Instigator / Pro
28
1587
rating
182
debates
55.77%
won
Topic
#4463

Abortion Is Not Murder.

Status
Finished

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

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
12
0
Better sources
8
8
Better legibility
4
4
Better conduct
4
4

After 4 votes and with 12 points ahead, the winner is...

Sir.Lancelot
Parameters
Publication date
Last updated date
Type
Rated
Number of rounds
3
Time for argument
Three days
Max argument characters
10,000
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Open
Minimal rating
None
Contender / Con
16
1524
rating
51
debates
75.49%
won
Description

No information

Round 1
Pro
#1
Definitions
I believe murder is self-explanatory, but so we have a clear outline of what the topic is. I’ll provide two definitions. 

  1. “18 U.S.C. § 1111 defines murder as the unlawful killing of a human being with malice, and divides it into two degrees.”
  2. “To kill (a person) unlawfully and with malice.”

Preamble
The title of the debate is, “Abortion is not murder.” 

As Pro, I will defend this in several ways. 
  • Abortion is generally not done with malice in mind. 
  • A fetus is not sentient. 
  • There is nothing “human” about a brainless body.
  • Abortions follow strict timeline criteria.
  • Not all abortions are performed on humans. 

BOP
Since I’m arguing abortion is not murder. The burden of proof naturally falls to Con to demonstrate that it is. So I believe Con wins if they prove that abortion is murder in all cases, or the majority. 

The Question of Malice

Since most intimate acts lead to unintended consequences whereby a woman who is unwilling to birth a child because she is not financially capable or doesn’t want it, she usually seeks out an abortion. 

Due to this being very common, I’ll say that the majority of abortion cases are a result of birth control failure or a burst in the condom. 

Thus as a cause, the effect of an abortion in this example is not premeditated, nor is it done with the intention of malice. 

Life In What Context

  • Yes, a fetus at the point of conception is technically “human.” But the argument of ending a human’s life is over an interpretation of semantics.
Because first of all, most abortions occur within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and the human’s life functions like a cell, not a conscious and sentient person. 

  • The fetus is void of sentience, consciousness, and autonomy. It lacks the capacity to think, feel, or rationalize. 
  • So case in point, there is nothing “human” about a brainless body. 
  • The terms ‘life’ and ‘human’ are used so loosely, they are to be completely meaningless. 

“They behave like cells, not like organisms.”
1 

Timing and Deadline

The first stage of development for sentience and consciousness doesn’t start until after the 14 weeks of pregnancy. This is the cutoff point for an abortion usually. 

Not all abortions are performed on humans

Some abortions are done for dogs, cats, and fish. 
Case in point. 

Con
#2
4 debates due all the same day..
I'll have to proceed with skipping this round, however, I will post my argument next round. Sorry.
Round 2
Pro
#3
Alrightyyy then. 

Extend. 
Con
#4
Oops, almost forgot it again. I easily get lost in time when its three days long..
Anyways, thanks Pro for understanding.

1. Opening and Burden:

I. Abortion is huge controversial debate around the world, in this debate my position is Abortion, is Murder. Simply, abortion is killing another person. Hence, abortion is killing a person which is murder. However, some believe that abortion is not murder as of which is Pro's position.

II. Burden is mostly on me, Con. I should be able to prove that all or at the most the majority of abortions are murder. But this is to an extent. This should be taken into consideration in general also, is Abortion Murder? That's whats being covered.

2. Definitions:
I. Murder have been proved by pro, I agree.

  1. : “To kill (a person) unlawfully and with malice.”
I will be using this. 

II. What is abortion?
Abortion is when a pregnancy is ended so that it doesn't result in the birth of a child

III. What is malice
1
desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another
an attack motivated by pure malice


2
intent to commit an unlawful act or cause harm without legal justification or excuse

3. Contentions

I. What is malice?
Malice is said is a desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another. When you have abortion, you are desiring to go ahead with a lethal injury to another. That is what malice is. No matter the reason, there was an intent behind it. In the case of abortion, you have a malice intention no matter why you want the abortion.

II. Does abortion anywhere (stage) in the pregnancy process count? 

My simple answer: Yes. 

Pro only has one choice, as he mostly regards. Which is to argue about the embryo, anything else would be going against his contentions. So, let's start there.

Embryo: 
An unborn offspring in the process of development, in particular a human offspring during the period from approximately the second to the eighth week after fertilization (after which it is usually termed a fetus).
(Fitted to define within the lines of definitions.
I can't find the source, it will be listed next round.)

Consider:
This is a person, they are just developing. Same as children, they are not fully matured. Not fully developed but still human. Or, let's go a fetus, they are human but they are still developing.

III. Abortion in general terms 
This relates to the second contention but a tiny difference. How do you prove the majority are just embryos being aborted? Can this be backed up? You must consider the entire world. In general terms, abortion is not just the embryo, also the fetus, etc. The general term of abortion is saying it is murder. 


4. Rebuttals: 
The Question of Malice

Since most intimate acts lead to unintended consequences whereby a woman who is unwilling to birth a child because she is not financially capable or doesn’t want it, she usually seeks out an abortion. 

Due to this being very common, I’ll say that the majority of abortion cases are a result of birth control failure or a burst in the condom. 
This can't really be proven.. However, does it matter the reason? I defined the definition above, malice is an intended injury on someone. This is a lethal injury. My contention, is following closely after this. 

Life In What Context

  • Yes, a fetus at the point of conception is technically “human.” But the argument of ending a human’s life is over an interpretation of semantics.
Because first of all, most abortions occur within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and the human’s life functions like a cell, not a conscious and sentient person. 
So, if they are considered human how do you want me to respond? There is no technically, human or not? Person or not?
Most? Refer to my third contention.

  • The fetus is void of sentience, consciousness, and autonomy. It lacks the capacity to think, feel, or rationalize. 
  • So case in point, there is nothing “human” about a brainless body. 
When did that define a person? If I have a missing leg or arm, am I no longer a person? No. They still are.

A fetus can feel at a certain week in development.

  • The terms ‘life’ and ‘human’ are used so loosely, they are to be completely meaningless. 
Let's use person instead then.

“They behave like cells, not like organisms.”
I would like to address this, even though a quote.

It doesn't matter how they behave. Humans can be viewed to behave like an animal, intentionally try to behave like an animal, but they are a person. And these "cells" you are talking about, they are human cells. I repeat, human cells.

Timing and Deadline

The first stage of development for sentience and consciousness doesn’t start until after the 14 weeks of pregnancy. This is the cutoff point for an abortion usually. 
The problem is, they are a person. And that's killing them. Does it mater there first stage of development? They are a person. Just because there is a final stage of development with people does not mean I am no longer human, it doesn't matter when my development is. My development is coming, but by doing abortion you cut off their life, when going into development.

Not all abortions are performed on humans

Some abortions are done for dogs, cats, and fish. 
Case in point. 
I ask voters to disregard and void this argument per my definition of abortion,

But guess what, voters will find a way around this. I'll add in case.

If pro wants to continue with this:
  • Who is doing the abortion? 
  • How do we know its not with malice?
  • How do we know about the majority of abortions with animals? 

--
Sources:

Round 3
Pro
#5
BOP
Framework
Con accepts the definition of murder as established in the first round and acknowledges they have the BOP. 

Rebuttals

I. What is malice?
Malice is said is a desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another. When you have abortion, you are desiring to go ahead with a lethal injury to another. That is what malice is. No matter the reason, there was an intent behind it. In the case of abortion, you have a malice intention no matter why you want the abortion.
This is untrue. In cases of rape or situations where a pregnancy is unintended, a woman may need to undergo an abortion procedure to save her own life. Or she may be financially incapable of taking care of a child. 

Since Con does not contest there is no sentience or functioning brain, that means they concede that human fetuses are incapable of feeling pain. 

Terminating a pregnancy through abortion does not mean the priority or objective is to cause the fetus unnecessary suffering. Treat this as an unsubstantiated statement. 

  • The fetus is void of sentience, consciousness, and autonomy. It lacks the capacity to think, feel, or rationalize. 
  • So case in point, there is nothing “human” about a brainless body. 
When did that define a person? If I have a missing leg or arm, am I no longer a person? No. They still are.

A fetus can feel at a certain week in development.

  • The terms ‘life’ and ‘human’ are used so loosely, they are to be completely meaningless. 
Let's use person instead then. 
A limb is a tool to increase mobility. An organism is capable of living without a limb. You don’t lose your humanity just because you lost a limb. 

A brain is critical for sentient life. Without it, the body is just a husk. 

‘Person’ makes even less sense than human semantically or logically when we consider the following.: 
  • There is no scientific consensus at which point a human becomes a ‘person.’ This is completely up to interpretation. 
  • A person should at least have the capacity to think, feel, or process emotion. A fetus has none of these things. 
We realize a fetus is human from the concept of scientific terminology. It is incredibly misleading to apply this same term and definition in discussions of morals and ethics. Which is why I call the term meaningless.

The term ‘person’ is even more unclear because it relies even more on ambiguity.

I would like to address this, even though a quote.

It doesn't matter how they behave. Humans can be viewed to behave like an animal, intentionally try to behave like an animal, but they are a person. And these "cells" you are talking about, they are human cells. I repeat, human cells.
Skin cells are also human. Is Con a murderer everytime they carelessly kill 100 skin cells when they scratch a mosquito bite? 

The problem is, they are a person. And that's killing them. Does it mater there first stage of development? They are a person. Just because there is a final stage of development with people does not mean I am no longer human, it doesn't matter when my development is. My development is coming, but by doing abortion you cut off their life, when going into development.
What is Con’s criteria for defining a person? I stated mine and it follows a more objective groundwork. I also have a definition source. 

  • Person - A person (PL: people) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established form of social relations such as kinship, ownership of property, or legal responsibility.

If a fetus lacks the capacity for any of these things, then it is clear they are not a person. 

Con
#6
Pro's rebuttals will be cited into four sections: 
  • Beginning
  • Middle
  • End 1
  • End 2
I. Definitions: 
No definition is contested, therefore accepted.

II. Rebuttals:
Beginning;

I. What is malice?
Malice is said is a desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another. When you have abortion, you are desiring to go ahead with a lethal injury to another. That is what malice is. No matter the reason, there was an intent behind it. In the case of abortion, you have a malice intention no matter why you want the abortion.
This is untrue. In cases of rape or situations where a pregnancy is unintended, a woman may need to undergo an abortion procedure to save her own life. Or she may be financially incapable of taking care of a child. 
Pro's rebuttal is false. 

The reasons he presents: 
- Rape
- Unintended situations
- Save her life

Okay. This doesn't go to the real contention. This contention talks about malice, the reason is almost irreverent in the overall view of malice. How? I'll show you some examples down below.  

Consider the following: 
"I would like to get an abortion because of rape", what is this? This is the desire to inflict a lethal injury on them. 

Due to you not contesting my definition of malice, I assume you accept the definition. Therefore, yes, this does apply. It is the desire to inflict a lethal injury on them, regardless of the reason. 


Since Con does not contest there is no sentience or functioning brain, that means they concede that human fetuses are incapable of feeling pain. 
Are we still on the same topic: Malice? 
To confirm, I do contest this. 

As said:
"A fetus can feel at a certain week in development."

Also to confirm: "The fetal brain begins to develop during the third week of gestation."


I would also like to mention that all pro has brought out is embryo, the earliest stage of the development. However, there are more than just embryo. There are many other developments where, as shown in the quote they have a brain. 
"The human embryo is not something different in kind from a human being, nor is it merely a "potential human being," whatever that might mean. Rather the human embryo is a human being in the embryonic stage.

The adult that is you is the same human being who, at an earlier stage of your life, was an adolescent, and before that a child, an infant, a fetus and an embryo."

These are where all humans start. 

Terminating a pregnancy through abortion does not mean the priority or objective is to cause the fetus unnecessary suffering. Treat this as an unsubstantiated statement. 
But that's the desire. The desire is to inflict that on them and kill them in the end result. I can say I want to kill one million people to help the world. And you could say the main focus is to help the world, but it's still the desire to kill people. 

Middle;
A limb is a tool to increase mobility. An organism is capable of living without a limb. You don’t lose your humanity just because you lost a limb. 
Then they don't lose their humanity because they aren't fully developed yet. This is more discussed in End 1 and End 2. 

A brain is critical for sentient life. Without it, the body is just a husk. 

‘Person’ makes even less sense than human semantically or logically when we consider the following.: 
  • There is no scientific consensus at which point a human becomes a ‘person.’ This is completely up to interpretation. 
  • A person should at least have the capacity to think, feel, or process emotion. A fetus has none of these things. 
We realize a fetus is human from the concept of scientific terminology. It is incredibly misleading to apply this same term and definition in discussions of morals and ethics. Which is why I call the term meaningless.

The term ‘person’ is even more unclear because it relies even more on ambiguity.
If this is an interpretation, how can you define a person as you did? 
Do you see us calling a tiger a person? 
Do you see us calling a panda a person? 
Do you see us calling a leaf a person?

We as humans, people, were all born at the embryo, none of us skipped that stage. Since, you were born as an embryo how are you a human now? You can change yourself into the human race, such as a panda, leaf, or tiger couldn't change themselves into the human race. 

We don't just hand out "Since we don't really define humans... here you go, panda. You are now a human." This is a bit more further explained as I explain how an adult was also once, just an embryo. 

End 1;
Skin cells are also human. Is Con a murderer every time they carelessly kill 100 skin cells when they scratch a mosquito bite? 
Human beings and embryos:

That has been developed, when you kill these skin cells are you killing off an entire human being? An entire life? The cells you talk about, are their life, are their human body as of right now. There is a clear difference.

These human cells, are they in animals? Are they in plants? No. They are completely different, and that is obvious. There is a clear difference that can be disticitive between who is a human, and what isn't. 

I DO, and I didn't have time to mention the last round. Contest this, idea of a blob of cells to a degree.  As in what I meant by "human cells" when I quoted it. 

It states the following: 
Myth 2: "The product of fertilization is simply a �blob,� a �bunch of cells�, a �piece of the mother�s tissues�."
Fact 2: As demonstrated above, the human embryonic organism formed at fertilization is a whole human being, and therefore it is not just a "blob" or a "bunch of cells." This new human individual also has a mixture of both the mother�s and the father�s chromosomes, and therefore it is not just a "piece of the mother�s tissues". Quoting Carlson:
"... [T]hrough the mingling of maternal and paternal chromosomes, the zygote is a genetically unique product of chromosomal reassortment, which is important for the viability of any species."15 (Emphasis added.)
I would love to add to this but I don't have enough room. 

End 2;
Continuing human beings and embryo:
What is Con’s criteria for defining a person? I stated mine and it follows a more objective groundwork. I also have a definition source. 

  • Person - A person (PL: people) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established form of social relations such as kinship, ownership of property, or legal responsibility.

If a fetus lacks the capacity for any of these things, then it is clear they are not a person. 
Pro themselves state "self-consciousness" 


"Even when fertilization occurs, the gametes do not survive: Their genetic material enters into the composition of a new organism. (A somatic cell that might be used to produce a human being by cloning is analogous not to a human embryo, but to gametes.) The difference between human gametes and a human being is a difference in kind, not a difference in stage of development. The difference between an embryonic human being (or a human fetus or infant) and an adult is merely a difference in stage of development." 

There is more opinion based. My facts are in End 1, to an extent. 


III. Continuation: 
1. Animal Abortions: Pro does not seem to continue the idea with animals having abortions, leaving my questions that relate to continue. That said, as my definitions were not contested this disproves of abortions including animal abortions. I ask it gets left out. 

IIII. Sources: