Instigator / Pro

Is abortion murder from the point of conception?


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One day
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One week
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Contender / Con

This debate will cover all stages of pregnancy but will not cover cases of rape, the removal of ectopic pregnancies, or abortions performed to save the life of the mother. It will also not cover legality. Murder will be defined here in the moral sense. The burden of proof is shared.

All arguments given MUST be at least 3,500 characters to prove that both participants are committed to the debate. Failure to adhere to this will result in a loss.

Forfeiting a round will result in a loss.

To clarify, the first person to forfeit or break the character rule loses immediately, after that the rules no longer apply.

Round 1
I would like to thank my opponent for engaging in this debate, and I would like to thank all of you for reading it. I also encourage you to vote afterwards.

In this debate, I will attempt to emphasize one central point: that killing a baby is a bad thing. Perhaps I will have more difficulty than I  expect in establishing this point, as the killing of babies is often convenient to justify. I expect we will hear many arguments that justify murder for the purpose of economic convenience. I expect I we will also see babies and human beings referred to as something other than babies and human beings. But if we are to discuss abortion, it should be defined in simple terms, and abortion is best defined as killing a baby. When a woman goes to a clinic for an abortion, the doctor's job is to kill the baby, and if the baby is somehow alive by the end of the procedure, an abortion has not been performed.

Therefore, I hold that abortion constitutes the killing of an innocent human being. But when do human beings become human beings? The pro-choice camp does not provide us with a singular answer, but science does. In Essentials of Human Embryology, Keith Moore writes the following [1]:

Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization (conception). Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being.

In Medical Embryology, Jan Langman writes:

The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.

Note that the aforementioned zygote has its own unique human DNA. A Japanese zygote implanted in a Ukranian woman will always be Japanese, not Ukranian, because the identity of a fetus is based on his or her genetic code, not that of the body they occupy. Furthermore, if the woman’s body is the only one involved in a pregnancy, then for most of the pregnancy, she must have two brains, two circulatory systems, two noses, four legs, two sets of fingerprints, and two skeletal systems. Half the time she must also have male sex organs. To deny that abortion is killing a baby, my opponent must reject the overwhelming scientific consensus that life begins at conception, agreed on by 95% of biologists [2].

The most common method of abortion involves sucking the fetus out of the womb with a vacuum hose [3]. Another common method, known as D&E, involves ripping the baby's limbs off and removing them from the womb one body part at a time [4] [5]. Dr. Martin Haskell, an abortionist, states the following [6]:

The more common late-term abortion methods are the classic D&E and induction. [Induction] usually involves injecting digoxin or another substance into the fetal heart to kill it, then dilating the cervix and inducing labor...Classic D&E is accomplished by dismembering the fetus inside the uterus with instruments and removing the pieces through an adequately dilated cervix.

To argue that abortion is not killing an innocent human being, also known as murder, my opponent must establish that an unborn child is not human, that an unborn child is not innocent, or that abortion does not involve killing an unborn child.
Round 2
I win; see description
Round 3
Round 4
Hello, I just had a family emergency and so I couldn't begin my argument. I would still like to continue this debate.
Round 5
Well, I guess you can give your opinion but I won't have an opportunity to respond. Would you be interested in accepting if I made the same debate again?
Yes, Thank you for understanding.