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Even if abortion is legal, it should always be allowed for doctors to refuse.


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After 4 votes and with 13 points ahead, the winner is...

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Round 1
I believe it is natural to expect doctors to be given a chance to refuse in a controversial topic like this. Like someone brilliantly pointed out in the comments (in this very debate), it is not difficult at all to find a doctor who agrees. If abortion is to be allowed (I am not fully against it, there are some situations in which it is reasonable); in other words, if abortion is considered a right, conscientious objection must definitely be too. I am first curious, and here I ask my opponent: why do you think otherwise? Political ideas (and, in some cases, religious ones too) vary and this is a clear case of disrespect to these different ideas. Why is it too hard to acknowledge other points of view, especially knowing that this will not prevent families from aborting, given the amount of favourable people to it?
I shall prove my case on three fronts (hint: the first two are just for fun), which shall be given their own sections below
  1. The Case of Ellen R.
  2. Doctors Deserve It
  3. Hypotheticals

Burden of Proof
The resolution that doctors should always be allowed to refuse, implies refusal is without penalty, and without ceasing to be doctors. More importantly, it is the “always,” qualifier making it regardless of outcome and regardless of the absence of another doctor being available.

This could be summarized as with or without coercion.

So I should win if I find any case where a doctor should not simply be allowed to refuse; and my opponent should win if there are no such cases.

1. The Case of Ellen R.:
Ellen was initially not in favor of abortions, even having a daughter named Amanda.

However, while she was serving as a warrant officer on a ship, her friend Kane became pregnant, and the lack of a timely abortion ended tragically for the mother… The father had already died shortly after conception. With no parents to guide them, the child was a delinquent who wreaked havoc.

Later when serving as a civilian contractor to the marines, Ellen got knocked up while sleeping. The father was never identified. While doctors were sent for, they were pro-life doctors who wanted her to give birth.

With no available and willing doctor to perform an abortion, she was forced to commit suicide by self-immolation. Making matters worse, she went into labor during this, and had to hold the baby inside her before the fire took them both.

Stem Cells
If a doctor had performed the abortion, stem cells could have been gathered and used for all kinds of things. Maybe even growing new babies?

Lose of Life
An abortion would have killed one life, but the lack of one killed two.

2. Doctors Deserve It:
There are many myths about forcing doctors to perform abortions, thankfully research clarifies this whole issue…

Todd Akin
The esteemed white house scientist, Todd Akin, has revealed much useful information on this topic [1].

  • “If it’s legitimate [forced to perform an abortion], the [doctor’s] body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down,”
    See, any abortion which actually ends the life of a fetus, was not legitimately forced.

England compiled a pretty good list. And it’s backed up by science [2].

  1. “[Doctors] who drink or take drugs deserve it if they get [forced to perform an abortion].”
    Doctors are known for drinking, and are so into drugs that they have whole rooms at their work dedicated to giving out drugs.

  2. “[Doctors] lie about being [forced to perform an abortion] because they want attention or revenge – or regret having [performed an abortion] with someone.”
    Since they never were forced, that they lied about it totally justifies forcing them now…

  3. “If [the doctor] didn’t scream, try to run away or fight back then it wasn't [forced to perform an abortion.”
    See? I didn’t hear any screaming, did you?

  4. “If [the doctor] didn’t say ‘no’ then it wasn't [forced to perform an abortion].”
    Need I even continue?

  5. “It’s not [forced to perform an abortion] if it's [their] wife or girlfriend.”
    They knew what they were getting into in that relationship.

  6. “[Doctors] are ‘asking for it’ if they wear revealing [lab coats] or flirt.”
    If they didn’t want it, then why oh why would they dress like that? Also speaking in all those medical terms…

  7. “Once a [pregnant woman] gets turned on [s]he can't help h[er]self – [s]he has to have [an abortion].”
    She’s going to force someone to give her an abortion, so why not some lab-coat wearing doctor? Better them than someone with a future.

  8. “[Doctors] often play ‘hard to get' and say 'no' when they really mean 'yes'.”
    See? We can’t believe them when they say no, because it actually means yes half the time.

  9. “Victims and survivors should act a certain way after being [forced to perform an abortion].”
    They clearly don’t act like they were really forced into it…

  10. “If [they]'d really been [forced to perform an abortion] then it wouldn't have taken [them] so long to say something.”
    The evidence speaks for itself.

  11. “People who were [forced to perform abortions] as children are likely to become abusers [who force others to perform abortions] themselves.”
    And many of them are doctors!

  12. “[Doctors] shouldn’t go out alone at night if they don’t want to be [forced to perform abortions].”
    I thought this one was self evident.

  13. “[Abortion] workers can't be [forced].”
    The coup de grâce!

That’s not even the whole list. I could Gish Gallop even more [3]! 

3. Hypotheticals 
There are simply any number of exceptional times, which call for actions which would not be permitted in ideal times.

Shoot someone in the face, in ideal times is first degree murder. During a war, you might get a medal.

Speaking of war, the draft exists (even if it hasn’t been utilized in a long time). A smart person may be able to dodge being front line infantry, by becoming a doctor instead.

Pre-Roe v. Wade the government forced abortions on female service members. While I would never argue a doctor should be forced to be involved in that, it does show the degree of things you are forced to do in the military  at the whims of our government (FYI, this was under both democrats and republicans)).

A military doctor may be posted far away from other doctors, and have a patient who needs an abortion or else she’ll die. While he or she shouldn’t be forced at gunpoint, if unwilling and that will result in the death of the patient, there should be strong sanctions for not performing his or her duty so as to force him or her to perform said duty.

A doctor of veterinary medicine dealing with a massively booming cat population, possibly in an area where they’re an invasive species…

The doctor has a literal ton of female cats to neuter, but it turns out a bunch of them are in the early stages of pregnancy.

The doctor should be forced, at risk of otherwise losing his practice and ceasing to be a doctor.

Time Travel
You somehow have access to a time machine.

For whatever reason you decide the best use is purging bad people from history…
To not murder children [4], you decide abortion is the way to go. You recruit a doctor who wholeheartedly agrees, and their payment is time traveling with you; for which you take them to their favorite points in history, but then when it comes time to abort they chickens out.

They wholly agreed to do the deed.

They were paid.

On balance, great things will happen from the abortion.

They are the only one in that moment in time with the skills.

The scales of ethics clearly says it would be worse to not force them. And better yet, you can subtly alter their childhood to give them integrity, so that they don’t even know they were forced.

4. Replies:
To be clear, I believe under ideal circumstances no one should ever be forced to do anything. We rarely have those, and sometimes we have very non-ideal circumstances. If the mother will die without an abortion, and all nearby doctors are unwilling for whatever reason, I believe there should be measures employed to coerce/force them to comply.

“it is not difficult at all to find a doctor who agrees”
That’s an if available, and if available at the right now. Emergencies happen.

“if abortion is considered a right, conscientious objection must definitely be too”
While I support the right of conscientious objection, I do not support bad application of it.

If you are unwilling to do your job, the job has a right to dismiss you and find someone who will. As an example, there are a few pacifist jobs in the military, but only a few. You can’t be the gunner on a tank if you morally object to firing it in battle.

Sign up to be a doctor at a lumberjack camp, but not give a tourniquet because you dislike the sight of blood, being forced to do your job is assured to happen. You knew what you were signing up for, and did not give warning that they would need another doctor instead of you.

Round 2
I cannot call myself reasonable without acknowledging a mistake of mine. You have posed a series of, as you call them "exceptional times", in which exceptional measures are to be taken. I will respond to these in a moment. Indeed, I do believe this situations exist. I can only ask you to excuse my lack of precision when making my statement, admittedly as a result of my inexperience. There is no use denying it. I used the word "always" without considering extraordinary cases. Again, I apologise.

Having said this, let us respond, one by one, to these "situations" of yours, openly ignoring the list of the so-called "Gish Gallop" arguments, intended to respond to cases of rape, and not abortion. As you yourself mentioned, I will leave them as what they are, arguments made "just for fun".

A lot can be said on the assumptions you make from this case. Firstly, you assume an orphan will under all circumstances become a delinquent. If this is the case, I suggest you advocated for better services for these children rather than abortion. And yes, mothers dying during labour is a thing, and whether or not to sacrifice the child in favour of the mother is another topic to be debated.

Secondly, you seem yo regard Ellen's decision to commit suicide as the only possible outcome. Of course, there was absolutely no alternative. Taking her own life was the only possible solution. Fine, she can't raise a child. Adoption doesn't exist. 

Time Travel
"You somehow have access  to a time machine". Great way of starting another section, with nothing other than SciFi. I shall disregard this argument as lacking logic and sense or simply a joke.

If it was not made clear, I was talking about human abortion. We might as well debate on the ethics of  sterilisation of animals. Again, this argument refers to animals, a completely different topic. Again, I apologise, I should have been more specific on what kind of abortion.

I will also ignore the first three paragraphs of this subsection, as I can't understand what you are trying to express. The government can make controversial or unethical decisions. A person can be forced to do many things by the government and this will not change the morality of it. 

The last paragraph is by far the most interesting one to my point of view. Yet I would like to know why specifically you related this to the military. This is a situation that can happen outside of the military. And yes, I will acknowledge this as one of the only cases in which abortion might be justified and a doctor refusing to carry out should, in my opinion, be treated in the same way as a doctor refusing to operate on a person in need: if it has been reassured that both the mother and the child will die.

To conclude, yes, you have found an extremely rare situation that proves your point. I specified at the beginning of this argument that I was referring to daily cases of couples who cannot or do not want to raise a child. Please abstain from  considering you won this debate because I made a mistake in my initial statement. If this is to be resolved in any way, it shall be by either an agreement or one of us fully convincing the other. 

I infer from your response that, like me, you only believe in the justification for such uncommon cases. I declared in my first argument I found it difficult for someone not to agree with my corrected initial claim.

P.S: about your second-last paragraph, I must say I fully agree: if a doctor refuses to do the job, it is only natural for the institution to find someone else. Again, this is a result of my lack of specificity. Under normal circumstances, at least where I live (not the United States, to clarify), a couple would visit the public system to have an abortion. As claimed by some here, the public healthcare system should take serious measures against doctors who refuse, which go beyond finding someone else to do the abortion. I think this is not ethical, because, again, under normal circumstances it is justified to refuse because of personal values.
Note: I gave fair warning that sections 1 and 2 are just for fun.

1. The Case of Ellen R.:
“Firstly, you assume an orphan will under all circumstances become a delinquent.”
It’s just math. Look at the small town of Hadley's Hope. Horny orphans got in, decided they needed to impregnate everyone, and from a population of 158 literally only one survived.

There is an argument to be made that over a hundred babies were born, so it wasn’t that much of a population drop; but those babies were born out of wedlock, making them bastards!

I suggest you advocated for better services for these children rather than abortion.”
These children are dangerous enough already!

“Adoption doesn't exist.”
Sarcasm noted and appreciated…  But have you considered that adoption is exactly what those pro-lifers from the Weyland-Yutani Corporation want?!

2. Doctors Deserve It:
Extend this nonsensical mess!

But seriously (not), if they didn’t want to perform abortions, why would they dress like that?

3. Hypotheticals 
This section had a couple good nuggets, but also a lot of comedy. Were the primary topic still under contention, I’d have used the gallows humor of China under the one child policy.

This section was largely criticizing the draft (which is slavery), and committing a Political Kritik against conservatives and liberals, as leaders of both were A-Okay with forcing women to have abortions before Roe v. Wade took that power away from the government.

For defeating (or crafting) Kritiks, I advise using this guide:

Regarding the actual on topic part of this… Yesterday I coincidentally had a conversation with a couple friends about Live Tissue Lab (advanced combat medic training), which is unfortunate to need, and the intentional death of an animal is horrible, but it leads to better outcomes for so many people that it’s worth it.  If someone opts to not take part, the animal still dies, and later their patients are more likely to follow (which connects because occasionally an abortion is needed or both will die).

Perfect defense.

An added point you can make to defeat those types of semantics is that debates are for topics being contested, so a debate about abortion automatically implies that it’s about humans.

Time Travel
Also a perfect defense.

While something like this is a fun thought experiment, it’s not merely unlikely to occur but essentially impossible; therefore outside the scope of debate.

4. Replies:
daily cases of couples who cannot or do not want to raise a child.”
No one will argue force should be used for that. It’s kinda like bigoted bakeries, which the market will reward or punish without need for government intervention.

you only believe in the justification for such uncommon cases”
A little more common than the exact examples conceded to, but generally yes.
People should only be forced to violate their ethics, as a last resort… That said, the ethics of their profession ought to have weight too; as well as ethical weight from any explicit or implicit contracts.

“under normal circumstances it is justified to refuse because of personal values.”
Generally yes. I suppose it could largely be boiled down to the burden inflicted.

A normal doctor in a big city hospital simply doesn’t perform abortions by not being a specialist in that. Whereas a small town with only one doctor for a hundred miles, it gets into a gray area.

In South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, an abortion must be performed within 6 weeks [1]. So if a doctor falsely told a woman he would perform the abortion as a delaying tactic, to make the abortion illegal, he should be forced to honor his word. This likewise applies to Arizona, Nebraska, and North Carolina, which have slightly less insane cutoffs [1]. The matter becomes worse when considering that most abortions are chemical not surgical [2], so the amount someone is being forced to do often becomes pretty small.

5. Real World:
Sorry everyone, no comedy in this section.

Kim Davis
This is an example of a time someone should be forced to violate their ethics and do the job they signed up for. Especially since they could have just stepped down from said job.

Kim Davis was a county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses [3], which is a core function of the job. While not abortion, it sets a precedent.

Abortion Can Be Medically Necessary
There is consensus about this in the greater medical community, in addition to pregnancy being complex, it can aggravate other conditions and pose a risk to life [4].

Round 3
1. The Case of Ellen R.:
I ask that we take a moment of silence for Ellen R., who sacrificed so much in the name of abortion:

Round 4
Given that my opponent conceded in R2, so missing the end rounds isn't really bad conduct (more like a misunderstanding of formalities).

1. The Case of Ellen R.:
As a reminder of the danger of children being born out of wedlock, please review this real footage of investigators after one of their youthful parties...

Of course the pro-lifers from Weyland-Yutani Corporation argue against it, claiming such things as it'd cost too much, and all life is "important." And yes,  not performing abortions leads rather substantial harm to local industry; considering that nerve gas probably won't work, so we have to "take off and nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure" whenever kids are born out of wedlock... That was the issue right, the lack of good Christian values? They are each a unique human after all, and we shouldn't be racist against such traits as who has or doesn't have a mesoskeleton, acid for blood, or things even more creepy like eyes.