Abortion before 22 weeks should be legal.
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To start I am going to list some relevant definitions.
Abortion - the termination of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus.
consciousness - awareness of internal and external existence
I would also like to mention that religion should not be used as part of your argument. I am not going to dive into that at this moment but if you need me to I can.
I believe abortion should be legal before a fetus develops the barest form of consciousness. Neuroscience predicts consciousness mainly comes from the cortex. Therefore a fetus can't develop a conscious until 22-24 weeks as it relies on the establishment of thalamocortical connections from the sense organs.
(paraphrased from this source):
So now that I have established fetuses don't have conscious until 22 weeks. I will explain why it should be legal to kill a fetus before the development of the cortex. Organisms that lack the neural complexity required for consciousness cannot feel pain or emotion. I want to clarify I don't think a fetus is worthless. It can still develop into a human and there is value in that. But it makes more sense to prioritize the interests and well-being of the conscious pregnant individual over the non-conscious fetus. Furthermore, if a woman is unable to afford the costs of having a baby, or simply doesn't want to put her body on the line, her rights should be prioritized.
Some may argue that a woman is responsible for the baby solely because she engaged in sexual. However, that logic is flawed.
1. It is unfair to place the burden of responsibility solely on one party when two were involved in the decision to engage in sexual activity.
2. Engaging in consensual sexual activity does not imply automatic consent to become a parent. People may have various reasons for engaging in sexual activity, such as intimacy, pleasure, or emotional connection, without necessarily desiring parenthood at that moment or at all. Pregnancy should not be considered a form of punishment or an inevitable consequence of sexual activity.
3. It is unreasonable to expect people to participate in abstinence.
Lastly, I would like to mention that making abortion illegal doesn't lower the rate of abortions, it lowers the rate of SAFE abortions. We can mainly ignore this for the sake of the debate but I do think it is important to note.
Thank you for your argument.
First, why does consciousness matter? Why not viability outside the womb or some other standard?
Second, does your consciousness standard apply to any other humans? For example, can humans in commas be killed? If not, why? They cannot feel pain.
Third, when does the fetus become a human being? Does the fetus became a human when it becomes conscious? If yes, why?
It is unfair to place the burden of responsibility solely on one party when two were involved in the decision to engage in sexual activity.
Fair, which is why fathers should be required to provide financial support.
Engaging in consensual sexual activity does not imply automatic consent to become a parent. People may have various reasons for engaging in sexual activity, such as intimacy, pleasure, or emotional connection, without necessarily desiring parenthood at that moment or at all. Pregnancy should not be considered a form of punishment or an inevitable consequence of sexual activity.
When you engage in an action, you are consenting to its natural consequences. If I drink a lot of coffee at night, I am consenting to being awake. Biologically, pregnancy is the consequence of sex.
It is unreasonable to expect people to participate in abstinence.
Why? Traditionally, it has been the expectation for singles.
If you agree that unborn infants should not be aborted until they can feel pain, then abortion defiantly should be banned before 22 weeks since, according to the Journal of Medical Ethics, unborn infants can feel pain at 12 weeks.
Therefore, your conscious/pain argument actually supports my position.
1. Why is consciousness the deciding factor?
Consciousness matters because it is directly related to the capacity to experience and value life. While viability outside the womb is important, it doesn't fully capture the essence of what it means to be a sentient being capable of experiencing emotions. Consciousness distinguishes humans from other organisms. It grants individuals the ability to perceive the world and have subjective experiences. Viability alone does not necessarily guarantee a meaningful life, as it does not address the quality of life or the ability to perceive and interact with the environment.
2. Does your consciousness standard apply to any other humans? For example, can humans in comas be killed? If not, why? They cannot feel pain.
While these are similar situations there is an important difference. A person in a coma isn't burdening anyone. If they are an adult, they will be charged for their own medical bills. A person in a coma also isn't infringing on anyone's body. If a fetus didn't cause any financial burden and didn't effect anyone's body there would never be an ethical reason to abort it.
3. The dad shares the responsibility by paying child support.
Financial support is only one aspect of parenthood. The women still have to endure 9 months of a baby growing inside them and pay for all their own medical bills.
4. When you engage in an action, you are consenting to its natural consequences. If I drink a lot of coffee at night, I am consenting to being awake. Biologically, pregnancy is the consequence of sex. & It is unreasonable to expect people to participate in abstinence. Why? Traditionally, it has been the expectation for singles.
While abstinence may be presented as an option to prevent pregnancy, it is not a realistic or comprehensive solution to address human sexuality. Humans are biologically driven to engage in sexual activity. It is unreasonable to expect a person to abstain from sex, especially during their teenage years when there brains aren't fully developed and they are filled with hormones. It is a natural thing to have sex and one should be able to have sex without becoming a parent as a result. Also with your example of coffee you aren't acknowledging a fundamental difference. The point of coffee is to give you energy, the point of sex isn't always to get pregnant. Unlike with sex, with coffee if you just wanted to enjoy the flavor you could indulge in a decaf option. When it comes to sex there isn't a reasonable fullproof way to prevent pregnancy. Condoms can be used but they aren't fullproof. And birth control pills are unreasonable as they have many side effects that only women have to endure. Furthermore, just like how one should be able to drink coffee for the flavor without being awake all night, one should be able to engage in intercourse for the pleasure or intimacy without getting pregnant.
5. Why shouldn't abortions be stopped when the fetus can feel pain.
Anesthesia and analgesia are a standard practice to prevent pain the fetus may feel.
Consciousness is not essential to being human, since unconscious humans are just as human as conscious ones.
Ending a human life because it is a burden on someone is unethical.
At twenty one weeks, the pregnancy is almost finished.
The point of coffee is to give you energy, the point of sex isn't always to get pregnant.
If by point, you mean "subjectively intended outcome" then yes. But pregnancy is the biologically neutral outcome of sex, just like the biologically neutral outcome of drinking coffee is energy. People may not want these biological outcomes, by they are consenting to them by engaging with them even if it is for different reasons.
At the moment of conception, a unique and genetically distinct organism comes into existence. This organism contains the full set of human DNA that will determine its physical characteristics and development throughout his entire life. The standards of consciousness, pain, viability, burden on others all logically justify muurdering born humans as well.