The Instigator
kma08021
Con (against)
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The Contender
missmedic
Pro (for)
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Abortion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/16/2020 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 565 times Debate No: 124044
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (29)
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kma08021

Con

I believe all abortions should be illegal other than those in which the life of the mother is in danger. I look forward to someone challenging this idea and explaining why they believe abortion should be legal, And to having a good debate!
missmedic

Pro

Most people that want to make abortion illegal do so out of ignorance and emotion. Research has shown that making abortion illegal does not reduce abortion but does increases maternal mortality.
As to the mother's danger, Pregnancy has a major effect on a person's body and emotional state, And every pregnancy carries some risk of serious complication or death. The crucial decision to take on that risk"no matter how small"can only be decided by the pregnant person themselves. Not you and law enforcement. . .
Women"s lives, Health, And basic human rights depend on the availability of abortion, And those are the only factors necessary to justify abortion.
Debate Round No. 1
kma08021

Con

"Most people that want to make abortion illegal do so out of ignorance and emotion. "
- I do not believe I am one of those people. I think my argument against abortion is quite rational, Logical, And grounded in science. The debate really comes comes down if/when the fetus/unborn child is considered a life. If you believe it is a life and you are ok with abortion, Then you must defend why you believe that it is ok to end that life. To me, That's murder. If you do not believe it is a life, You must defend that argument against science/biology.

"Research has shown that making abortion illegal does not reduce abortion but does increases maternal mortality. "
- I completely disagree with this. Planned parenthood performed 350k abortions in 2018. Making abortion illegal would eliminate that chunk at the very least. Do you have a citation for this? Also, I'm in favor of legal abortion when the mother's life is at risk.

"As to the mother's danger, Pregnancy has a major effect on a person's body and emotional state, And every pregnancy carries some risk of serious complication or death. The crucial decision to take on that risk"no matter how small"can only be decided by the pregnant person themselves. "
- Not entirely true. At the very least, This is a gross overstatement. Sure, Every pregnancy carries SOME risk. Nothing is 100% safe. You have a chance of dying in a car accident every time you go on the highway. Plus, Just because pregnancy carries SOME risk is not a reason to kill an innocent child.

"Women"s lives, Health, And basic human rights depend on the availability of abortion, And those are the only factors necessary to justify abortion. "
- I disagree. Again, In the case of the woman's life being in danger, Abortion makes sense. It's a better outcome for one person to lose their life than two. I also don't agree abortion is a human right. Nobody has the right to take the life of anyone else.
missmedic

Pro

Laws have never stopped abortions, Or even reduced them. Reports from the UnitedNations and the GuttmacherInstitute have found that abortion rates are higher in developing countries where abortionis illegal, Compared to rates in developed countries where abortion is legal. In other words, Restrictive abortion laws are not associated with a low abortion rate, And result in high numbers of unsafe abortion. In countries where abortion is widely available including Canada where there has typically been a decline in abortion rates over time because of increased contraception use.
You contradict your self when you say " In the case of the woman's life being in danger, Abortion makes sense. " As I have said every pregnancy carries some risk of serious complication or death. Being pregnant should not take away a person's right to choose.
Most anti-abortionists confidently state as "scientific fact" that human life begins at conceptionand therefore embryos deserve legal protection. The question of when life begins is a philosophical issue, Not a scientific one, And there can be no consensus. The moral value of a fetus is also a matter of personal opinion, So it must be left up to individual women to decide what their fetus means to them, If anything. But even people who believe abortion is murder often need abortions, So the nature of the fetus and its moral status are ultimately beside the point. Many people talk of balancing" the rights of the woman with the fetus. But it is impossible for two beings in the same body to both enjoy rights. But the physical unity of a woman and her fetus precludes the imposition of a duty of care on her, Because that would be a profound compromise of her privacy and autonomy. Legal precedents over the last 20 years have more firmly established not only the full rights of pregnant women, But the necessary lack of fetal rights. The Criminal Code says that a fetus does not become a human being until it has completely exited the birth canal, Alive. This definition has withstood the test of time and several legal challenges brought by anti-abortionists.
You are confusing the facts, Abortion is not the problem it is a symptom of a greater problem that is not being addressed. Answer me this, Why do women not want their babies. What is your goal to reduce abortion or punish women?
Debate Round No. 2
kma08021

Con

"Laws have never stopped abortions, Or even reduced them. Reports from the UnitedNations and the GuttmacherInstitute have found that abortion rates are higher in developing countries where abortionis illegal, Compared to rates in developed countries where abortion is legal. In other words, Restrictive abortion laws are not associated with a low abortion rate, And result in high numbers of unsafe abortion. In countries where abortion is widely available including Canada where there has typically been a decline in abortion rates over time because of increased contraception use. "
- This is a tough point to make on your end. There are serious differences between countries that you are ignoring that would contribute to the differences in abortion practices like culture, Societal feelings, Access to healthcare/contraceptives, Education, To name a few. To compare abortion practices in developing countries to those in first world counties like Canada is apples to oranges. Also to your point about contraceptives - why would we need abortion if rates decline with contraceptives? Why not just increase access to contraceptives and then we won't need abortions anymore? To your point about laws not changing abortion rates - There were 650k abortions in America last year. Planned parenthood (which is just one legal provider), Provided 350k of those. Making abortion illegal in places like planned parenthood would be extremely easy to enforce. It would be nearly impossible to see the same abortion rate after making it illegal in the US. Of course there would still be abortions even after they'd be made illegal. But there would certainly be less of them. If you're going to argue that, "someone who wants an abortion would find a way", I'd say where would those 350k people go? Would illegal abortion clinics pop up everywhere? How is that not enforceable?

"Most anti-abortionists confidently state as "scientific fact" that human life begins at conceptionand therefore embryos deserve legal protection. The question of when life begins is a philosophical issue, Not a scientific one, And there can be no consensus. "
- Fine. See the comments of this debate for more of a discussion on this philosophical idea. But for here, I think a sound philosophical argument can be made both in favor of and against a life beginning at conception. In that case, Why wouldn't we err on the side of the caution and favor the argument that it is a life and act accordingly (not killing it) instead of assuming it's not and then killing it?

"The moral value of a fetus is also a matter of personal opinion, So it must be left up to individual women to decide what their fetus means to them, If anything. . . . , So the nature of the fetus and its moral status are ultimately beside the point. "
- The nature of the fetus and its moral status is EXACTLY the point. The moral value of a fetus is a matter of personal opinion? I disagree. I think every fetus has moral value. How would it not? Do you also think that some adults have greater moral value than other adults? How do you measure this? At what point do you think this moral value begins? If you think everyone has different moral value, How do you grow your moral value? Who are you to decide who does and who does not have moral value? This is where our disagreement lies I think. I think every fetus has moral value. Therefore, Ending it is wrong. I think every adult has the same moral value. I don't see a sound argument explaining how a fetus does not have moral value. It is a separate being. It has unique DNA. If left to it's own natural processes, It would grow into what we call a baby. Ending the possibility of that natural process is ending the unique life. To your point that "it must be left up to the individual woman to decide what their fetus means to them", This reminds me of the old slave owner argument. "It's my land and my property (the slave), Therefore only I can decide their worth". That's disgusting. Would you also turn your head away from your neighbor abusing their kids in the backyard? Afterall, It's their kid. They determine their value. . . Right?

"But even people who believe abortion is murder often need abortions"
- I disagree. Hardly any woman who gets an abortion NEEDED it. Most abortions are performed because the baby was not wanted or because the mother couldn't afford it. An extreme minority of abortions are solely to save the mother.

"Many people talk of balancing" the rights of the woman with the fetus. But it is impossible for two beings in the same body to both enjoy rights. But the physical unity of a woman and her fetus precludes the imposition of a duty of care on her, Because that would be a profound compromise of her privacy and autonomy. "
- Uhmm. . . Ya being pregnant is extremely selfless. It's probably the most selfless thing a human can do. It's absolutely a profound compromise of giving up your body for the benefit of another human being. The woman is literally bearing new life. This comes with a price both mentally and physically. That's what makes each pregnancy such a beautiful miracle and what makes women extremely strong and unique.

"Legal precedents over the last 20 years have more firmly established not only the full rights of pregnant women, But the necessary lack of fetal rights. "
- So just because it's law and has been "firmly established" for years doesn't make it right. Slavery was also law, And firmly established, And thankfully all of that was challenged and changed. The rights of slave owners and property owners were clear alongside the lack of rights to the slaves. Again - thankfully this was all challenged and changed. Those were TERRIBLE laws. The supreme court has their decisions challenged all of the time and new cases and amendments reverse their decisions. (Plessy v Ferguson was reversed by Brown vs. Board. Dred Scott was reversed by the 14th amendment). Again, Just because it's law doesn't mean it's right or correct.

"The Criminal Code says that a fetus does not become a human being until it has completely exited the birth canal, Alive. This definition has withstood the test of time and several legal challenges brought by anti-abortionists. "
- Ok - that's a stupid criminal code and a stupid definition. The birth canal is approximately 7 inches. So you're (the criminal code) saying that a baby inside of a woman in labor, Who is about to push it out, Is not a human being, But seconds later when that baby is outside of the woman, It magically becomes a human being. Come on. . . That's absurd. Suddenly location determines personhood? And again, I don't care if that legal definition has withstood time. It's a stupid definition and you're allowed to disagree with laws. Like I said above, Laws and supreme court decisions get reversed all the time and with good reason.

"You are confusing the facts"
- Which facts have I confused exactly? You have hardly rebutted anything I have said. At most, You've argued that it must be up to the individual woman, Which I think is a dumb argument for reasons I said and explained above. Surely you wouldn't agree that each parent knows what's best for their kid, So if they want to starve or abuse them, So be it. Society and laws restrict individual actions all the time.

"Abortion is not the problem it is a symptom of a greater problem that is not being addressed.
- Ok fine, Then let's address that greater problem so we can outlaw abortion. I'm glad we agree that abortion isn't necessary. Great point here!

"Answer me this, Why do women not want their babies. What is your goal to reduce abortion or punish women? "
- My goal is to end abortion. Woman don't need to be punished. . . Where did that even come from? I don't know why woman don't want their babies. Ask them. Regardless, Whether they want them or not doesn't give them the right to kill it.
missmedic

Pro

"This is a tough point to make on your end. There are serious differences between countries that you are ignoring that would contribute to the differences in abortion practices like culture, Societal feelings, Access to healthcare/contraceptives, Education, To name a few. "
Almost half of the 56million abortions in the world each year are unsafe and generally illegal. As a result, At least 22, 800women die every year and 7 million are admitted to hospitals with complications. About 8%of maternal mortality is due to unsafe abortion. Abortion laws are not only harmful to women"s health, They are generally unworkable or onerous. Even seemingly minor restrictions violate the rights of pregnant people, Interfere with medical discretion, And compromise the quality of care. Since the laws were not written with women"s health in mind, Healthcare professionals are often put in the position of skirting the law in order to do their jobs of saving peoples' lives and health. The sheer range and inconsistency of abortion laws around the world proves they are unrelated to good healthcare, And are politically motivated. This helps explain why developed countries like Canada enjoy very low maternal mortality rates from abortion, While the most obscenely high mortality rates occur in African countries where abortion is totally banned. Of course, Healthcare services are usually superior and more accessible in developed countries, But it's clear that anti-abortion laws kill women, While repealing the laws saves their lives. Having no abortion restrictions also helps to integrate abortion care into the healthcare system, Facilitate early access, And improve women"s health in general.

The nature of the fetus and its moral status is EXACTLY the point. The moral value of a fetus is a matter of personal opinion? I disagree.
Well that's your opinion and the point is, "should abortion be illegal" Taking away one person's right for an other is morally wrong.
So just because it's law and has been "firmly established" for years doesn't make it right.
It does not make it right, It makes it legal. The very point of the argument. . .
Which facts have I confused exactly?
The fact that laws do not reduce abortion. A comprehensive sex education, Readily available access to free birth control and a free and comprehensive support and health care system.
America offers little and always at a cost, Punishing the poorest and the weakest shunning and shaming single teens mothers, Charging 30k for deliveries.
It"s ironic that abortion laws are designed to limit abortions, Yet one of the best ways to reduce abortion is to liberalize or repeal anti-abortion laws. That"s not the only factor of course. The real key is to promote women"s rights, With particular attention to their reproductive rights. Most abortions occur because people can"t afford to have a child, So governments can significantly reduce abortion numbers by building a more stable, Prosperous society and making child-rearing economically feasible. There is no need for societies to defend fetal interests directly, As the best way to protect fetuses is to provide resources directly to pregnant people. When a pregnant woman is safe and healthy, So is her fetus.
The abortion debate will probably never be resolved on a philosophical level, Because the anti-choice movement is strongly motivated by religious ideology. Their fixation on the fetus, With their foregone conclusion that fetuses are full human beings with rights, Cancels out any competing claim for women"s rights. Underlying all the pro-fetus rhetoric is the unquestioned assumption that women were made to have babies, This is their God-given natural role, And the law must enforce that. A logical extension of this view is that any woman who has an abortion must be a victim of coercion, Or too ignorant or desperate to understand what she"s doing. Since abortion is assumed to be bad for women, They must be "protected" from abortion by criminalizing it.
Debate Round No. 3
29 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by missmedic 1 year ago
missmedic
sorry for the tardy response
Posted by kma08021 1 year ago
kma08021
"I'll watch out for your response to these, But this will be my last comment in this thread since I gotta back to work, I really did appreciate the conversation, Best of luck out there"
- Again, Thanks a lot for your time and input. This was fun. I've never heard any of the arguments you presented before. The philosophical aspect of it all is very interesting. I'm glad you introduced me to it. You seem well read and are very eloquent in your writing and your arguments. It's impressive. Sorry for taking up so much of your time! Thanks again!
Posted by kma08021 1 year ago
kma08021
"The natural process being prevented in the contraceptive example is conception, Something that would lead to the eventual development of a human"
- No, The natural process being prevented in the contraceptive example is the releasing of an egg, Not conception. I'm not against this. I'm not against condoms (preventing the natural process of sperm being released). Again, My definition along, Consistently, Has been that life begins at conception. Do whatever you want pre-conception to prevent conception. But, Once conception occurs, That is a life and should be treated as such. I believe abortion is wrong because it ends that life. An unfertilized egg is not a life. Stopping the release of an egg is not the same interfering with a fertilized one. My definition of a life is very clear and has been throughout.

"If you had to make a choice between ending the fertilized egg to grow and forcing someone to carry it even if they don't want to"
- I wasn't dodging. I just don't think these scenarios are analogous. In the test tube example, It seems the woman who I'd be forcing the implantation upon had nothing to do with my creation of the embryo in the test tube. Therefore, I have no right to force the implantation on her. With pregnancy, I understand a woman can become pregnant even though she didn't want to. I understand that some woman wouldn't want to carry it. But here, She was a willing participant in the act of creating the embryo, Unlike the test tube example. If you consent to sex, You consent to its consequences, Including a pregnancy. Except in rape cases of course. . . But that's a whole other issue. This is parallel to a larger trend in american culture of not being held liable for your actions. Got pregnant by accident and don't want it? Abort it! Willingly took out student loans? We'll forgive them! Didn't win in tee ball? You get a trophy anyways! Actions have consequences. Sex can create babies. You shouldn't kill babies.
Posted by kma08021 1 year ago
kma08021
"For someone in a deep coma it seems like the decision we have come to is that either a family member or someone else with power of attorney chooses when to pull plug, A decision I think I agree with"
- Even if there's a chance they could eventually awaken?

"So there is a consistent point past which we probably shouldn't have abortion, 24 weeks"
- Similar to what I argued before, If this were the law, You'd abort a baby at 23 weeks, 6 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, And 59 seconds, But not a baby who was 1 second older. And who's to say that the baby that is one second older has the necessary brain function to not be aborted while the younger one does not? This (a 1 second difference) is obviously a tough thing to actually see in practice, But what about a minute difference? Hour? Day? . . . My point is that what seems like a hard cut off at 24 weeks, Based on hard evidence of brain functioning (with current technology. . . ) is still a rather arbitrary and inconsistent cut point.

"anti-natalist. I'd recommend looking into it, It is an interesting line of philosophical argumentation. "
- I will. . . Mainly because from you say about it, I absolutely disagree with and think it's absurd. But, I like learning about things I disagree with ;)

"This comparison doesn't really work, The natural process in the car example in your own death or serious injury, Something you are entirely within your rights to prevent. "
- My example wasn't great. You seemed to be suggesting that I was saying that stopping a natural process was unethical. I tried to argue that we try to stop natural processes from happening all the time with no ethical issue. Believe me, I'm trying very hard to stop my natural aging process.
Posted by Phil-E-CheeseSteak 1 year ago
Phil-E-CheeseSteak
Saying it's because one doesn't end a life is begging the question, Because my comparison is a criticism on where you draw your line.

"It's a fertilized egg. It's a life. To me, Ending its opportunity to grow is wrong. Forcing the injection of something into someone else is also wrong. So, In this scenario, I'd be against the artificial creation of the embryo in the test tube in the first place. "

It's fine if you think the scenario might be unethical, But you dodged the question, If you had to make a choice between ending the fertilized egg to grow and forcing someone to carry it even if they don't want to, What would you choose? I know this feels like a hard question, But it's hard hypotheticals like this push us to analyse out ethical positions in depth.

I'll watch out for your response to these, But this will be my last comment in this thread since I gotta back to work, I really did appreciate the conversation, Best of luck out there.
Posted by Phil-E-CheeseSteak 1 year ago
Phil-E-CheeseSteak
"You can't legislate something that unspecific. "Abortion is legal up until around 6 months gestation". . . That doesn't work. You can't say "abortion is legal up until the third trimester because that's when consciousness starts" because that's not true. Consciousness could start before the third trimester begins and that baby could be legally aborted. Your argument wouldn't hold. If you're going to restrict abortion to a certain point of gestation, That point needs to be definitive and consistent. Your point is neither. "

I think you misunderstand this point, The legislation wouldn't be about abortion up until six months, It would be about whether brain development in which the higher brain structures and coordinated thought necessary for conscious though begins, Something that is measurable, Tends to occur by 6 months, And doesn't occur before 24-25 weeks of gestation. So there is a consistent point past which we probably shouldn't have abortion, 24 weeks, Because that is the earliest point in which those brain structures can be found.

"No. Preventing an egg from fertilizing (or the releasing of an egg in this case) does not end a life, Which I define as a fertilized egg (the point of conception). I'm being consistent with my definition of life. I wear a seat belt in my car to prevent me from being injured in a car accident. I am preventing what would happen to my body naturally if I were to be in a car accident without a seat belt. "

This comparison doesn't really work, The natural process in the car example in your own death or serious injury, Something you are entirely within your rights to prevent. The natural process being prevented in the contraceptive example is conception, Something that would lead to the eventual development of a human, Similarly abortion prevents the natural process of fetal development, Something that would also lead to the eventual development of a human. These 2 actions are analogous. Continued. . .
Posted by Phil-E-CheeseSteak 1 year ago
Phil-E-CheeseSteak
"So, If any chance exists that a baby will grow up to face suffering, We should just do it a favor and kill it? How do you decide how much suffering is too much to warrant the murder? Why doesn't this same thought process apply to infants? Infants don't have rational thought. They can't give consent. We don't even consider most teenagers old enough to be capable of consent sexually (rape) or professionally (underage employment). According to other areas of law, Children of all ages are incapable of giving informed consent. So if any of them suffer or face the possibility of suffering, It's unethical for us to allow them to live? "

I think your misunderstanding the actual implication of my argument, The anti-natalist argument isn't that we should kill the fetus because it isn't consenting to be born, It's that if we value the rights of potential people, It is unethical to engage in procreation and conceive of the fetus in the first place, Because potential people can't consent to being brought into a potential suffering of existence. This is why I don't assign any moral rights to potential people and why I'm not an anti-natalist. I'd recommend looking into it, It is an interesting line of philosophical argumentation.
continued. . . .
Posted by Phil-E-CheeseSteak 1 year ago
Phil-E-CheeseSteak
Ok, This will be the last time I respond because, As much as I enjoy engaging with these arguments, I'm insanely behind on work and gotta get back to focusing in on projects for a while.

So we can go into a hospital, Find people that are physically alive but brain dead, And we can kill them? How about people who are in a deep coma. Technically they're unconscious. There is minimal brain activity. . . Can we kill them? I don't think the underlying question to your experiment is "which do you value more? ". . . I think it's "can we kill this? "

For the brain dead person, I would say yes we can "kill" this person, I put kill in quotes because I would argue a brain dead person isn't really alive considering brain death implies that they will never wake up and their body is only still functioning due to life support. For someone in a deep coma it seems like the decision we have come to is that either a family member or someone else with power of attorney chooses when to pull plug, A decision I think I agree with, So even in that case it seems like you could ethically "kill" someone. The underlying question is when does something no longer have it's own right to life.

Continued. . . .
Posted by kma08021 1 year ago
kma08021
"Do you think it would be immoral for an embryo made in a lab and kept in a test tube to not be given the chance to continue it's development, And if so what would ought we do if no-one wanted to take on the responsibility of carrying that embryo to term, Would we have to forcibly implant said embryo into someone so the embryo's right to opportunity to life is maintained"
- It's a fertilized egg. It's a life. To me, Ending its opportunity to grow is wrong. Forcing the injection of something into someone else is also wrong. So, In this scenario, I'd be against the artificial creation of the embryo in the test tube in the first place.
Posted by kma08021 1 year ago
kma08021
"I mean, We kinda already do legislate that, In most states abortion is only allowed up until the third trimester, And considering that around the beginning of the third trimester seems to be where the fetus begins to develop the necessary brain function to have a conscious experience, Legislating around that doesn't seem to hard"
- You can't legislate something that unspecific. "Abortion is legal up until around 6 months gestation". . . That doesn't work. You can't say "abortion is legal up until the third trimester because that's when consciousness starts" because that's not true. Consciousness could start before the third trimester begins and that baby could be legally aborted. Your argument wouldn't hold. If you're going to restrict abortion to a certain point of gestation, That point needs to be definitive and consistent. Your point is neither.

"Also, Most of the argument I'm currently presenting is about the ethics of abortion, Not the pragmatic legislative application. "
- I can see that. Your thoughts, Though thought-provoking and interesting, Are hardly applicable to law.

"Do you think having sex using contraceptive is immoral since we are preventing the natural process that would lead to conception and then eventually to the attainment of consciousness without the existence of said contraceptives preventing that natural process? "
- No. Preventing an egg from fertilizing (or the releasing of an egg in this case) does not end a life, Which I define as a fertilized egg (the point of conception). I'm being consistent with my definition of life. I wear a seat belt in my car to prevent me from being injured in a car accident. I am preventing what would happen to my body naturally if I were to be in a car accident without a seat belt.
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