Instigator / Pro

THBT: Abortion should be legal


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

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After 5 votes and with 26 points ahead, the winner is...

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Two weeks
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One month
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Contender / Con

THBT: Abortion should be legal in America


abortion: An abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy. It uses medicine or surgery to remove the embryo or fetus and placenta from the uterus.

should: indicating a desirable or expected state.

legal: of, based on, or concerned with the law.

no Kritik

CON accepts all definitions provided by PRO in the description

A forfeit will result in an automatic conduct deduction.

This debate is not about whether abortion is or is not legal.

Round 1
Note: I accept all definitions offered by Pro. Also noteworthy: Pro has indicated by Topic that abortion should be legal, and yet has specified in Description that this debate is not about abortion’s legality. As there is conflict in Pro’s Topic and Description, I will make argument against legality since the Topic of legality is the resolve of the debate.
1.    Rebuttal: Pro R1
a.    Pro’s R1 is a forfeit having failed to enter argument. Therefore, no rebuttal for R1. I hope Pro returns for R2.
2.    Argument: Abortion meets all qualifications of murder, an illegal act.
a.    Murder is defined by law as:  “…the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought.”[i]
b.    This definition begs the question: What is a human being? Definition:  “Any individual of the genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo sapiens.A person, especially as distinguished from other animals or as representing the human species.”[ii]
c.     The second question, then, is whether an  in vitro zygote / embryo / fetus meets the qualification of a “human being” as a victim of murder.
d.    By definition, a “human being” is classified biologically as  Homo sapiens,  and not any other species of animal.
                  i.     “Evolutionary theory states that inherited characters (like DNA sequences) change over time. Therefore, closely related organisms will have more similar DNA sequences than distantly related organisms, and the longer two species have been separated from a common ancestor, the more their DNA sequences will differ. For example, human DNA sequences are about 97% identical to chimp DNA sequences.”[iii]
                 ii.     Note that this definition allows that DNA “changes over time,” but does not suggest that these changes drift from one species to another within a single generation, nor, at that, within a single in-vitro  period. Otherwise, we would be one pre-natal creature, and another post-natal creature, which is, in fact, the current standing by one statute, as follows:
e.    The legal definition of a human person is identified in 1 U.S.C. §8:
                                               i.     “In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the words “person”, “human being”, “child”, and “individual”, shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.”[iv]
f.     Does the DNA sequence of  Homo sapiens  change from pre-natal to post-natal status? A study determined that pre-natal testing when there is suspicion of a congenital defect is able to determine the presence of a pre-natal defect, and even the propensity to express that defect if not already presented in pre-natal condition.[v]   This science would not be as advanced as it has become if there were genetic changes sufficient to change the species in pre-natal to post-natal condition, i.e., during birth.
g.    The fact that the law cited above recognizes a person surviving birth “at any stage of development,” since there is a plethora of evidence of successful premature [less than full-term] births, and given that DNA would be identical at any stage of development to a live birth subject’s DNA, it seems evident the law is willing to be flexible on the point of defining when a person is a person, legally. 
h.    Therefore, one must conclude that if DNA sequencing of a fetus does not change during birth, and presents as a human species, and a post-natal test also identifies as the same human, then the fetus is a human being, a person, even if this law, 1 U.S.C. §8, does not currently recognize the scientific fact.
i.      As it happens, another U.S. statute stipulates that a pre-natal zygote / embryo / fetus is, in fact, a human person. This, because of 18 USC §1841 (a)(1):   
j.      “Whoever engages in conduct that violates any of the provisions of law listed in subsection (b) and thereby causes the death of, or bodily injury (as defined in section 1365) to a child, who is in utero at the time the conduct takes place, is guilty of a separate offense under this section.”[vi]
k.    That offense described in the case of death is homicide. In the case of the coincident death of the pregnant woman, the charge is a double homicide. Clearly, this law considers the  in vitro child as human, a person.
l.      Therefore, all things being equal, since Pro’s description stipulates:  “This debate is not about whether abortion is or is not legal,”  and since the above argument in  g, h, i,  above would split hairs of legality, while  j, k  are more explicit, I make this argument as a legislative statement of fact; science, notwithstanding. Legislation has made great overtures in its history that science is a factor worthy of embrace to help society’s effort of human amelioration. It’s time to put-up, or shut-up in this matter.
m.  If the law is lagging in some respects, let alone politics, which, at present, is very confused – or has everyone been sleeping since 1973’s Roe v. Wade?-  science says a zygote/embryo/fetal abortion would be an act of legal murder of a human being; a “person.”[vii]  Abortion is malicious by intent of ending human life. It matters little politically, or legally, or scientifically, how the pregnancy began: by mutual consent, rape/incest, complete ignorance of consequences, or use of failed contraceptives. These are matters more in the realm of morality, which this debate is not about at all. Since abortion is malicious decision in advance of the act, therefore, it meets the definition of murder. Therefore, the Topic is defeated.
 I rest my case for R1 and pas to Pro.

Round 2
i apologize for the forfeit; i will only be able to do this round and event then it will be short.
per rules take off a conduct point

1 woman's body

A fetus is connected to the placenta by the umbilical cord

thus it is part of the woman's body

2 rape, sexual assault

If a woman is raped and has a child she doesn't want with a father she doesn't want she should be allowed to abort.

If abortion is illegal the woman will have a child she doesnt want with a father she doesn't want and may face death or future health risks.

3 health risks of pregnancy

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, occurs when arteries carrying blood from the heart to the body organs are narrowed. This causes pressure to increase in the arteries. In pregnancy, this can make it hard for blood to reach the placenta, which provides nutrients and oxygen to the fetus.1 Reduced blood flow can slow the growth of the fetus and place the mother at greater risk of preterm labor and preeclampsia.1,2
Women who have high blood pressure before they get pregnant will continue to have to monitor and control it, with medications if necessary, throughout their pregnancy. High blood pressure that develops in pregnancy is called gestational hypertension. Typically, gestational hypertension occurs during the second half of pregnancy and goes away after delivery.

If a woman has health complications or something else and could die if she has a baby she should be allowed to abort.

contention: abortion is murder.

my opponents main case is as below

Murder is immoral

abortion is murder

abortion is immoral

abortion should be illegal.

But i ask my opponent this, if you are in your house and a robber breaks in and threatens to kill you
but you fight back and end up killing the invader is it murder?

If you are in a life threatening situation where something could kill you; you would fight back and maybe even kill the killer.

my point is that in the case of human life, there are a great many situations where, when one life poses a threat to another, that life can reasonably be taken.

I apologize for the short response.

Thank you, drlebronski, for your round 2
1.    Rebuttal: Pro R2: Woman’s body
a.    Pro argues that by virtue of the fetal connection to the placenta via the umbilical cord, it is part of the woman’s body. While it is true that the placenta, the umbilical, the amniotic sac and the fetus are all the same DNA of tissue belonging to the same individual, contrary to Pro’s assertion, that individual is the fetus, not the mother. None of that tissue, but the uterus, only, is mother’s tissue by DNA.
b.    “Oxygen and nutrients from the mother's blood are sent across the placenta to the fetus… Waste products from the fetal blood are transferred back across the placenta to the mother's blood…”[i]  A careful read of this passage from Pro’s source will reveal that not even is fetal and mother’s blood is shared; they remain separate by a blood barrier in the placenta. 
c.     This is one of the placenta’s primary functions; to keep the two blood supplies separate, with only nutrients from the mother and waste matter from the fetus exchanging through the placental blood barrier.
d.    The fact is, these fetal tissues, the fetus, itself, the amniotic sac and fluid, the umbilical, and placenta, share its own tissue by DNA match completely separate from the mother’s DNA.[ii]
2.    Rebuttal: Pro’s R2: Rape, sexual assault
a.    Pro’s argument of rape and sexual assault, is, on the surf ace, compelling. As I argued in my R1, 2.m, these matters, including  “incest, ignorance of consequences of sexual activity, or use of failed contraceptives…These are matters more in the realm of morality, which this debate is not about at all.”
b.     Pro did not bother to argue  why  theses issues should legalize abortion [but it is, already], he merely makes the  prima facie  claim, as if there were no other means available to resolve the matter, but, there are; adoption, for example. By simply claiming that the pregnant woman claims privacy of her body ignores the science, and law, that, as argued in my R1, 2.a - .m, science and the law separate the fetal personhood, and it’s own deserved rights.
3.    Rebuttal: Pro’s R1, Health risk of pregnancy
a.    Pregnancy is a health risk. Yes, I agree. But, so is a diet of fast food, excessive snacking, as well as cigarettes and alcohol, or even an abuse of excessive healthy, fresh food. Further, all these other health risks are matters of personal choice. Once of age, we personally decide what we consume, and we bear the consequences of those decisions. 
b.    Since, as Pro admitted,  “Typically, gestational hypertension occurs during the second half of pregnancy and goes away after delivery,”  these health risks are usually not a permanent matter, as are choices of personal consumption. Therefore, avoiding these risks by choosing to abort is an extreme choice given the temporary nature of the health risk. Since accidents in the home of just about any origin are the most frequent occurrence of accidents, perhaps we should abort our living at home?
4.    Defense: Abortion is murder
a.    Pro rebutted in R2:  “If you are in a life threatening situation where something could kill you; you would fight back and maybe even kill the killer.” 
b.    I’ll remind Pro that killing is not necessarily murder; the two concepts are legally separated. Self-defense is a defensible position that has legal standing.[iii]
c.     Pro further rebutted:  “…my point is that in the case of human life, there are a great many situations where, when one life poses a threat to another, that life can reasonably be taken.”
d.    Pro has just justified the defense of my position, and the rebuttal to his own argument cited above in my R2, 4.b. However, Pro must agree that actual risk of life to the mother due to pregnancy is a very low incident: 211 per 100,000 pregnancies risk the mother’s life, or 0.21%. There is much higher risks to women and men by our poor choices of consumption through the pie hole. Do we abort our mouths as a resolving measure? At least the mouth is part of each of our DNA’s; not so a fetus.
e.    I, therefore, consider this rebuttal to have failed to support the Topic.
5.    Argument: The blame game
a.    Sexual intercourse is very rarely an accidental event. Almost always, the act is a choice made by one, and the other consents, or one, and the other unsuccessfully resists, or both together. It is the nature of the act that neither generally know what consequences will result other than by past experience and/or knowledge of the potential consequences, including conception. 
b.    What is known for certain is that, with conception, the only entity who neither contributed to the act, or chose the consequences, is the resulting zygote/embryo/fetus. Having no part in the decision, why is this entity the only one who will, with abortion, be virtually guaranteed to pay for those consequences with its life?
c.     Such consequences as the end of innocent human life are not justified merely on the argument of inconvenience, lack of volition, ignorance of consequences, potential health risks, or even failure of contraceptive measures in sexual activity. Better to abstain if all consequences are not acceptable, and choice of sexual activity by both partners is the plurality of situations.[iv]
d.    It is a blame game with one suffering the direst and most permanent of circumstantial results, and that one is the most innocent of the cause. Is this really just, whether we are talking of the law, or of morality, or even of sexual abuse in all its manifestations? What of those who were actually responsible for choice?
e.    I argue that it is not the zygote/embryo/fetus who rightly bears the just consequence of such action as abortion, and, therefore, the Topic is defeated.
I rest my case for round 2 and pass R3 to Pro.

Round 3
Extend argument
Round 4
With Pro having forfeited R1, R3, and R4, and Con having fully rebutted Pro's R2, plus provided two full rounds of successful unrebutted argument, I conclude that I, Con, have won the debate. Please vote for Con.