent with the principle of bodily harm to others.
Instigator
#85
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--> @SkepticalOne
Inalienable rights: "The word refers to a natural right that cannot be revoked by an outside force. ... In the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson (using the un- variant) wrote that all men are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" including "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
"Something that is yours forever, that can’t be taken away and given to your little brother instead? That something would be called inalienable. The word refers to a natural right that cannot be revoked by an outside force."
"The word inalienable is often linked to human rights — you’ve probably heard the term “inalienable rights.”
"an inalienable right is something that can’t be given or taken away by a government or another legal power."
https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/inalienable
"Inalienable right refers to rights that cannot be surrendered, sold or transferred to someone else, especially a natural right such as the right to own property."
https://definitions.uslegal.com/i/inalienable-right/
"Personal rights held by an individual which are not bestowed by law, custom, or belief, and which cannot be taken or given away, or transferred to another person, are referred to as “inalienable rights.” The U.S. Constitution recognized that certain universal rights cannot be taken away by legislation, as they are beyond the control of a government, being naturally given to every individual at birth, and that these rights are retained throughout life. To explore this concept, consider the following inalienable rights definition."
https://legaldictionary.net/inalienable-rights/
Yet, this is what is done in the case of abortion. The inalienable rights of one class or group of human beings are stripped away from that class by unfair laws that discriminate.
Instigator
#84
SkepticalOne avatar
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--> @PGA2.0
The woman, just like anyone else, has a right to control her own body. This right does not magically go away if she becomes pregnant. So, the bestowing rights at birth is the only logically consistent solution where rights are inalienable.
Contender
#83
SkepticalOne avatar
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--> @PGA2.0
Inalienable: Not subject to being taken away from or given away by the possessor.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/inalienable
Contender
#82
PGA2.0 avatar
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--> @SkepticalOne
You say, "rights are inalienable" but you do not give one human being the same rights as another. Again you use the term "entity" to disguise what we are speaking of, a human being. It is a term used to diminish what the unborn human being is from conception. What about its inalienable rights? Just because a person or human being is located within another human being, in a particular environment, that does not change what the being in this environment is. It is not PART of the woman. It is its own human being in its own right.
The "part of the woman" is a fatal flaw in your argument, IMO. It is a separate individual human being who relies on another human being for its life because she is looking after it and has the responsibility to look after it until it becomes self-sufficient or others take that responsibility from her.
Instigator
#81
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"Scientist do not assign personhood, and if they did,
"Personhood" is a legal distinction and scientists are not qualified to make that call." - SKEP1
If scientists can't make that call then neither can lawyers and judges. They should give the unborn "inalienable rights" too since it is a human being. If no one can determine when a person begins the unborn SHOULD be given the benefit of the doubt, not butchered, and that is what happens at some stages of pregnancy - the unborn is ripped and torn apart by medical instruments.
If human rights are inalienable, like was argued in the Declaration of Independence in your country, then the unborn SHOULD have those rights that we decree on every other human being. Even your UN statement recognized that all humans are equal, yet they treat the unborn human as unequal. They contradict their own standard which is hypocrisy.
A agree that person and personality can be thought of as two distinct things. A person is, however, a personal being with a personality.
"...you do not have a legitmate authority supporting your notion of personhood beginning at conception." - SKEP1
Whether or not I have legitimate authorities is something we can argue, but the greater point is you don't know, then you, the woman, the doctor, the politician should give the unborn the benefit of the doubt. Anyone can legalize something unjustly if they have the power to do so. It happens all around the world every day.
Instigator
#80
SkepticalOne avatar
Added:
--> @PGA2.0
Most all of this has been addressed in the debate. Scientist do not assign personhood, and if they did,
"Personhood" is a legal distinction and scientists are not qualified to make that call. If there were a omnibenevolent god interested in the rights of humanity, I feel he/she/it would accept my view preserving inalianable rights as superior. You can claim the support of god, but so can I. We will have to wait until god verifiably endorses one of us. 😉 In other words, you do not have a legitmate authority supporting your notion of personhood beginning at conception. Moving on - you are conflating personality and personhood. Any quote of mine about personhood has nothing to do with personality. I can argue my view, but I cannot understand it for you. I have emphatically stated my position that personhood starts at birth and provided my reasoning including 'rights being inalienable'. Assigning personhood to an entity *inside* a person would necessitate rights being taken away. It is quite dishonest to suggest this has not been addressed many times.
Contender
#79
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Added:
--> @SkepticalOne
By your thinking in Round 4 it can't be a person until it is an individual, which scientifically speaking, it is from conception. Thus, with such logic, it would be a person from birth. You mistakenly, IMO, and in the opinion of scientists that I quoted, identified the unborn as a part of the woman's body and not in an environment. You cited that persons are not a location. I never argued human persons are a location, but they are in a location. That location is within the woman's womb. Legally, you can define them out of existence by stating personal rights start at birth, but to do so it would be reasonable to prove exactly when person beings. Legally, those in power can make anything "legal."
I identified natural rights (something we have because of our natures) is different from legal rights. By nature, I argued we are all human persons by nature, because of what we are. I invite you to prove otherwise.
Instigator
#78
PGA2.0 avatar
Added:
--> @SkepticalOne
"Previously, I was reading personal as personable. Excuse my misapprehension. My last response appropriately addresses the argument." - SKEP1
No problem, thanks!
"Stating personality is not natural to all human beings" - ME
"Show me where I made such an assertion, and we can go from there." - SKEP1
POST 71 - "'Personhood' is not natural, unless you consider a concept of humanity to be natural, in which case an appeal to nature is irrelevant."
ROUND 3: "That being said, the line of distinction I am interested in is when human becomes person, and that occurs at birth."
You agreed human beings begin at conception but that person begins at birth, as claimed by a panel of judges on the supreme court that made abortion law up to a particular point of development. What scientific evidence do you have to back this statement? Judges aren't embryologists or doctors or scientists.
ROUND 4: "My position is fetuses are an extension of a woman’s body, and cannot be considered a person until they are well and truly an individual human being."
According to scientists, a human being is an individual and uniquely new being at conception.
Instigator
#77
PGA2.0 avatar
Added:
--> @SkepticalOne
"You're talking in circles, buddy. Follow the logic: if personality is not exclusive to humanity, then (unless you're advocating non-human persons) it is not a relevant attribute for distinguishing personhood. And do you think arbitrarily adding 'personal' to something makes it a person? No response other than questioning the logic behind this is required from me." - SKEP1
Sure it is reasonable. Every human being is a personal being. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are personal beings. Thus, personality is not exclusive to humanity, providing God exists, which I have no doubt about.
Again, I asked you to identify when personhood begins. If you can't do that then you need to give the unborn from conception the benefit of the doubt. So, when does personhood begins, and please back up your claim? You have not responded to date.
I made my position clear. Personhood starts at conception. It is the nature of a human to be a personal being. Show me otherwise. What we are is built into our DNA code. When the code of the woman and man unite a separate unique individual human being exists, PER SCIENCE. It is not the woman's parts growing inside her, like a tumor or cyst, it is a newly formed human being with its own operating system in its basic form. What it is is directed from the inside, not from without. It doesn't start out as a dog, grow into a cat, then at a later stage of development turn into a human being. That is what it is from the start, from conception onwards. Every human being is a personal being, no matter how developed that personal nature is.
Instigator
#76
whiteflame avatar
Judge
#3
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Wanted to make this short, but ended up having quite a bit to say.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/13MFeTQ8B-nIflORdA3s0mFbC1kGp7pqoM75ZIrPOaQs/edit?usp=sharing
For the tl:dr, I found that the debaters largely argued past each other, there was too little discussion on the framework for the debate, and almost no weighing analysis. What's left on the table largely favors Pro in terms of raw numbers and impact, so that's where I vote.
FaustianJustice avatar
Judge
#2
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
... I hate to say it, but I am really not convinced by either series of arguments.
Pro flat out ignored what bodily autonomy was in favor of something that has no autonomy, all the while saying that some -other- (presumably the state) body needs to have sway over what constitutes a threat, as well as usurping said autonomy when (ironically) the case of rape usurps the autonomy of the rape victim. Its a double whammy that is supposed to come out as a moral "win". Quite literally its 2 wrongs that are supposed to make a right. That moral calculus to me simply fails, though it is circumstance dependent.
Conversely, on the notion of what the unborn constitute as far as rights go, Con never really put up a reasonable front as to why various stages of the unborn should or should not have certain rights. What specifically entreats the unborn to a new set of rights simply by having completed its travel down the birth canal? Arguably, the biological creature is no different having completed that journey, though I am being led to believe it now was a different value set. I am left unsatisfied, as forced abortion would just as equally have no merit, or a crime in which an expectant mother loses their developing offspring has no recourse (morally).
Source wise, while I don't appreciate "here are a whole bunch of list quotes I expect you to read via link as part of my argument (some how...)", this was limited in scope, and those sources that were presented on behalf of pro historically painted a fantastic appeal to emotion. Reliable? Sure. Well used? Yup, though I think they were used more to paint a picture about an appeal to emotion than solidify a winning moral calculus.
Sorry, debateurs. I am still on the fence.
ethang5 avatar
Judge
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Con argued his points well, but suffered two problems. First, his argument was ad hoc. For example, he simply calls an embryo an "intruder" and then builds this entire argument off that ad hoc definition. Even if his conclusions followed, his premise was illogical. He never was convincing on why an embryo should be viewed as an intruder and never addressed Pro's rebut of that idea. If the embryo is not an intruder, his argument fails.
Second, his argument itself was not logical. Calling every pregnancy a "threat" that enables the mother to kill the embryo at will is patiently absurd. He says that willingly engaging in sex is not accepting a pregnancy. But, what IS accepting a pregnancy if not engaging in sex? His position is basically illogical.
Pro did a good job addressing each of his claims. Listing them out in bold and systematically showing why they logically failed. And he was able to site secular sources for his argument, which was logically consistent throughout.