Instigator / Pro

My view: Abortion Is Wrong. Con's view: Abortion Is Right


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

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After 2 votes and with 2 points ahead, the winner is...

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Two weeks
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One month
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Contender / Con

Abortion is wrong because it is murder. Abortion is the killing of unborn and in some cases newborn babies. Prove me incorrect.

Round 1
All I have to do is prove that abortion is the murder of a human and prove that the murder of a human is wrong. 

Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy as a means to discontinue the birth of a child. How is a pregnancy terminated? First, I will define the state of pregnancy. 

The Oxford Dictionary definition of pregnant is: having a child or young developing in the uterus. Even the very definition of “pregnant” concludes that there is in fact a child in the womb. Yes, said child is still in development, but all humans are not fully developed until the age of 25. Regardless of not being born yet, all children still have around 24 years left of maturing. So, according to abortionists, when does/should age REALLY become a logical immunity from being legally killed? 

Moving on, a pregnancy can be terminated by a dosage of pills. Some of these medications are known as mifepristone and misoprostol. These pills are used together for the effort of:
1) Stopping the pregnancy from growing. 
2) Emptying the uterus with side effects of cramping and bleeding. 
This will effectively cause a self-induced miscarriage. However, the term miscarriage must be used carefully because a miscarriage can only occur before the 20th week of development in the uterus as per the definition. 

Another major pillar of my argument is: when does an embryo/fetus constitute as a child in the womb? 5th week? Halfway point? One hour before childbirth? According to 1*Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia 5th Edition, “At the moment the sperm cell of the human male meets the ovum of the female and the union results in a fertilized ovum (zygote), a new life has begun…” 

Also, to further the credibility of my source, 2*"Since 1938, the Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia has enjoyed a reputation as one of the most important and comprehensive general scientific references available, suitable for both academic and professional environments.” Do not fret about this book source being outdated because it has had many updated editions since then with the latest being the 10th Edition from the late 2000s. From another source 3* there are several more medical textbooks that essentially agree on one thing: the zygote is the start of a new human being—the beginning of life. For there to be life, it can only be extinguished by death. 

An embryo or fetus is well beyond in maturity from a zygote. Since the zygote is the mark of a new life, all progress afterwards is a continuation of a living human in its development. For a state of pregnancy to occur, the zygote must have already been developing into its next stages. So, anywhere along the line of the duration of a pregnancy, from the beginning of the zygote to childbirth, abortion is the killing of a human life. This young life holds the same weight as any person already outside of the womb. 

Your turn, AustinL0926


1* [Considine, Douglas (ed.). Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia. 5th edition. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976, p. 943.,life%20has%20begun

I. Framework 

1. Burden of Proof

The burden of proof falls squarely on my opponent, for two reasons. First of all, he is the instigator of the debate, and the one making the claim – by default, he has the burden of proving his claim. Second of all, he is making a controversial claim as well – that “abortion is wrong because it is murder.” 

2. Winning conditions

The winning conditions are different for each side, as a result of this burden of proof. My opponent must provide convincing and sufficient evidence to prove his claim. I must refute my opponent’s evidence. Crucially, I do not have to prove the topic wrong – I only have to prove that my opponent has not proved it right. 

3. Opponent's main claim

My opponent has, for all intents and purposes, proposed the following syllogism to support his argument: 

P1. “Abortion is the murder of a human.” 
P2. “Murder of a human is wrong.” 
C1. “Abortion is wrong.” 

Because a syllogism relies on a major and minor term, I only have to refute one. Obviously, nolo contendere on P2. I will instead focus on P1. If I refute P1, then my opponent’s entire argument (claims, evidence, and all) is null and void. 

II. Definitions and interpretations

Because my opponent has not provided any definitions in his opening remarks or description, I, as the contender, should and will give proper definitions for the key terms – in particular, “abortion.”

1. Definition of abortion

According to Merriam-Webster [1], abortion is: 
“a: spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation— compare MISCARRIAGE 
    b: induced expulsion of a human fetus” 

2. Definition of murder

According to Merriam-Webster [2], “murder” is: 
“a: to kill (a human being) unlawfully and with premeditated malice” 

3. Definition of with malice aforethought (also known as premeditated malice) 

According to Merriam-Webster [3], “with malice aforethought” is: 
“used to describe a criminal act that was deliberately planned to cause harm to someone” 
Now, with the definitions out of the way, let’s move on to rebuttals. 

III. Rebuttals

My opponent claims that “abortion is murder.” This implicitly implies that all abortions are murder. Therefore, if I can show that not all abortions are murder, then my opponent’s claim, and argument is wrong. 

In order to refute my opponent’s claim, I will use the following contrapositive statement, and reference the definitions provided earlier to support it. 

P1. Murder must involve premeditated malice. 

This is easily proved by the definitions I provided earlier, as well as any reputable legal source as well. 

P2. Abortions do not involve premeditated malice. 

The very first definition of abortion I provided defined it as, “a spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation – compare MISCARRIAGE” 

Clearly, an accidental abortion cannot involve any malice aforethought – therefore, it cannot be murder. 

C1. Abortions are not murder. 

If both of the previous statements are true, then this statement must be true, through simple logic. 

Therefore, I have refuted my opponent’s main argument – shifting the burden of proof squarely back to him. 

IV. Advance Rebuttals

In this section, I will address possible arguments by my opponent in advance. Since I’ve based my case around definitions, I will assume that without attacking definitions, no progress can be made. 

1. I only focused on the 1st definition of abortion. 

I will counter this by showing why the first definition is more relevant to this debate. According to several peer-reviewed scientific studies, approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a spontaneous abortion (also known as a miscarriage), and this is likely an underestimate, as many early abortions are undetected. [4][5]
In contrast, according to the CDC, just over 1% of pregnancies end in induced abortions. [6] 

This shows that less than 4% of abortions are intentional, and as such, I have no need to address them – my opponent is welcome to pursue this course, but an exception does not prove the rule. 

The definition I used has greater impact and importance, and should therefore be used. 

2. The 2nd definition is in more common usage. 

Although it’s true that colloquially, “abortion” generally refers to induced abortions, in medical literature, both historically and presently, “abortion” is often used to refer to spontaneous abortions.  

In addition, the relative usage of a definition doesn’t make any one more correct than the other. As long as both definitions are sufficiently used to be included in reliable sources such as dictionaries, they are equally valid.

3. The context of the debate applies to the 2nd definition. 

Whenever an instigator starts a debate, it is their responsibility to provide definitions in the description, and to require the contender to agree to these terms, if they want a certain definition to be used. 

If the instigator does not provide a definition, then the contender is free to provide it. Furthermore, my definitions are fair: I didn’t cherry-pick the 1st definition. Instead, I provided both, and then demonstrated why the 1st one has greater impact on this debate. 

Although neither party has to agree to the definitions provided by the other side, I remind voters, and my opponent, that the burden of proof is still on him. 
V. Summary and Conclusion 

In my opening speech, I have: 
  • Demonstrated my opponent did not provide crucial definitions 
  • Provided definitions of my own from a reliable source 
  • Showed how the 1st definition of abortion can never be considered murder 
  • Proved why the 1st definition of abortion should be used through accurate statistics 
  • Refuted my opponent’s contentions by showing he only used the 2nd definition of abortion, which only applies to a minority of cases 
  • Addressed potential definitional counterarguments in advance 
I look forward to my opponent’s response. 

VI. Sources


Round 2
E x  t   e    n     d      .
Round 3

Round 4

Also, who the heck reported this debate? lol
Round 5
My opponent's forfeits are forgiven - if you ever want to do the same topic again, with a better-defined resolution, I'd be up for it.

Meanwhile, vote CON!