Abortion: Pro Life

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by muffinman, May 29, 2006.

  1. muffinman macrumors 6502

    muffinman

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    #1
    Hey all. I need some arguments to support a Pro Life view on abortion. Our thesis is "Abortion is Murder." We're having a debate in school, and whoever better argues their side gets an A and whoever does not argue it as well gets below an A...

    So basically what I need are

    1. Pro Life arguments
    2. Pro Choice arguments, and how to counter it (rebuttals)
    3. Any websites with good arguments, rebuttals, statistics...etc.

    Thanks so much! Help me get an "A!"
     
  2. vniow macrumors G4

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    #2
    I'll be the first to take bets on how quickly this turns into a flame war, gets closed or gets moved to the Political forums. Any takers?
     
  3. muffinman thread starter macrumors 6502

    muffinman

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    #3
    Yeah let me make a note. Please no personal views, just arguments. And dont take anything personaly. It's for a school debate.
     
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #4
    Well, let's hope not. This isn't a pro-life or pro-choice thread, and I'll attempt to keep it that way.

    This is a thread for arguments in favor of the pro-life cause. One can debate a position regardless of whether one's true beliefs lie there, and I think it's best if we do not discuss our opinions on the topic here, just arguments for muffinman.

    FWIW, I think it's a bad idea to only allow one side to receive an 'A' - or, for that matter, to say that the winning side gets one regardless.

    Anyway, I think the major, definitive pro-life argument is that the fetus is a human child, and destroying that fetus is murder. We would not allow children to be killed once born, and I think the common man would not consider intentionally killing a child during the process of birth to be ethical or moral. From there, we can conclude that killing a child moments before birth is also not ethical or moral. Now that that's established, it becomes a question of when killing the unborn child - and use that term, not fetus - is allowable. Using this argument, it's pretty easy to say that there's never a definitive time when it cannot be considered murder. Now, I'm not arguing that it's the most logical of arguments, but it'll come across as rather sound, I think.
     
  5. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #5
    It will never last in any forum.
     
  6. muffinman thread starter macrumors 6502

    muffinman

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    #6
    Exactly. Thank you.

    So,...any arguments?
     
  7. blackfox macrumors 65816

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    #7
    muffinman, for now, I might suggest searching MR for threads about abortion - I know in the Political Forum there have been a few...You might be able to find some cogent examples of positions on both sides of the aisle.

    Perhaps that will be a start for you.
     
  8. vniow macrumors G4

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    #8
    I may be wrong here but what I can gather, its more of which side is better debated which determines the grade, not which side actually wins. At least I hope its that way.
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #9
    I think you're right. It's just that I used to judge debate professionally (as in "made a few hundred on a good weekend at tournaments", not as in "and am now living on my own island in the south Pacific"), and I saw many debates where both teams failed to argue well, as well as many where both did an outstandingly good job. To say in advance one team will get an "A" and the other cannot is not, in my mind, a valid decision.
     
  10. muffinman thread starter macrumors 6502

    muffinman

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    #10
    Sorry. Yes, it is whichever side is better argued. And thanks jsw for an argument
     
  11. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #11
    IMO, the whole abortion debate is actually pretty simple. Either you believe a fetus is a human life or you don't.

    If you believe a fetus is a human life then abortion is pretty clearly murder, and it cannot ever be justified, except perhaps to save the life of the mother, on a self-defense line of reasoning. I'm a staunch defender of civil rights and liberties, but if the fetus is a human being, you can't kill it any more than you can kill a child. No right of personal autonomy can justify murder.

    If you don't believe a fetus is a human life, then it's a part of the mother's own body, and the state can no more tell her that she must keep it than it can tell her that she must keep her arm or kidney.

    The Supreme Court takes a third position, that a fetus is "the potentiality of human life" but not human life itself, and thus it is entitled to some measure of protection but not the same level as a human being.

    I think that the two sides in this debate are really talking past each other - the pro-lifers are talking about whether the fetus is a child (they say yes, of course), and the pro-choicers are talking about the civil liberties of the mother. I'm pro-choice (well, see below), but I have to give the pro-life folks credit; they are discussing the right issue and the pro-choice folks aren't. As much as I support women's rights in particular and civil liberties in general, if a fetus is a child then abortion is murder and talking about the mother's right to choose really isn't relevant. You can't legally choose to commit murder.

    So, then, how do I resolve the question? Well, I'd look at it scientificially. When a fetus can survive on its own outside the womb (and I don't mean hooked up to machines that breathe for it and pump blood for it, but actually living on its own) then it is a person and is entitled to all of the protections extended to every person. Before that point, the fetus is a part of the mother, and she should have absolute control over what happens to it, just like she has absolute control over her kidneys.
     
  12. floriflee macrumors 68030

    floriflee

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    #12
    Hmmm... this is a tough one to argue for sure.

    Arguably the point is going to be made that it is the woman's right to decide how to treat her body. As a counter, though, the decision to potentially have children was made when she chose to have intercourse. It is one of the consequences of the action. The obvious exceptions are when the woman was raped, in which case the argument goes in an entirely different direction. For women that don't want children/can't sustain a child reasonably due to her available means there is the alternative of putting the child up for adoption.

    Not sure if that helps (I haven't completely thought it through just yet), but it's a start.
     
  13. Blackheart macrumors 6502a

    Blackheart

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    #13
    Let me play pro-life-advocate, for muffinman's sake.

    Even after the child has left the womb, it is still in need of assistance to live. Unlike a grown person, whom can feed and protect itself, the recently-born child still well underdeveloped. Thus, I would point out that this child isn't yet a "person" (where there term "person" is being used to describe an entity with the right-to-life) because it is very much in the same state of being as the fetus, unable to protect or support its own life. Might we say, then, that it is okay to end the life of this recently-born child because it doesn't satisfy the requirement of self protection/support?

    NOTE - please do not turn this into a flame war. Let's keep this a civil debate for the sake of helping a fellow MR member to get an A on a project.
     
  14. nbs2 macrumors 68030

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    #14
    I think that Cassidy did a fine job of presenting both sides in a way that allows for solid expansion, plus a nice method of attack in the debate. I think another issue that could be raised, if you choose to go after Roe directly is to point out that overturning Roe would not make abortion illegal, it just allows the populace to choose whether to adopt it or not. No different than one state allowing assisted suicide when another doesn't or one state letting cousins marry and another not.

    For a more comprehensive review of their expected arguments and counters they will prepare for, I'd go to the major pro-life and pro-choice organization sites and find their arguments. I'd love to make suggestions, but I try to focus on topics that are more likely to affect me (like taxes and the economy) - after all, I can't get an abortion no matter how hard I try.:D

    On a side note - we are almost 45 minutes of civil analysis of the OP's problem...that's 40 minutes longer than I expected...
     
  15. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

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    #15
    Floriflee brings up an interesting issues regarding pregnancies caused by rape. You should anticipate the other team using this as a possible example to support a pro-choice argument. It is a difficult argument to counter and I honestly can't think of a way how at the moment. :eek:
     
  16. muffinman thread starter macrumors 6502

    muffinman

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    #16
    funny.

    I also have another request. If the other side asked me, "What if child birth was going to hurt the mother and they had to follow through with an abortion?," how would I counter that?

    Again thanks to all the responses, and lets not take anything personally. As Blackheart stated, lets keep this a civil debate.

    The way I would counter that would give a statistic of how rape constitutes only 1% of abortions. Following that would be a counter argument of how the child should not take the punishment for the father's act.
     
  17. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #17
    1. It's killing babies who would be better off not being aborted and living with their crack whore mothers who don't care about the kid.
    2. Anyone who's pro-choice is a baby killing, devil worshipping liberal who will burn in hell
    3. The bible



    There, that's about all you need to know to take a pro-life stance :D
     
  18. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #18
    Of course, this begs the question of whether we'd then be free to kill anyone on life support. Therefore, I'd argue that the inability to survive on its own is insufficient reason to discount the claim of murder.

    Again, this is all for the debate, and thanks to people for keeping it that way.

    Edit: question: is the pro-life stance supposed to be one where it is never, under any circumstances, appropriate to abort a pregnancy? Or are exceptions allowed?
     
  19. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #19

    Depends who you ask. Some pro lifers say, never, ever, under any circuimstances abort the baby, others say its OK in the case of rape or the mom's life is in danger.

    I have a feeling for the purpose of his class, it should be never, ever OK. A great way to not get an A on a debate is to be wishy washy and be like "You shouldn't do this, but it's OK if _______"
     
  20. yojitani macrumors 68000

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    #20
    Why not check wikipedia, the first line of research. Also, if your school has access to Issues and Controversies, use that (it's a great resource for debates, opinion papers, etc)...
    The other thing to do is go through some the pro-life/choice websites. In teacher mode, I suppose, I'm suggesting you do some research!
    ... and make sure to pay attention to the language of each argument not just the argument itself.

    (BTW. totally disagree with the idea of giving the losing debate team less than an A - it's not whether you win or lose, but how well you research and present your arguments)
     
  21. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #21
    I was thinking the same thing. Plus, a lot of debates, unless one of the debaters is an absolute idiot, it's tough to say someone won. I think the grade should be how well you researched and presented your argument, and if both sides did an excellent job, A's for everyone.
     
  22. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

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    #22
    Trying to make it appear as a non-issue by giving the 1% statistic may not be effective as you think. It's kind of like saying "eh, it's not that big of a problem so let's just not worry about it". Personally I think this would weaken your argument.

    Regarding the concept of punishment, why should the mother be "punished" for something she had no control over. Her body was abused, and she will have to live with the consequences of another persons actions.

    I'm not trying to say your arguments aren't good, I'm just trying to pick out things that may weaken them or provide for rebuttal from the opposing team. :)
     
  23. nbs2 macrumors 68030

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    #23
    Thanks - that line has gotten me out of many a situation where someone wanted to debate abortion with me (oh the irony of this thread)...;)

    I'm not sure I understand the question - is the question alluding to the idea that the child birth would cause physical harm to the mother or the idea that the mother isn't comfortable with idea of the pain that accompanies birth? I think you are asking what if the mother would suffer physical harm and abortion was the only was to stop that, so I will try and answer that. "Being pro-life isn't about being absolutist in your stance. The pro-life stance is concerned that the rights of the child are not tossed aside for reasons of convenience. A child has a right to have a mother. If the mother would suffer serious harm as a result of the birth, then the right of the child to live must be weighed in balance with the following: the right of the mother to live, the right of the child to have a mother and the right of any other children to have their mother." I'm not sure how your debate is structured, but the extremes on both sides of the debate are failures because they refuse to see exceptions to their arguments. There are times when a choice can never be allowed, and there are times when a choice is essential.

    I'm getting dangerously close to taking a stance here, so please take my comments as carefully as you can.

    EDIT: Going to the rape issue (assuming you have to take a no-exception stance) I think you may be able to pull out something pointing out that we do not allow the family of murder victims to take revenge on innocent third parties, let alone the perps (except in civil court). Why should we punish the innocent party here when the criminal is the father of the child. Killing the child would be like killing the perpetrator's (pick a dear family member, 90 yo grandmother is always a good choice), especially since neither can defend themselves. Remember, when confronted with a sticky issue, try and analogize to the Law. Rule of Law coupled with an equally sentimental issue should cut them down.
     
  24. ksz macrumors 68000

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    #24
    Excluding cases of rape (and possibly incest) and endangerment, a previous poster is partially correct to say that the female made a choice to engage in activity that would lead to conception. However, the male also made that choice. The male could have acted responsibly if not the female. But the consequences of that decision affect the female much more than the male. So, first of all, since we are talking about a matter of ethics and morality, we should stress that most cases of abortion could have been avoided.

    But mistakes will happen. And responsibility/good judgement will not always be exercised.

    That brings us to the problem of having to deal with the aftermath of an unwanted pregnancy. Here, the Supreme Court is correct, in my view, to suggest that the developing embryo is a potential human being, not a real human being. At some point in its development, however, the embryo has obtained sufficient levels of development to be considered neurologically alive.

    There is a point beyond which the embryo ceases to become a mere amalgamation of cells and begins to develop consciousness. That exact point is unknown. Some neurologists argue that even the neonatal brain is insufficiently developed for consciousness (and that neonatal responses such as crying, suckling, and other behaviors are governed by autonomic activities in the brain stem), while others contend that sufficient neurological development has already taken place prior to birth.

    The Supreme Court, therefore, gives the embryo the benefit of the doubt and prohibits abortion after the 6th month of pregnancy (third trimester). Prior to this, the embryo is considered to be a mass of cells that has not sufficiently formed, and is legally abortable.

    The main question (leaving all religion and superstition out) is, therefore, the point at which consciousness begins. Just as we can suspend life support for a fully grown adult that is "brain dead", we ought to recognize that there is also a point in the stages of the developing embryo where it, too, is "brain dead".

    So as long as the embryo is brain dead, it is effectively dead.

    But this argument doesn't stop here. One can say that the brain-dead adult has lost all potential for life, whereas the developing embryo has NOT. But in any case, as long as the embryo is brain-dead, are we really "killing" anyone?
     
  25. floriflee macrumors 68030

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    #25
    A counter to the counter can always be adoption. While the child may have been conceived through forcible means it still has a right to live--even if it's with an adoptive family that could help give it a better quality of life.

    However, I'm not quite sure how to overcome a counter to that which could consist of how to expect a rape victim also go through the trauma of labor. :eek:

    Arguing these points definitely becomes harder if you still have to be strictly pro-life for extenuating circumstances.

    EDIT: I concur with max_altitude and nbs2 regarding their points about the rape issue. To merely use stats makes your argument come off as weak and makes you look like you're not really "into" the issue. The more personal you can make your intelligent arguments the better your chance of touching a nerve and hitting your point home.
     

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