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Abortion should be legal until 8 weeks of pregnancy

(PRO)
WINNER!
13 points
(CON)
0 points
BlackflagBlackflag (PRO)
I thank my opponent for accepting this contentious issue, and am hoping for an absolutely smashing debate. 



Society has come a long way since the late 1800's. From civil rights onward, more intelligent people have been taking the stand, giving the facts, and leading the progression of abortion laws to the stage they're at now. We have come to an easy compromise between "Liberty", "Necessity", and "Human Rights" with abortion. I am no fan of the world's current abortion law, probably for the same reason's my opponent is. The majority of abortion clinics are  allowed to legally service abortions from 5 to 12 weeks, before the practice comes illegal in most nations. 

The Problem? Abortion is no longer respecting  the lifeform developing inside the womb. At the age of 8 weeks, a number of key changes occur, that see the transformation of an embryo into a fetus. Including the development of moderate cell structure, the establishment of early organs, and sensitivity cells. Yes, starting at 8 weeks of pregnancy, the fetus can begin to feel pain. 

While this fetus isn't capable of the four traits Saint Augustine of Hippo described as the "Hierarchy of Life and Essence of Humanity", being "Instinct", "Sentience", "Existence", and "Reason". Augustine equates the four traits, with 3 different classes of life.
- A rock, which only exists
- A dog, which exists, has sensation, and has instinct.
- The human, which exists, has sensation, instinct, and finally, reason. 

The fetus lies somewhere in between the rock and the dog. Until 8 weeks of pregnancy, a fetus only exists. It has no sensation, instinct, or reason. At 8 weeks, it develops sensation, and like any humanitarian, I am firmly against the selfish killing of a sensate being. The fact that only Austria has decided to curb the injustice facing "potential humans", shows just how much farther liberals have to go. For there is liberty in the "absence of parenthood", just as there is liberty in the "Right of Sentient Life". While I don't believe the fetus should have the liberty of that of a reasoning and instinctual grown human, I do believe there are basic civil liberties that should be afforded to all sentient beings. 

There is great evil taking place in our respective nations, and it starts at 8-12 weeks. I leave the floor to the opposition.

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-10-14 21:21:03
| Speak Round
SitaraSitara (CON)
Thank you for the debate. I believe that life begins at fertilization when a new human being is created. I believe this life deserves protection unless the mother's life is in danger. The fact is that most abortions take place 56 or more days after fertilization. If a woman wants to prevent pregnancy, she has that right. I do not agree with abortion because the fetus is a living baby that is not part of the mothers body.

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-10-15 05:01:20
| Speak Round


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9spaceking9spaceking
why did this end at round 2?
Posted 2014-10-28 19:22:10
BlackflagBlackflag
I'm so embarassed I forfeited. Sorry
Posted 2014-10-22 10:37:46
The judging period on this debate is over

Previous Judgments

2014-10-27 14:52:21
whiteflameJudge: whiteflame    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: Blackflag
Reasoning:
While I don't believe that either side did much to uphold its respective burdens, Pro does the more thorough job. He explains specifically why abortions should only be legal up to 8 weeks of pregnancy, though his case begs the question: what makes those differences important? Why should they stay our hand, while other differences don't? Much of that explanation is absent from this debate, as is discussion of why abortion exists in the first place. Con's case is just threadbare. She takes on a much larger burden of proof (all abortion is wrong), and then only backs it up with unwarranted opinion. Pro's warrants may not go far enough, but Con's warrants never even begin. Hence, I vote Pro.

Feedback:
Legion - Take a step back from the issue of "why 8 weeks" and really talk about why abortion exists in its current state. In this case, it might be best to make it clear that the dividing line (12 weeks) is incredibly arbitrary, set based on some characteristics that appear around that time which may have little to nothing to do with personhood. You also have to spend the time to say why personhood matters, and why pre-personhood is negligibly important.

SitaraMusica - I realize you're relatively new to the site and probably to debate in general, and I don't mean to be overly harsh here. You obviously have strong opinions on abortion, as do most people. The key here is to make it clear that your opinion is well grounded in the realities of the world around us. Why might a zygote, for example, have a right to life? What separates a zygote from an 8 week old fetus, and should those differences matter? Does a growing child become a person at 8 weeks, or are they merely on a continuum of development, with personhood being established at fertilization? There are arguments to that effect that could be made, as well as arguments for why something that is likely to eventually become a person should be treated as a person. Those things need to appear in your argument.
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2014-10-28 02:18:53
nzlockieJudge: nzlockie    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: Blackflag
Reasoning:
This ruling is fairly obvious. Quite simply, PRO made a case that had some substance to it and addressed the resolution, CON stated an opinion which told me they were personally against abortions in general but which included the fact that most abortions don't take place until after 8 weeks anyway!

I was left very sure that CON did not like abortion, but was left unclear whether there was even any issue here for debate since their side made the claim that most abortions happen after the 8 week deadline. A deadline which PRO agreed should be the point where abortions should be illegal.

While all this was somewhat bemusing, the cold facts were that PRO build a case for their side, showing that things change for the baby at that 8 week marker. These things matched the "Essence of Life" table to the point where I was convinced that the embryo is more than just a rock.
PRO was not arguing that the fetus had reached full human rights level, merely that we respect its sentience to the point where we don't simply abort it.

I really didn't feel it was a STRONG case, but it was MORE than adequate to earn the win.
CON had no real support for their case outside of stating their opinion.


Feedback:
Lots to work on here:

PRO:
1. Don't forfeit. Even if you think you've got the case won/lost already, it is just a bad look to forfeit as well as being disrespectful to your opponent.

2. Use sources to back your claims. I would have considered your case stronger if you had had some sources backing some of your medical claims up. I'm not a medical professional and in this case, you're not either. As it happened your claims went undisputed but if your opponent had decided to claim that sentience didn't occur until 9 weeks then your case would have been a lot worse off. Those claims would not have been hard for you to source and you should have done so.

3. Address the BOP. Your BOP in this debate was that Abortion should be legal. Instead you chose to devote the majority of your case arguing that it should be illegal. Had your opponent come out and argued strongly that sentience CAN happen at 7 weeks, then I would have probably awarded them the win. You gave me no reason why Abortion should be legal at all, and that was your primary burden - not the cutoff date.
Your case would have better suited a res of, "Abortion should be illegal after the fetus is 8 weeks old."

Understand me, I think the way you decided to argue this was clever, and it DID earn you the win. You needed to address the 8 week marker and you did. All I'm saying is that you never once gave me ONE clear reason why abortions should be legal at all.

4. Sense vs Sentience. They're not the same thing and it bugged me that I couldn't work out whether you knew that. You're a smart guy so I'm sure you did, but it SEEMED like you were arguing that the ability to feel a physical sensation was the same thing as the sentient awareness that Augustine refers to.
Your case was not hurt by this. I want to make that clear. To me this is the same thing as a spelling mistake or poor word choice. As a judge, I want to feel confident that the case is smart. It's harder for me to do that if I'm asking questions about the guy presenting that case to me.
This was actually a lesson in clear communication I needed to learn myself, so thanks for that.

5. It bugs me every time I hear someone make a statement about the "world's law" or the "world's view". If you are going to say that the world thinks one way, I'm always going to question that, so source it. Had you been able to point to some summit with 90% representation of the world's nations, or something in the UN charter, then fine, I'll go with it. Even just citing examples from a smattering of nations where every continent is represented would be enough.
But the world is a big place and saying that we all agree on anything is tricky.
Saying that the world has a current abortion law is something I'd expect to see backed up. Otherwise just use the qualifier, "most".

6. On a personal note, you seem to start many of your debates with a video. I want to send you a message that, as a judge, I don't watch these videos unless you tell me what they're there for. I'm afraid of being unfairly influenced by a case put forward by a third party rather than you.
Now that I've made my judgement, I've listened to it and I realise it's just music and unrelated pictures.
Had you simply stated that form the getgo and suggested that I should listen to it while I read your case, that would have been better.
As it is, I automatically go on the defensive, suspicious that you are trying sneaky tricks. Not exactly the vibe I think you were going for.

CON:
Your list is much shorter. This should not be misinterpreted as a good thing though!
It seems that you have a firm opinion on Abortion and that is a very good thing. I want to hear your opinion. All of it. I want you to tell me WHAT you believe and most importantly, WHY you believe it. And that "why" needs to be backed up with objective evidence. That's how debate works.

On the other hand, simply stating a personal belief is basically just arguing. In debate, your job is to convince. I don't even know you so I'm never going to be convinced if your only argument is that this is what YOU think.

I'm interested to hear your opinion, but I'm more interested to find out if that opinion has been formed by you actually researching the topic. In THIS case you didn't convince of that, but I sincerely hope that you will next time. If you decide to take another crack at this, (or any other) resolution, let me know, or any one of the other users here. We'll be happy to help you prepare your case!

Finally, as I said to PRO, don't forfeit. Generally if one side forfeits and the other side doesn't, that side has a very good chance of winning through conduct alone. You DO need to make a case as well, but forfeits not only fail to make a case, they leave a bad impression.

I hope this judgement hasn't put you off, get stuck in and have another crack.
4 users rated this judgement as constructive
2 comments on this judgement
Legion Legion
Nominated this for vote of the century. Kudos, especially on a one round debate.
Posted 2014-10-28 21:28:01
nzlockienzlockie
Haha - thanks. Extra credit since I wrote it all in bed on my tablet. Swipe to text is awesome.
Posted 2015-08-26 09:59:37
2014-10-28 09:42:10
lannan13Judge: lannan13    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: Blackflag
Reasoning:
A majority of Pro's argument fell uncontended as Con dropped it.
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2014-10-28 19:30:05
9spacekingJudge: 9spaceking
Win awarded to: Blackflag
Reasoning:
It is obvious who wins here. Sitara only makes one sound point with the baby's rights to her/his body in contrast to the mother's rights to her body. On the other hand pro manages to show the clear difference, especially to the 8 weeks part of the resolution. Even though he does not explain thoroughly why exactly the four categories are important, he manages, even though vaguely, to hint that, at the very least, babies have "something essential in their core to make them human". As this argument is dropped by con, pro wins the debate.

Feedback:
Try not to forfeit, both of you. Con, put more effort into your arguments. You need to counter and exploit the hole in pro, especially since he had no grounding within his vague arguments about how babies' differences against other animals, especially after 8 weeks, are important and should be noted. Furthermore, pro, you only make a good case for illegality of abortion after 8 weeks, not legality for before 8 weeks; you have to address both to fulfill your BoP!!
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