Instigator / Pro
7
1628
rating
19
debates
76.32%
won
Topic

Abortion should be illegal in nearly all cases.

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
3
0
Sources points
2
0
Spelling and grammar points
1
1
Conduct points
1
1

With 1 vote and 5 points ahead, the winner is ...

Patmos
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Politics
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One month
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
30,000
Contender / Con
2
1422
rating
156
debates
32.69%
won
Description
~ 0 / 5,000

No information

Round 1
Pro
My case will be made up of a two-pronged argument. One scientific and one philosophical.


First is the scientific prong.

the eight characteristics of life

It is a scientific fact that life begins at conception. Life is defined in biology as anything that fulfills eight requirements. These requirements are as follows

1. displays cellular organization. From the moment of conception, a human child is made of at least one cell. This requirement is fulfilled.
2. Maintains Homeostasis. Homeostasis means that a living thing maintains a constant internal environment that keeps it alive. a human embryo performs operations such as waste removal, transforming energy, and taking in nutrients from outside of the cell through constructs such as the sodium-potassium pump. This requirement is fulfilled.
3. grows and develops. It is an obvious truism that a human embryo grows and develops and begins to do so from the moment of conception. This requirement is fulfilled.
4. Displays metabolism. Metabolism is converting fuel (like food) into energy. From the moment of conception, a human child displays metabolism. This requirement is fulfilled.
5. Displays heredity. From the moment of conception, the first cell (the zygote) has the capacity to divide into more cells and pass a copy of its DNA onto those other cells. This condition is fulfilled.
6. Responds to the environment. The zygote will perform tasks such as pulling nutrients into itself through active transport and maintaining an internal environment responding to any change therein. This condition is fulfilled.
7. Adaptation through evolution. As a member of the human species, the zygote is subject to prior evolution. And, if not killed, will contribute to evolution through reproduction. this requirement is fulfilled.
8. Can reproduce. It is an obvious truism that the zygote can reproduce. dividing into more cells in order to develop into a fully formed baby. 

as we can see, from the moment of conception a zygote fulfills every single one of the characteristics of life and is therefore alive.

the humanity of the zygote



The next question that needs to be answered is whether or not the zygote is indeed human. When the two haploid (containing 23 chromosomes) cells (sperm and egg cells) come together during fertilization the diploid (containing 46 chromosomes) is formed. This diploid zygote contains a complete copy of the human genome. Thus making the zygote human. Note that the zygote's copy of the human genome is genetically distinct from both the mother and the father and is the same set of DNA that they will carry for their entire lives. 

I have therefore proven that a human child, from the moment of conception, is a living human being.

My body my choice

One of the more infamous arguments from the pro-choice crowd is that a fetus is a part of a woman's body and can, therefore, be killed at will. This argument displays basic scientific illiteracy. Only two types of things can be biological parts of your body. 1. Things made of cells that contain your DNA, or 2. Things made of cells that contain NO DNA such as hair for example. Nothing can be a part of your body that contains DNA distinct from your own. a baby from the moment of conception, as I've already proven, is genetically distinct from both the mother and the father this argument can be shown to be scientifically invalid.



the philosophical prong

the personhood of the child

After being forced to retreat on the scientific front, many pro-choicers will attempt to hide behind the following statement: "Well, the fetus may be a human being, but they're not a human person."

This is a purely philosophical contention that needs to be defined further. This statement raises the question: When is personhood conferred? Birth? Is personhood then based on geographical location? Nothing changed between those few inches of movement through the birth canal. Why then has personhood been conferred? Since most people find it unpalatable to argue in favor of abortion up to point of birth, a more common line is drawn at a heartbeat. The problem with this is that this trait can be removed. Not every adult has a heartbeat of their own. Can I stab Granny because she has a pacemaker? I sure hope not. Is the line drawn at sapience? What does that say about those born with cognitive defects and no sapience to speak of? can I stab them? I sure hope not. Or what about people who fall into a coma and have their sapience removed. We aren't allowed to kill them. Why is a fetus different? I could go on and on. The point is that wherever you draw the line (except for at conception or birth) you create an inconsistency wherein we should be able to kill adults who don't meet this criterion for personhood. If you tie moral value to a heartbeat then I should be able to stab pacemaker granny because she has no intrinsic value.



the rights of man

As Thomas Jefferson famously and eloquently put it "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." The Enlightenment gave us the idea that each individual has inherent worth and is therefore entitled to certain rights. The most critical and primal right that all humans are entitled to is that of life. To strip away the right of the human being who is growing in their mother's womb, to violently dismember them and snuff out their life constitutes a gross violation of these intrinsic, inalienable rights. These rights exist only if they are inviolable. If they don't exist for a fetus, then they don't exist. Period.


To wrap up this first argument I would like to say that the question of whether or not abortion should be legal is a very simple one that all too often becomes overcomplicated in political discourse. The dichotomy is self-evident, inherent in the philosophy of our society, and overwhelmingly simple. Either the fetus is human. Or, it isn't. If it's not, then removing it up to the point of birth should be no more morally problematic than extracting a tooth or a tumor. But if it is, then killing that child constitutes a heinous act of evil that infringes upon the most fundamental of the rights of man.

Please vote pro.

References:

Campbell Biology: 11th edition.


https://scielo.conicyt.cl/scielo.php?pid=S0716-97602011000200013&script=sci_arttext (The beginning of life of a new human being from the scientific biological perspective and its bioethical implications Patricio Ventura-Juncá and Manuel J. Santos)




Con
Pro's argument is problematic for a lot of reasons. He presumes that the fetus, having all 8 scientific characteristics of man, genes, and no very clear distinction results in having rights to life. However, it is not certain at all that the baby will actually come out well. Vast majority of pregnancies fail before the 20 week mark. In addition, Pro fails to weigh the liberty against the life argument. He admits that there are rights to life and liberty, yet makes no case why life outweighs liberty. It is clear that the fetus forces the woman to endure a severe loss of liberty. She must serve as the life support whether she wants to or not. She must also give birth after hefty nine months of labor. Based on the fact that 92% of abortions are unintended pregnancies, and that 50% of abortions are actually from those that used contraceptives, it's clear that women are only exercising their values of personal liberty with the baby invading her own body. Just as a slave has the right to kill their master painlessly, the woman ought to have the right to do the same.

Questions for Pro:
1) What punishment does he advocate for women who go through abortion?
2) How does pro intend to enforce illegalization with women potentially claiming miscarriage?
3) Do we not have a right to prevent unnecessary suffering? Some children born may be predicted to be disabled or live under horrible economic situations. We have the obligation to stop this before it occurs.
Round 2
Pro
I apologize for the lateness of my reply, First Sergeant threw a bit of a tantrum yesterday.

Con drops all of my scientific arguments effectively conceding that human life begins at conception.

I will address cons arguments one at a time here.

First, he challenges the idea that being a human being means that you are entitled to human rights. His counter-argument is that allegedly a majority of pregnancies "fail" before the 20-week mark. 

1. He provides no evidence for this claim.
2. Even if it's true that is no reason that babies don't have human rights and con provided absolutely no warrant for that claim.

My argument here essentially boils down to the fact that there are only two points in a pregnancy at which you can assign human rights to a child and maintain internal logical consistency. Birth and conception. I argue conception because it is the most reasonable point as that is when human life is created. I would argue that membership in the human species entitles someone to human rights so long as they don't forfeit those rights through certain actions. More on that later.


As for life outweighing liberty, It's pretty clear that life takes precedence over liberty in the vast majority of cases. I am not at liberty to kill any random passerby on the street. I am not at liberty to get drunk and drive because that endangers the lives of others. This value of life over wanton liberty to do whatever we want is the core principle of the social contract that makes society possible. I would say that in the absence of any argument from con as to why liberty should outweigh life, we should accept this fundamental premise of societal function.

Con argues that banning abortion causes a mother to lose a lot of liberty. What con ignores however is that a mother got into that position through the exercising of liberty in the vast majority of cases. In a moment I will preempt a con argument by explaining why I don't agree with exceptions in cases of rape. In the overwhelming majority of cases, two people willingly agreed to partake in a biological function the purpose of which is to reproduce. They knew exactly what they were doing and are therefore responsible for the consequences of their actions. They forfeited the liberty not to be pregnant by having sex. I would also argue that the man involved forfeited the liberty not to be a father by doing the same. Another example of this: when I joined the Army I forfeited a lot of liberties. I can't go wherever I want whenever I want, wear whatever I want, say or do whatever I want, etc. I made that choice of my own free will. I don't then have the right to leave the Army whenever I want and get those liberties back. I have to serve out my contract then leave if I want. Even if this person used contraceptives, it is a known fact that they are not 100% effective and they still chose to take that risk and therefore have to face the consequences.


Also, con says that a woman ought to have the right to kill her baby painlessly. However, that means that at least con has conceded that abortion should be illegal at 12 weeks as that is when fetal pain becomes possible. (1) and abortion is far from painless. The process is excruciating, especially for late-term abortions. It involves the dismemberment of the child, the crushing of bones, and the evisceration of the child which is then sucked out through a tube. It's a death we won't even allow for our worst criminals because it's so revolting.

I will now give a short argument on exceptions for rape.

We don't kill children for the sins of the father. Regardless of the method of conception, we don't have the right to execute a child who has done nothing wrong. This point represents the fundamental disconnect between our two positions. You see two people. I see three. two of them are innocent. We should hunt down the man responsible and execute him. But the child doesn't deserve to die.

I will now answer each of Con's questions.

1. What penalty do I suggest for women who go through abortions? None. There is an absence of Mens Rea when it comes to the mother involved.  In order to be prosecuted for murder, you have to know that you have killed a person. Most if not all women who go through abortions have been lied to by people who know better. Namely the "doctors" who practice abortion who went to med school and have full knowledge of what they're doing. They know about the 8 characteristics. They know about the human genome. They know that they are killing a living human being and they do it anyway. For them, I recommend first-degree murder charges. This would of course be for any abortion performed after the passing of the law because the constitution prohibits Ex Post Facto laws.


2. How do I intend to enforce this since women could claim miscarriage? This debate isn't about whether or not abortion CAN be effectively eliminated through passing a law but rather whether or not it SHOULD be made illegal. This question is irrelevant. Also, just because a person may lie about performing an immoral act doesn't mean that we as a society should condone that act and allow it to happen legally on a massive scale. Applying this logic to any other crime reveals its flaws. "We can't make murder illegal because someone might claim that it was an accident." What's more, As I already stated, we won't be applying punishment to the women. It will be on the "doctors." Therefore we can conduct investigations to track down the illegal practices. Conduct sting operations etc.

3. Do we not have the right and obligation to kill babies who might suffer in life, such as the poor and disabled? This argument is truly evil. It is not only eugenic on its face but states that the lives of poor people are without value and would be better off dead. I won't take a position on euthanasia here, but I'm absolutely against FORCED euthanasia decided for someone by other people. They shouldn't be given the opportunity to improve their lives and live fully. No. They should have their lives extinguished before they have a chance to even be born. What's more, your statement that the disabled should be executed on account of their disability is an atrocious evil. Their lives have value, they have meaning. I'll let a real disabled man say it himself. https://youtu.be/1d8ocuPrlT8


Vote pro.


(1) Okado N et al., Synaptogenesis in the cervical cord of the human embryo: Sequence of synapse formation in a spinal reflex pathway, J. Comparative Neurol. 184, 491, Okado N, Onset of synapse formation in the human spinal cord, J. Comparative Neurol. 201, 211.
Con
it's evident that most miscarriages occur before 12 weeks. 1/4 pregnancies overall end in miscarriage. (https://www.tommys.org/our-organisation/charity-research/pregnancy-statistics/miscarriage#:~:text=Most%20miscarriages%20happen%20in%20the,around%20half%20have%20underlying%20causes.) Due to the lack of certainty, we should let the woman decide as they are "innocent until proven guilty". We would only be able to punish if we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that fetus are equivalent to humans who deserve rights. Rather than merely "75% possibly human".

Pro lists some examples where liberty cannot defeat life, but this is astoundingly absurd and does not address how pregnancy is basically slavery. His comparisons are completely invalid. I already said that women are deprived of nutrients and have mental problems such as morning sickness and more. Even when their life is not in danger they can still be physically sick and have numerous near-life threatening issues. He says that most women have the knowledge and should take responsibility for taking the risk when using contraceptive. However, most contraceptive methods are more than 99% effective. (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/how-effective-contraception/). To punish people for such an absurdly low risk goes to show how insane you have to be. It would be like punishing me for being there when lightning strikes. Absolutely ridiculous. The woman is still forced to serve as life support with 1% possibility. Go ahead, roll the dice. I'll be waiting here. The point stands.

Pro desires for third trimester abortions to stop because they are exceedingly cruel. But this has practically no impact as the number of women who do this only use it as a final resort where nothing else can be done. The number is so small that the impact is nothing. (https://www.insider.com/what-is-a-late-term-abortion-why-women-have-them-2019-5)

Finally he thinks this is Eugenics, but preventing something from happening is completely different from already killing the born genetic person. This is a comparison fallacy.
Round 3
Pro
First, my opponent provides evidence that contradicts his earlier point. First he says that:

Vast majority of pregnancies fail before the 20 week mark.
Then he says:

1/4 pregnancies overall end in miscarriage.
so we've gone from "vast majority" down to 25%

He uses this evidence to launch into a new argument where he attempts to invoke the uncertainty principle. Then proceeds to get it exactly backward. He argues  that since there is a 25% chance that a baby does not have human rights (not how that works by the way. In order for that statistical analysis to be correct all possibilities would have to be equally probable. They are not.) That we should say that babies do NOT have human rights. Typically under the uncertainty principle we would go with the MOST LIKELY truth. So even if my opponents math was correct, why should we go with the 25% chance over the 75%? especially when getting it wrong means committing child murder on a massive scale?

I would again like to have the voters recall and extend my statement that we would not be bringing mothers up on charges in the pro's world. As my opponent has again argued against charging mothers.

Pro lists some examples where liberty cannot defeat life, but this is astoundingly absurd and does not address how pregnancy is basically slavery. His comparisons are completely invalid.
Okay. Why? Just saying that my examples are absurd and invalid doesn't make it so.

I already said that women are deprived of nutrients and have mental problems such as morning sickness and more. Even when their life is not in danger they can still be physically sick
So, all of these examples of lost liberty amount to inconvenience. You have to eat a little more and feel a little queasy in the morning from time to time. None of these give license to kill someone. Again, the parents volunteered for parenthood whether they wanted it or not when they had sex. You don't get to just revoke the right to live from your child because you don't want to deal with the consequences of your actions. More on that when I get to my opponent's rebuttal on that point. He says that mothers can have near life-threatening conditions as a result of pregnancy. However, maternal mortality is virtually nonexistent in the developed world. According to the CDC, in 2018 the number was 0.017% with most of those deaths not being due to inherent risks of pregnancy but rather of physician negligence. and if maternal mortality becomes a significant threat to an individual, then that case would be excepted under the resolution. My opponent's argument accomplishes nothing in the debate.

Next, he argues that since contraceptives are 99% effective we shouldn't "punish" people for losing that gamble. First off, we aren't "punishing" anyone. They are merely taking responsibility for their actions. This point completely fails to refute mine because it doesn't touch the fundamental premise of my argument which is: People know what they're getting into when they have sex. They know that condoms break and that the pill doesn't always work. They know the risks and they choose to do it anyway. Now they've got a little human involved and don't have the right to execute them for their own convenience. He compares this to being punished for just so happening to be where lightning strikes. now, this IS a comparison fallacy. You see, positive action was taken on the part of parents to produce a child. They weren't just standing around and then suddenly became pregnant out of nowhere. A more apt comparison would be holding a metal rod in the air during a thunderstorm and then acting surprised when you get struck.

Con talks about third-trimester abortions and how their rarity means that they have no impact. Well, apart from the numerous human lives that are violently destroyed, con's argument fails to address the evidence I provided that showed that fetal pain, and therefore, the pain-related cruelty of abortion starts as early as 12 weeks. Well within the FIRST trimester. Therefore his point fails completely to take down my argument.

Next, he argues that his belief that we should kill all of the poor and disabled babies isn't eugenic by stating that we aren't killing a person who is born. However, Oxford Languages defines eugenics as "noun

  1. the study of how to arrange reproduction within a human population to increase the occurrence of heritable characteristics regarded as desirable. Developed largely by Sir Francis Galton as a method of improving the human race, eugenics was increasingly discredited as unscientific and racially biased during the 20th century."
As we can see, by definition eugenics occurs through controlling who reproduces. Not killing certain groups that are already grown. This is exactly what con argues we should do. Note how con makes no effort to rebut my claims about what he wants, merely denies association with the term "eugenics"



For these reasons, please vote pro.
Con
The fact of the matter is we cannot be 100% certain that they are actually equivalent to the human being who has rights. The consciousness and the self-reflection unique for human kind is not apparent at all within the child especially early on. If you say we cannot even cause some pain to any living being, then you must also support animal rights, yet we eat animals daily and I doubt you are protesting or encouraging laws to stop animals being killed.

To potentially force teenagers to give birth is horrendous and monstrosity. You say that it is "merely inconvenient", yet there are countless diseases that can be gained, such as diabetes, depression, infection, high blood pressure, etc. (https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preconceptioncare/conditioninfo/health-problems). You compare it to having a lightning rod in your hand, well, what if you wore a glove, due to manufacturer fault only had 99% success rate rather than 100% success rate. It seems more likely that we should ironically punish the condom makers for failing to make a foolproof glove, than punish the doctor executing the procedure. You keep saying we should take the 1% risk, which is absolutely ridiculous. Remember my car crash analogy. Inherently, yes, you do take the risk that you will get into a car crash. But if you execute everything perfectly yourself, the chance of car crash is very, very low. If some other drunk driver was the 1% factor and he forced you to give life support to your son who is dying in the crash, for 9 months straight, it is clear that this violation of liberty is absurd.

Based on his analogy, his punishment on the doctors would also be completely useless unless we use the death penalty. Because if even giving life support while being under extra weight, combined with mental and physical problems is not violation of liberties, then the deterrent of jail is merely inconvenient. Based on his logic maybe the doctors will still be able to do abortions even while in jail! Hey, pregnancy's not a problem, why should jail be? Both are severely restricting the person's liberty, and women also are under watch by their jobs and their husbands to ensure they don't do anything absurd. If Women can live their life fine and dandy despite the parasitic relationship, then his suggestion for punishment completely collapses as there is no punishment at all. The pro-life idea is nonsensical.
Round 4
Pro
In his first point, Con doesn't even attempt to answer my arguments about the uncertainty principle or any of my other rebuttals and instead throws out a red herring about animal rights. Extend my arguments.



He brings up some health hazards of pregnancy. 

1. His examples of gestational diabetes and pre/postpartum depression are caused by temporary physiological and chemical changes brought on by pregnancy that return to normal after it's over. As I proved in my last post (and he dropped completely) maternal mortality is only sitting at 0.017% which proves that none of these health hazards are significant.

2. His analogies keep getting more and more inept. Talking about the "drunk driver" who causes a car crash seems a little strange considering there is no third party outside of your control that exists within what we're talking about (sex.) No one else is to blame. Therefore, since no one else is involved besides the two partners in deciding to have sex they absorb all of the inherent risks thereof and have to take personal responsibility for the outcome. Especially when that outcome is the advent of a new human being.


Based on his analogy, his punishment on the doctors would also be completely useless unless we use the death penalty. Because if even giving life support while being under extra weight, combined with mental and physical problems is not violation of liberties, then the deterrent of jail is merely inconvenient. Based on his logic maybe the doctors will still be able to do abortions even while in jail! Hey, pregnancy's not a problem, why should jail be? Both are severely restricting the person's liberty, and women also are under watch by their jobs and their husbands to ensure they don't do anything absurd. If Women can live their life fine and dandy despite the parasitic relationship, then his suggestion for punishment completely collapses as there is no punishment at all. The pro-life idea is nonsensical.

Speaking of nonsensical. He falsely compares prison to pregnancy saying that because pregnancy amounts to a short term inconvenience that therefore life in prison is also a short term inconvenience and that abortionists can still do abortion from within a federal prison. Which is obvious and patently ridiculous. I'm honestly not sure what con is trying to achieve with this argument.


I will now provide a few main reasons why pro has won this debate.

1. SCIENCE

I have proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and con has made no attempt to disprove, the fact that human life begins at conception and that abortion at any stage represents killing a very real baby. If baby-murder is bad, vote pro.

2. PHILOSOPHY 

Con's total lack of a rebuttal on my uncertainty principle argument alone is enough to win me the philosophical argument. Con for some reason is under the impression that in order to make the most accurate moral determination, that we should accept an idea that only has a 25% chance of being correct when the opposing idea has a 75% chance of being correct. More, if the 75% is true, then abortion at any stage represents an extremely foul form of murder. 

Con's rejection of personal responsibility as a value also is extremely damaging to societal fabric and should be voted against. Extending from this point, Con has failed to disprove my argument that two peopling agreeing to have sex amounts to those two agreeing to take on the risk of pregnancy as that risk is inherent in the act. Con's only attempt to disprove this is with a string of erroneous and fallacious comparisons between totally unlike things.


For these reasons, I strongly urge a vote in affirmation of the resolution.
Con
Pro has repeatedly failed to note why babies should be treated equivalently as human beings. More importantly, he has failed to give sufficient reasoning why women should be punished for taking a 1% risk and be forced to give child birth. Vote me.