At the beginning of this debate, I offered a critique of late-round plan-making. After round 1, Pro sets up a plan which includes parameters I couldn’t have been privy to since he didn’t go first to explain them. Without all the cards on the table, I am flying blind while Pro places obstacles in front of me (i.e. trying to obviate my points from the debate by “yielding child caring rights to both parents”). When he does this, feel free to preclude it from the debate. He has not challenged the fact that adding additional plan details is unfair, so he essentially drops this argument.
Pro says that my source went to the wrong site. This is because he checked the wrong comment. I put sources in the comments twice: one comment for the 1st round, and one comment for the 2nd. I labeled the 2nd round sources, too.
Childcare Rights Yielded to Both Parents
Pro added additional details to his plan here. See above for why this is poor debate etiquette and should be disregarded.
Less than half of child support payments are made in full (1). Or, as I put it earlier, “most child support payments go uncollected.” I guess we could split hairs about whether a partial payment counts, but if I owe you $200 dollars and I pay $20 dollars, you’d probably not count that as a “collected payment.” If divorcees renege on their payments, they are also reneging on their parental responsibilities. Child support payments are determined by local courts in accordance with the individual needs of the child and include healthcare and education costs (2). Until the child turns 18, these costs are provided by parents, not 4-year-olds. Ergo, it is a parental responsibility. And so, most divorcees would be sterilized.
Pro asserts, without evidence, that domestic violence usually sets in after children are born. Furthermore, he asserts that abusive parents do not want to reproduce again. I don’t feel the need to refute ipse dixits. I’ll humor you though. Per a study conducted by Martin et al. in the Journal of the American Medical Assoc., the pre-birth domestic abuse rate is 2 times larger than the post-birth rate (3).
I don’t see how this matters though. He doesn’t make an exception for domestic abuse victims. Under the definition provided, divorcees “abandon” their parental responsibilities. Pro makes it very clear that divorce, unless custody is shared, carries a sentence of sterilization for both parents. Even if only the abusive partner is sterilized (which doesn’t appear to be what Pro had in mind), the inability to pay child support inhibits the non-abusive parent’s ability to care for their children. As Pro makes clear, single mothers have it rough (although, as I've pointed out in the previous round, marriage is no silver bullet for poverty). A single parent needs to scrape together over $200,000 to raise 2 children to the age of 18, which doesn’t even factor in college costs or significant disabilities (4, ii). If single mothers are incapable of caring for their children, they too will be sterilized under the definition I provided which Pro agreed to (granted, I took this definition from the forum post which inspired the debate, so it’s really Pro’s). He tries to add the word “willful,” so that only “willful” neglect is penalized, but he never presented any definitions before this round, and determining whether an inability to pay is willful or not is hard. How do we factor in unemployment? If it were possible for a child-support payer to sell their organs or sperm to pay for a child-support payment, would not doing so mean they willfully reneged on their payment? These are questions which are better suited to subjective interpretation and should not spell the difference between sterilization and non. Such a laissez-faire distinction could lead to unethical outcomes, such as impoverished divorcees being sterilized simply because they were too poor to pay up.
Pro drops that mere unhappy marriages tend to worsen heart health in partners. Extend this across the debate.
Pro recommends that urologists prescribe marijuana instead of opioids.
Cross-apply my critique of late-round plan-making. He drops the impact of opioid stashing and abuse, and since he can’t change his plan, extend it across the debate. Incidentally, Pro’s fix-it-in-post predilection might have made things worse for him. While it is true that cannabis has medicinal value, there is still danger in prescribing it. A review of 67 studies analyzing the effect of marijuana usage found that the drug worsens memory, increases the chance of having a stroke, increases the risk of testicular cancer, increases mental illnesses, and led to suicide in many of the patients studied (5).
Difference in Coerced/Uncoerced Marriages
Extend this point. I discuss it more in the conclusion.
Remember my framework. Under a net-benefits framework, Pro needs to present evidence showing that the benefit provided by his plan outweighs the harm. Pro’s offense is lackluster at best. He never contests the differences between coerced and uncoerced marriages. That’s a problem. For the benefits of marriage to manifest, he needs to prove that there really is no difference between coerced and uncoerced marriages. I presented evidence to the contrary.
Moreover, I raised considerable doubt about each of his 8 justifications. All of these go unaddressed. Extend them across the debate.
Finally, I must discuss my case. Without carving out an exception to abuse, the threat of sterilization will deter couples from leaving. Invariably, this means that abusive relationships, which ordinarily lead to divorce, are prevented from breaking up because both partners fear sterilization. To avoid this, couples will stay together per Pro’s logic. I do not dispute this. Who suffers? The children, who witness the domestic violence, and the spouses, who suffer direct physical/emotional abuse both suffer.
Pro also needs to contend with opioid stashing and subsequent abuse. When people undergo sterilization procedures, they are more likely than not going to be prescribed opioids. These opioids can turn into habits for people who take them, and, if stashed away, tend to be shared with others.
With a vanishingly small offense advanced by Pro, I urge the judges to vote Con.