Why is abortion morally acceptable



My argument for this round will essentially be a rebuttal of my opponent's reasoning, as none of my original claims seem to have been addressed by Con at all and are hence still valid.

My opponent's first argument in this round is that "the first thing to recognize is that all who are alive have benefited from not being aborted," saying that "all who make arguments for or against abortion recognize that they have enormously benefited from not being aborted." Con asserts that "not having been aborted is a prerequisite on having any discussion on abortion," contending that "assuming that you are happy with your current state of being, you at some point have to be happy that your mother never got an abortion."

As I explained in my argument last round, the same logic can be applied to the fertilization of egg cells. I'm sure that the people who are happy that they weren't aborted are the same people who are happy that their egg cell was fertilized (for one, I feel confident in saying that both Con and I have benefited from having had our egg cells fertilized). The argument that terminating a fetus is preventing a potential life and the argument that failing to fertilize an egg cell is preventing a potential life use the exact same logic - unless my opponent is arguing that it would be morally unacceptable not to force every woman to have every last one of her egg cells fertilized (Source 1), his argument is invalid. A potential being with the potential ability to think and feel is much different than an actual being with an actual ability to think and feel - if this wasn't the case, Con would essentially have to be arguing that all egg cells, sperm cells, and other 'potential' human beings deserve the same rights as actual, already formed human beings. If I'm not mistaken, this is absurd.

Con failed to address my above logic in his last argument, though it was clearly presented in my Round 3 post.

My opponent's second argument in this round seems to be that "killing unless in self defense is not morally acceptable." Presumably, by implying that killing in self defense is morally acceptable, my opponent is defending the practice of abortion if the mother's life is endangered. However, I find this immensely hypocritical, as killing in self defense is extremely different than killing an innocent being in order to save yourself. For example, it would be morally permissible for Person A to kill Person B in self defense if Person B is already trying to kill Person A, but I doubt it would be morally acceptable for Person A to kill Person B if Person B is just an innocent bystander. In the case of abortion in order to save the mother's life, the second situation is the relevant one, as Person A (the mother) is killing 'Person' B (the fetus) even though Person B has done nothing wrong. Once more, I clearly addressed this claim earlier in my third round argument, though my opponent seems to have yet again failed to try to rebuke any of my arguments.

My opponent's next argument revolves around his belief that "any being carrying the cell structure, body structure, and potential capacity of a human is to be considered one as well." However, there are two main problems with this, both of which I have addressed earlier (once more, my opponent seems to not be able to mention or rebuke any of the arguments I have made). First of all, a fetus does not have the complete "cell structure" and "body structure" of a living, breathing human until well into the third trimester of pregnancy (Source 2; please note that I am only arguing in favor of abortion during the first two trimesters, as stated above). Fetal development is constant and gradual - it's not like one day there isn't the cell/body structure of a human being and the next day there is. I would like my opponent to clarify at which specific point he believes a fetus has the cell/body structure necessary to be classified as a human being - certainly, this point can't be conception, as at conception the zygote has no major structural similarities whatsoever to an actual, developed human. My second problem with my opponent's claim is that "any being carrying the... potential capacity of a human is to be considered one as well." As I stated above, this would mean that all egg and sperm cells deserve the same rights and protections as fully-functioning human beings, as egg and sperm cells are, in fact, potential human beings. I surely hope Con isn't arguing that women should be forced to use every single last one of the egg cells that they produce during their life time.

My opponent's next argument contends that "the issue of abortion hinges on the question of personhood," saying that "abortion is by definition terminating the life of a being, which is murder." My opponent also states that "there is no all accepted idea that a fetus is or is not a human being," though insists that "most, if not all humans have the ability to understand that taking the life of another human being, unless under dire circumstance, is a grievous sin, thus becoming immoral." Of course, besides the blatant contradiction created by the latter two statements (my opponent states that there isn't a consensus on whether a fetus is a human being but simoultaneously suggests that taking the life of one is 'a grevious sin'), this argument is still flawed. As my opponent does admit, there isn't a consensus on whether a fetus should be considered to have the rights and protections of a living, breathing human being. Hence, it is up to both Con and I to present and defend our subjective moralities and explain why they are correct in determining whether a fetus does deserve said rights and protections. While I have already presented my argument in this regard (please refer to basically all of my Round 2 argument), Con is yet to do so. He has already stated that "it is not good to debate from a religious sense," though I'm yet to see his argument in defense of his theory that a fetus should be given full rights and protections from conception (once more, my argument regarding this matter is explained in essentially all of my Round 2 post).

My opponent also contends in his argument that I believe that "morality is not enforced by outside sources." As my opponent has stressed again and again, our moralities are subjective, meaning they differ from person to person. While one person's subjective morality might be internal, that of another might be affected by an outside source, such as religion. Frankly, it seems like Con is accusing me of saying things that I'm not. My opponent has stressed on quite a few occassions that this argument is about our subjective moralities, a statement that I agree with. However, he seems to be under the false impression that I have the full Burden of Proof in this debate and am hence compelled to defend my subjective morality while my opponent must merely attack it - this, of course, is untrue. As I established in Round 1, the BoP is shared in this debate, meaning that both of us have equal duties to present our subjective moralities and defend them. My opponent spends a large portion of his argument contending that, regardless of whether abortion should be permissible from a legal perspective, I cannot prove that it should be permissible from a moral perspective. Con states repetitively that I "cannot prove, that there is a objective morality in which abortion is legal," saying that I can only "prove that there is a subjective morality in which abortion is legal." While this is true, my opponent is clearly implying that it is up to me and solely me to provide proof for the validity of my subjective morality - this, of course, is blatantly untrue as per the terms of the BoP established in Round 1 of the debate. My opponent has just as much of an obligation to present and defend his version of subjective morality as I do - contrary to what he seems to be asserting, I am not obliged whatsoever to provide more evidence in favor of my morality than Con is for his.

Overall, I believe I have successfully demonstrated in this round why my opponent's arguments regarding the morality of abortion are invalid. As my opponent is yet to present a rebuttal of my original claims (it seems that he wants to avoid doing so), my original argument in favor of abortion's moral permissibility still stands, while his seems to have been invalidated. Once more, I must stress that the Burden of Proof in this debate is shared, meaning that my opponent is just as responsible for accounting for his subjective morality's validity as I am mine.

Thanks, and good luck! :)


1. http://my.clevelandclinic.org...

2. http://www.parents.com...;

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Once again, your argument does not resemble one that can be proven by facts.

There is no large counter argument that can be made that specifically explains whether or not abortion can be morally acceptible.

The debate in question is if abortion IS morally acceptable, which varies from person to person.

You may state that abortion is acceptable and I may state that it is unacceptable. Until you prove that somehow all humans share an objective moral stance on abortion itself, and then define what occurs, then your argument will actually be plausible. On the other hand, your argument can be easily shut down because it is subjective.

Abortion is not acceptable in accordance with my moral stance, but it may be with yours.

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