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Head-2-Head: Abortion: A Woman's Right to Choose

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posted on Apr, 20 2007 @ 04:25 PM
Welcome to Another Head-2-Head Debate!

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Pro - 2l82sk8
Con - clearwater


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posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 08:00 PM
First, I would like to thank Chissler for this thread and the guidelines and rules set forth, which makes this very exciting opportunity, for my first debate, possible.

To my opponent clearwater, I thank you also for this opportunity. I look forward to a good debate and wish you well, my new friend.

In this debate, I endeavor to show that the right to choose an abortion, which is already legal in most countries, is not only a choice protected by law, but is a woman’s inherent natural human right to choose when, why, and if she has children, or interrupts the process post-conception, and why having such a choice is vital, as well as endeavoring to show, that being forced to have an unwanted baby by those who oppose abortion would have ramifications for mother and child which would fail society and humankind two-fold.

To begin, I'd like to pre-empt the usual hype around the topic of abortion, by discussing the titles most associated with the debate, the ‘right to choose’ vs. ‘the right to life,’ and the term ‘pro-life’ as they really are misnomers for the debate about abortion and a woman’s ‘right to choose.’ The title of ‘right to choose’ is often misunderstood, while the title of ‘right to life’ or being ‘pro-life’ is entirely misleading.

In the most logical and literal sense, the right to choose actually supports the right to life and is a very positive position. Those who believe in a woman’s right to choose do not believe abortion is the only answer to unwanted pregnancies, but is a viable one, and should be a woman’s choice.

The right to choose abortion is not about being anti-life, murder or about sin, though the opposition to a woman’s right to choose abortion does try to melodramatically paint such a picture. The use of the title of ‘right to life’ and ‘pro life’ are deceptive, implying they hold the positive position in the debate, and are protecting life, when in fact, they intend to create circumstances that would degrade or ruin lives.

The issue of a woman’s right to choose to obtain abortion, and abortion itself, is not about the death of a baby, or murder, as the extremists like to try to portray it as. Abortion, and the legal right to choose it, instead is really about the right to life, a woman’s life, and her rights to make choices to secure her quality of life.

It is that simple. Those who truly believe they support life by being anti abortion, or who are sympathetic or supportive of the so called right to life movement should realize, legal abortion is a viable way of exercising a woman’s own right to life.

I think is important to make this distinction and to point out what many people do not realize, even those who consider themselves pro-life, and that is, that the terms ‘right to choose’ and ‘right to life’ by literal and actual definition of the words, and applied to the actual reasons for abortion, are really synonymous.

The opposition to abortion would have you believe otherwise, but truly, the choice to have an abortion is about a woman preserving her own life, health, and well being, and protecting society and children from the undue burden of unwanted and possibly abused and neglected children.

Both terms, the right to choose and the right to life, can be applied to a woman’s right to make her own appropriate choices regarding securing her own privacy, reproductive choices and rights, and her own quality of life.The actual so-called right to life movement, is often known as, or associated as being pro life, but what they really want is to strip away the choice for a woman to secure her own right to her own life, for the cause of the potential of life in the tissues within her person.

Not everyone who is anti-abortion, or part of the right to life movement is actually pro life by definition, but they are merely ignorant of what they support as much as what they oppose. Here, I will often call them what they actually are, simply anti-abortion or anti-choice.

To oppose abortion, or a woman’s right to choose, based on the premise of protecting the right to life is ignorant and illogical. I do not see how is it logical to weigh the fact a woman exists as a person, with the fact the product of conception only has the potential for life, as equal. Or worse yet, that the woman even has less right to life than that which merely holds the potential for life. The woman’s human rights should not be negated for the cause of the potential for life.

For the women who choose abortion, the interruption of an untimely or otherwise unwanted pregnancy, and the expulsion of the product of conception, helps to ensure they have the opportunities and choices in their life they have a natural right to. Opportunities such as finishing school, obtaining higher education, securing or continuing a career, and control over when, with whom, and if, to raise children, or in some cases, how many children they have and raise. It is also a choice that affords them the opportunity to do what they feel is necessary, to secure their own physical health and psychological well being.

So, let me give the facts, without the melodrama often accompanied by the opposition to abortion. Abortion is defined as the expulsion of the products of conception before the embryo or fetus is viable. Any interruption of the process of a human pregnancy prior to the 28th week is known as abortion.

There are three kinds of abortion, known as spontaneous abortion, therapeutic abortion, and abortion. The first, spontaneous abortion, also known as miscarriage, which signifies the delivery of a nonviable embryo or fetus due to factors outside of a woman’s choice or medical practitioner’s control, is more common in the first 6 weeks, and often occurs without a woman’s knowledge even.

A therapeutic abortion is an induced abortion performed to preserve the health or the very life of the mother, and is one of the reasons a woman may choose abortion.

To purposely induce a miscarriage, due to a woman’s choice, and her basic natural human rights of securing her quality of life, is known as an abortion.

In the United States, the central court decision that created current abortion laws, making the choice for abortion legal is Roe v. Wade.

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 162 (1973)

In this decision, the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that women had a constitutional right to abortion.

Historically, long before Roe vs Wade in the US, there is evidence that suggests pregnancies were terminated, abortions performed, through a variety of ancient methods. Abortion dates back to at least 300 BC. In earliest documentation, it is known there was the administration of certain abortifacient herbs and natural remedies to end undesired pregnancies, as well as the use of sharpened implements, the application of abdominal pressure, and many other techniques. These methods along with history of abortion dates back to ancient times, according to anthropologists.

Today, almost two-thirds of the world’s population of women reside in countries where interrupting an unwanted pregnancy, abortion, is a choice women can legally make, though often still morally condemned by religious leaders and the anti-abortion zealots who claim they fight for the cause of the unborn, when more accurately it is usually a mass of cells or tissue they actually fight for rights for. When they fight for the right to life, it is actually only the potential for life they fight for, and in doing so, they hypocritically seek to deny the basic human right to life for another, in denying the pregnant woman her own right to life, a quality of life, a life of her choice and hopes and dreams.

However, those extremists are not the only weak link in the anti-abortion, or so called right to life movement, as the movement itself lacks in logic and reason in general, and is archaically heavily biased by religion. However, to comply with most religious dictates, they should realize their own sin in judging others. According to their own reasoning that abortion is sin, and God and religion are on their side, then it would stand to reason, they should abide by their own God’s rule, and let Him be judge, not them. They should, by their own standards, allow God to decide the moral issues and laws and let Him deal with those that trespass them.

So, the anti-abortion, anti-choice movement need realize and acknowledge what they are fighting for is to prevent professionally sound medically performed abortions, making them illegal, so thus preventing the right for a woman to receive good medical care in receiving an abortion and trading it for something much more evil than they claim abortion itself is.

Those that are anti abortion, or so called right to life supporters who petition to have laws prohibiting abortion, serve to perpetuate cycles of child abuse and return to the times where back-alley abortions by anyone claiming to be a doctor or nurse are performed in the worse ways and in the worse places. Back to the times of back alley butchers who would leave the young woman to die or be permanently scarred and infertile by botched and careless abortions. Or back to the archaic methods of trying to perform an abortion on one’s self.

The basic fact the anti abortion or right to life movement denies to themselves, is that they can not stop abortion. We know of it’s practice since 300 BC and we logically can conclude women will seek to end unwanted pregnancies as long as unwanted pregnancies are a reality. It is their inherent maternal choice, legal or not.

The ruining of the life of a woman or endangering the physical and psychological well being of her, or a baby or child resulting from an unwanted pregnancy and denial of access to a safe legal abortion, can not be pro anything, or considered supporting the right to any life, when it would in fact act to destroy lives. To deny abortions and degrade the quality of life for the woman, and the unwanted child, is a disservice to both them and to society in general.

posted on Apr, 24 2007 @ 08:45 PM
Thank you chissler and ATS for hosting this debate. And thank you 2l82sk8 for taking the time to debate this issue with me. It is an opportunity for two women to debate an issue that primarily concerns their own gender but an issue that is most often legislated into law by men.

Semantics: For the sake of this argument - Prenate will refer to the fertilized egg in any state of development preceding birth.

First: I would like to dispel the familiar poles concerning the abortion debate. No one denies the sanctity of life. Pro choice advocates protect the sanctity of female life by protecting her sovereignity over her own body and pro-life advocates protect the most vulnerable and voiceless member of the debate, the prenate.

Secondly: The speculated time of ensoulment has no bearing on the biological reality that a prenate has within it the potential for full human life, therefore to end the life of a prenate is to end his or her potential for life.

Thirdly: I wish to establish that the number of abortions being induced each year reflects a cultural degradation of life. Parental obligation is increasingly confined to one person, but involves an entire culture.

Widespread Elective Infanticide?

A woman's right to choose is a euphemism for the male irresponsibility and economic coercion that pressures women to have abortions. It's Orwellian double speak at it's finest - women are not lining up in droves to undergo abortions for the pleasure of it. If a woman truly had a right to choose, she would choose to respect the unique biological responsibility bestowed on her and enjoy the company of all her children in economic and social safety.

Approximately 2% of abortions occur at 21 weeks or later - the cerebral cortex begins development around 20 weeks. Dr Haskell, who developed the dilation and extraction procedure, told the 'American Medical News' in 1993 that only 20% of the abortions he performed between 20 and 24 weeks were for genetic reasons - leaving 80% of abortions performed in that period of gestation for elective reasons.

Assume most abortions are performed in the first trimester - when there is not a biological receptor enabling recognition of pain: Nevertheless, the biological potential for a full human life is present in the fertilized egg, no matter the period of gestation. If murder is removing not only a life, but all that life will ever achieve, love or possess, then aborting a viable prenate with all the potential for life encoded into his DNA is murder.

What are the reasons, other than genetic disability given for abortion? It is a calloused misconception to think that women choose abortion lightly; without reservation. Overpopulation is not an issue in North America, judging by the rising immigration quota's governments say are necessary to boost employee availability - the elective reason most often cited is economics.

Early pregnancy and motherhood statistically guarantee a life long struggle with poverty - while only 25% of men will dutifully pay child support - 95% of men never miss a car payment - if women birthed cars, they would be rich indeed. A little over half of the abortions performed in North America are performed on women under the age of 25

What is the difference between the underlying economic coercion that forces women into abortion and the Chinese state enforced abortions to counter over-population. The former relegates blame onto the woman, while the latter relegates responsibility to the state. Neither is ideal. There is no denying that while women still bear the biological responsibility of procreation, the economic and social disparities that define their secondary status are the underlying causes of abortion. In all cases, women and children are victimized.

Many cultures regard the birth of a boy as more auspicious than the birth of a girl, this reflects the higher earning capacity of males as well as the economic dependency child bearing forces upon females. In spite of the corporate practice of confining maternal leave to a matter of weeks, infants are not capable of surviving independently for a number of years. While the economic imperatives that dictate what work is valued and what work is not valued often hinge on concrete realities - such as physical strength or specific talent - there would be no workforce whatsoever, without female labor.

Capitalist economies define freeloaders as those who reap the benefits of other's labor with no contribution of their own. In that way, society and families are freeloading on the undervalued and unrecognized magnitude of female labor. Changing roles have ushered more men into the care-giving roles but not so economic recognition of those roles.

Women are the primary caregivers of children and the elderly, the primary housekeepers, cooks and nurses in a familial setting. Roles predicated by a biological determinant towards child birth. Roles, that some studies report would cost a family up to 100,000 dollars annually to employ. Roles that still reflect a 60 cents to the dollar wage disparity in what has become termed the pink ghetto. Women are also the sole incubators of new laborers for the work force, and it is a labor of love.

Padre Pio, a saint of our time who was reputed to read the minds of his penitents prior to confession, found the most unconfessed 'sin' was abortion. Implying not lack of conscience, but deep shame and regret. One needn't be religious to mourn the loss of what might have been a loving addition to one's life, as evinced by the profusion of poetry written by non religious feminists who have had abortions. Psychologists are not unaware of the regret that accompanies abortion.

Ensouled or not - once the prenate is disposed of, one has disposed of the potential for life. Spiritual beliefs or not, the loss is the same. Padre Pio's accounts, as well as the growing body of literature and psychological reports, reflect that women who have undergone an abortion are victimized alongside the child.

Both sides of the traditional abortion debate recognize that abortion is not a happy occasion or agreeable option, any surgical procedure exposes a person to health risks. Murder is not only taking a life, it's taking all the opportunities and potentials from that future life. In that sense extinguishing the life of a prenate is legally equatable to murder.

Certainly everyone has a personal responsibility for their actions, but no man is an island. Women with their biologically enforced dependence are perhaps less so, an island. In a world dominated by male economic advantage, it appears the social responsibility for parental obligation is being relegated to the more vulnerable members of the circumstance - the mother and child.

The recognition of female labor seems confined to how well they take on male roles and not compensation for that work which is traditionally female. When the state outlaws abortion and doesn't provide education and protective measures ensuring women have access to, at least, equal pay, then they are pro birth, and not pro life, which is simply another degradation of life and the role of motherhood.

Women with a strong sense of self esteem and access to economic opportunity are less likely to engage in self destructive sexual activity. Moreover, economic recognition of the sanctity and importance of motherhood would automatically elevate women and all life from the degradation of economic coercions for disposal.

Over half of the abortions performed annually in North America are done on women under 25 years of age. Only 17% of sexually active youth report using contraceptives. Contraceptives that have been aimed at the female populace, with varying degrees of dangerous side effects; including risk of stroke, heart attack and cancer. It is with comparative aversion, that the reason most often given for not using condoms, is a male dislike for the interference of latex to sexual stimulation.

In developing countries where women don't have the legal right to say no to sexual partners, the under use of condoms is at least understandable. In developed countries, with laws protecting women - the under use of condoms reflects the low self esteem evident in a girl's inability to demand protective measures. Abortion in this day and age is merely an extension of a male social and economic advantage.

Studies have shown that girls who become sexually active early in life are seeking affection, validation and love - the same is probably true for boys, but to lesser extent. The validation boys seek, encompasses the recognition of their sexual prowess by their peers. The double standard of promiscuity still exists for girls in spite of the 'sexual revolution.'

The most identifiable aspect of the 'sexual revolution' might be a young girls invitation to ignore the sanctity her own biological and emotional needs. A sexual revolution which has done little more than justify open season on women for all manner of exploitation and by virtue of their gender - open season on their children or the prenates they might one day regret not knowing.

We are no longer living in the stone age or an age without contraception. Availability of abortion reflects degradation of life - a degradation that begins with the lack of economic parity women experience due to their unique biological contribution to the world. Clearly what is required is not abortion, but recognition of the value of life and specifically economic recognition of a woman's biological contribution to society. It is abhorrent that a society with so much wealth - hoards it - by extinguishing the lives of those lacking any form of self defense, often at the emotional expense of the mother.

Real freedom of choice includes the freedom to choose life.

posted on Apr, 25 2007 @ 08:48 PM
First, to name the product of conception ‘the prenate’ for the cause of this debate, does not endow it with life or any rights. Furthermore, the voice, or opinion the pro life advocates supply, is not of the prenate, but those opinions opposed upon the prenate by those advocates.

The biological, not to mention logical reality is, that protecting the rights of a woman who is a fully functioning life already existing, is paramount over the subjective and pro life projected, unconstitutionally unrecognized rights of the potential for life represented by the prenate.

To deny the rights of a woman who is living, not only up to her potential for life as a living, breathing, thinking, separate entity, for that which is only the potential for life, is unconstitutional and unconscionable.

With your reasoning to the contrary, that the potential outweighs the actual, is comparable to someone fighting to have the death penalty sentence handed down for someone on the premise that it is not for the lesser crimes already committed, but because of the person’s potential to commit more heinous crimes in the future.

Widespread Elective Infanticide?

Not at all. Abortion is the interruption of pregnancy. Infanticide is to kill young living babies in the first stages of life outside of the womb.

A woman's right to choose is a euphemism for the male irresponsibility

Orwellian double speak exemplified in your statement as the overriding issues of the right to choose should be obvious and clear, and to call a woman’s right to choose a euphemism for male irresponsibility is not only an unfounded accusation against men, but quite blatant attempt to obscure the truth that a woman has a responsibility for her own actions and life and choices and an inherent and legal right to choose abortion independent of a man.

Also, there is no justification for you to assume, if given a choice a woman would not choose abortion, or try to portray that a woman would have economic and social security in which to raise her child just because she did not have an abortion. Are you proposing the burden of welfare be considered economic and social security?

You also make a grievous error in stating as some sort of fact that she would enjoy the company of her children when many young single women denied the choice of abortion, due to pressure of family, religion, and society, are forced to have babies and give them up for adoption- a physical, emotional, and psychological hardship and scarring process that lasts a lifetime, again often two fold, for mother and child.

Where the opportunity to choose abortion affords a woman the opportunity to continue with completing her education and career, relationships and life, a pregnancy in contrast disrupts all of the above, changes the opportunities, and often has far reaching ramifications when a woman is forced to give up their baby and then is psychologically disoriented in their disrupted life, while they grieving the loss of an actual baby, while the baby grows up and may suffer it’s own grieving process and identity crisis.

Approximately 2% of abortions occur at 21 weeks or later (snip)20% of the abortions he performed between 20 and 24 weeks were for genetic reasons - leaving 80% of abortions performed in that period of gestation for elective reasons.

The debate about a woman’s right to choose abortion is not about splitting hairs as to why she chooses, whether her elective choice is for or genetic or other reasons, but exclusively about her right to choose an abortion.

You point out only 2% of abortions occur at 21 weeks or later, the other 98% happen much, much earlier. So I am not sure what your point there is. As a matter of fact, the majority of all abortions take place during the 7th or 8th week, and most abortions, 77%, are performed by the 9th or 10th week.

Assume most abortions are performed in the first trimester

No need to assume, statistics show that 87% are indeed performed within the first trimester.

If murder is removing not only a life, but all that life will ever achieve, love or possess, then aborting a viable prenate with all the potential for life encoded into his DNA is murder

To exclusively use potential as your argument for murder, leaves the fact lacking that actual life must accompany the potential for it to be murder, and as I’ve established, and as backed by the US constitution, the fact is, a prenate, is not a life.

the elective reason most often cited is economics.

As far as economics being the primary reason you claim women choose abortion- that is incorrect and untrue.

According to The Alan Guttmacher Institute

Women cited the following reasons for having abortions:


would interfere with education/job/career

have completed my childbearing

student or planning to study

can't afford baby and child care

don't want people to know they had sex or got pregnant

don't feel mature enough to raise a child


not enough support from husband or partner

possible fetal health problem

physical problem with my health

was a victim of rape

posted on Apr, 26 2007 @ 08:10 AM
Men are not the root of all evil, they are the father's of children, and it is fact not opinion that of the half of marriages that end in divorce - only 25% of those men dutifully support their children financially. Many people no longer marry before having children, in those cases there is less instance of paternal financial contribution than when there are legal contracts facilitating court ordered child support. It is fact not opinion that 95% of men never miss a car payment - and the comparison illustrates a social bias. While cars are essential to the current global economy, there would be no one to buy them without women.

It is fact, not opinion, that the lack of economic reward for the unique qualities of female contributions to society are examples of the social oppression that results from the enforced dependence inherent in child-birth and raising children. The jobs of birthing children and raising them are essential to the perpetuation of a work-force, and they are exploited as free labor. Female contributions to the world are real work and deserve to be recognized economically. They are not incidental to life, but responsible for it's very essentials and taken so much for granted that the life they contribute is now also considered incidental and disposable.

That tiring aspects of the traditional abortion debate lay in the exclusion of addressing the social and economic dependency inherent in child-birth. Presenting abortion as the only option to preserving a woman's access to education and gainful employment is not a choice, it's a dilemma. A dilemma that cannot be dismissed by simply dehumanizing the prenates growing within her womb. Mothers grieving a miscarriage needn't carry guilt with their loss. Women who have undergone abortion will carry the social stigma and guilt loudly encouraged by those who see child birth as justification for oppression.

If the only two options available to women are illegal or legal abortion, the choices are dire - making the biological dependency resulting from childbirth a tool of oppression. The strident opinions that promote scathing injunctions against women who have had an abortion, while neglecting to provide any viable alternative, is an obvious example of exploiting the personal guilt of a conflict in order to divert responsibility.

We already live with the burden of a welfare state, only the welfare is predominately given to corporate entities with the rationalization of creating corporate competitiveness in an economy that has been globalized - making national laws and measures designed to protect and shape society unenforcible. A nations power to enforce those laws is defunct as a result of the power of that economic coercion. Analogous to the economic coercion underlying elective abortion. The fact that the increase of profits is the sole determinant of corporate policy provides a good reason for not financially recognizing the value of what is essentially female slavery.

Laws and measures that ensure wage parity,day care and maternal leave are the measures needed in order to create more freedom for women, not less. Ensuring the recognition of their work, lessens their dependency on zealots who exploit the vulnerability of her biological position. Corporate policy now dictates social policy and it is reasonable to look to them for responsible civilization building ethics.

It is reasonable to provide both married and unmarried women, the day care, and wage parity as well as access to education that insure healthy social environments. Not long ago, child birth was society's justification for excluding women from education and the work force. It appears to still be the justification forcing her lack of competitiveness in the job market.

Statistics surrounding abortion are notoriously unreliable, even so, the statistics you cite show that well over half of the elective reasons cited are due to economic reasons: The 42% of unmarried women present a single wage earner - who will spend some time unable to work without day-care. Presumably that is an economic incentive, since many women who are established financially are now free to have a child without the social stigma that once accompanied children born out of wedlock. In some countries, they are now able to purchase sperm over the internet for that purpose.

The 38% who say it would interfere with education, job or career - are again citing economic coercions easily made irrelevant by proper maternal leave, wage parity and access to day care. The same can be said of the 34% of students preparing to study - the reason cited shows that the enforced dependency of child birth and raising children still excludes women from opportunity. The 28% who can't afford the baby or child care is self explanatory, as well as the 22% of unemployed. Our economic system requires at least an 11% unemployment rate to be competitive, not surprisingly women, with their biological disadvantage comprise a large portion of that. Of those employed, the wages reflect a recalcitrant 60 cents to the male dollar disparity. Same for the 14% who cite not enough support from husband or partner. That amounts to 178% of reasons cited as economic. The incongruity presented by percentiles exceeding 100% needn't be labored.

It can be argued that the 25% of people who have abortions because they don't want people to know they had sex or got pregnant as well as the 22% who assert they are too young, exemplify the underlying social biases that perpetuate the secondary status of women. Only 17% of sexually active youth report using contraceptives. Presumably this is not due to the lack of their availability - unless a woman can't afford the medical care necessary to obtain them - but due to social pressures that prevent young women the esteem necessary to demand protective measures. Add to that the example of women who are coerced into child birth for religious reasons by those they are dependent on - greater recognition of the value of female work as well as the opportunity to have access to equal financial and social independence eliminates those coercions.

Of the 38% who have completed their child-bearing years, the question can be asked why simple and reversible vasectomies are not performed more often in long term relationships where children are a part of the family structure. Vasectomies are now a reversible procedure, and the aversion to them also evinces a social double standard that hinges on the secondary status of women.

Leaving only 25% citing health reasons - and a very small 1.5% citing rape or incest. So the overwhelming conclusion based on those statistics is that elective abortions are performed as a result of the forced economic dependency that accompanies childbirth.

The disadvantage or lack of education endemic to poverty is not the cause of abusing children. Poverty can lead to neglect or encourage an emotional bankruptcy that can prevent proper nurturing, but the underlying psychological dynamic of child abuse is a power dynamic. A power dynamic that, it can be argued, is also reflected in the subjugation of women via economic dependency. It is exploited by cowards in all economic stratospheres. There are more than enough examples of abused children from rich homes to show that poverty is not the cause of that behavior.

The higher the income, the less likely prosecution for the crime, so financial security may actually decrease an abused child's ability to get help. It's difficult to look upon suffering, but the hidden evils are worse by their banality. To suggest a prenate is better off dead than risking the possibility of neglect or abuse can be interpreted as despair. All of life involves struggles, failures and triumphs - any opportunity to experience them is eliminated by abortion.

A prenate is not simply tissue. Once fertilized, DNA within the egg is actualizing all of the potential for human life. To abort a viable prenate is not simply the disposal of a tumor, it is the interruption of a creature preparing itself for life in the world. Many women mourn their miscarriages with the same intensity they do a still born infant or lost child.

While it takes two people to create a viable prenate, one doesn't often hear disparaging remarks made against the male promiscuity that contributes to unwanted pregnancy. Men who will never miss a car payment, but neglect to provide for their own children. The corporate world does not want to recognize a woman's unique contribution to society with reasonable maternal leave any more than they wish to provide pensions for retired workers.

Perhaps it's for that reason, men financially abandon their children, to rationalize the ever increasing hardships of survival. The number of workers with access to maternal leave and pensions is relatively small and shrinking. Bolstered by economic globalism that permits exploitation of more vulnerable markets. It is evident it's the corporate world dictating government policy.

To cast aspersions on a woman for choosing economic competitiveness over almost certain poverty, is to divert attention from the social conditions all are responsible for and capable of shaping. Moreover, it encourages the degradation of life perpetuated by the lack of financial recompense for female labor.

I certainly agree with my opponent on one point, if there is such a thing as judgment - the self righteous religiosity of those judging and casting blame on vulnerable women, while at the same time providing no viable social alternative to the enforced dependence of the free labor of child birthing and childrearing - may be surprised to find, that they are first in line to be judged for for any physical, spiritual, social, mental, emotional or moral damage that may be caused by abortion.

For those in a position of advantage, it must be like shooting fish in a barrel.

posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 08:43 AM
I would like to again thank chissler, as well as ATS, for making this debate possible. I would like to also thank my opponent Clearwater, for her unique perspective which has kept me on my toes. To the judges, I thank you as well, for your time and consideration in judging this debate.

With that said, let me continue to address some of the most recent arguments posed by my opponent here.

Statistics surrounding abortion are notoriously unreliable, even so, the statistics you cite show that well over half of the elective reasons cited are due to economic reasons: The 42% of unmarried women present a single wage earner

You began in your opening statement citing statistics without sources, I thought for the benefit of the debate, I would give actual statistics from a reputable source, the Guttmacher Institute.

To assume, as you have, that because a woman is not married, she is living life as a single wage earner and thus economically oppressed, denies that women co-habitate out of wedlock, and further denies that they cite ‘unmarried’ for a variety of non-economic reasons, such as personal, familial, and religious reasons for not having a child while unmarried, and including the possibility she is single for the same reasons she wishes not to be a mother, not wanting to be tied down with responsibilities to another being.

She may also not want to have a baby with her current partner, doesn’t know if the relationship is stable, or doesn’t even know who the father is. Thus we can clearly see, a woman chooses abortion because of a wide variety of reasons, excluding economic reasons, by citing ‘unmarried’ as a reason.

it is fact not opinion that of the half of marriages that end in divorce - only 25% of those men dutifully support their children financially (snip) It is fact not opinion that 95% of men never miss a car payment

No, that is not really an actual fact, but a distorted one. For the real facts, and the sake of space, I will provide a link to an outside source which shows that only a small percentage of men (11%) truly deny any financial obligations.

child support statistics

You can see by that link that 3/4 of women do not want child support for various reasons. That would explain why only 25% of women receive it. Some never ask for it, or make other financial arrangements with the father instead of actual court mandated child support. So, the remaining 89% of men, some of who do not even know they are fathers, are not trying to escape responsibility at all.

As far as men and car payments, I was unable to verify the statistic you cite. However, it bodes well for them to be financially responsible with their credit and make their car payments, as I am sure they have entered into a legally binding contract, where the majority of women have not sought the same contract in child support.

Presenting abortion as the only option to preserving a woman's access to education and gainful employment

I’m not presenting abortion as the only option for anything, nor as the only way to preserve access for education or employment. The right to choose abortion as a viable and valid choice for many women for many reasons, including continuing with their education or career, if they do not desire to try to balance those with motherhood, or simply prefer those options over motherhood entirely.

If the only two options available to women are illegal or legal abortion

That is not the case. Abortion is not the only option or choice a woman has, but for obvious reasons of course, a legal abortion is preferable to an illegal one for many reasons.

The strident opinions that promote scathing injunctions against women who have had an abortion, while neglecting to provide any viable alternative, is an obvious example of exploiting the personal guilt of a conflict in order to divert responsibility

More Orwellian double speak? There’s diversion going on for sure, as no one is denying a woman other viable alternatives to abortion, and indeed why should woman have to be harshly admonished for choosing to have abortions? As far as exploiting personal guilt, isn’t that the very aim of all the pro life rhetoric about interrupting the potential for life being murder, coercing women through guilt to have children they do not want, or are not ready, willing, or able to care for?

The 38% who say it would interfere with education, job or career - are again citing economic coercions
No, they are not. They are stating an untimely and unwanted pregnancy at that point would interrupt their choice of finishing their education in a timely manner, or reaching life goals that have nothing to do with motherhood, or make impossible continuing with their careers without the guilt of paying someone else to raise their child in daycare.

easily made irrelevant by proper maternal leave, wage parity and access to day care.
Economic coercion as you call it, is irrelevant, as even if you secured all you wish to for women, the fact is, not all women want to have babies or want to play part-time Mommy by having an unexpected, untimely, or unwanted baby and putting it in daycare for someone else to raise. The fact so many children spend their infancy and childhood in mass daycares is a sad commentary on the social structure which devalues the family.

for the 14% who cite not enough support from husband or partner
That is not an economic reason. That is about, emotional, psychological support not financial, thus not economic.

That amounts to 178% of reasons cited as economic.
No it does not. The economic reasons were cited clearly, unemployment, and not being able to afford the baby or childcare.

incongruity presented by percentiles exceeding 100% needn't be labored.

It is unrealistic to think all percentages would equal 100% when women may cite all the reasons, which may be many, she chooses abortion, which in this study could equal 1300%, however not every woman is going to state every reason as we see. The math is simple. 28.5% is the combined citing of health, rape, and incest reasons, 50% for economic reasons. The majority, a whopping 213%, of answers are reasons other then economics or abuse.

can be argued that the 25% of people who have abortions because they don't want people to know they had sex or got pregnant as well as the 22% who assert they are too young, exemplify the underlying social biases that perpetuate the secondary status of women.
Or it could be taken at face value and seen as young girls who are afraid of their parents disapproval, or who know they are not ready to become responsible for a baby, when at 15 they aren’t even responsible enough to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, or have still been experimenting with sex, drugs, and alcohol.

Many women mourn their miscarriages with the same intensity they do a still born infant or lost child

Speaking from experience, a miscarriage may be mourned when the pregnancy is welcomed, expected or not, when unwanted, it is a relief.

the question can be asked why simple and reversible vasectomies are not performed more often in long term relationships

Shouldn’t a man have the right to choose a vasectomy, and not be forced or coerced into one? It does stand to reason, that logically, if you take the right to choose from women, it would set a precedence that a man doesn’t have the right to choose if, or when, he makes reproductive choices either. Elective sterilization for either sex could be the next victim if a woman’s right to choose were abolished.

In conclusion, I’d like to point out that pro life extreme feminism is not something you see often, and I see in this debate my opponent is very determined and motivated to want to change society for women. However, I am not here to discuss or debate the reasons for what the possible causes for perceived female oppression are, nor gender inequality, pay or wage parity, corporate and male dominated governments or societies, or the perceived irresponsibility of men.

Not even in consideration on the influence those issues may have for some women in choosing abortion, for the very fact that this issue is simply about a woman’s right to choose, which those who oppose abortion, would have such right stripped from women, and there is just no justifiable or good reason for that.

For all of my opponents points, the pro life stance that a woman does not have a right to choose abortion, or my opponent’s rhetoric about the evils of men and society, has failed to show how denying women the right to choose would benefit women, or society.

To strip away the right to choose makes no real headway for the fight for women to be revered, respected, or appreciated for their productive roles in society, or viewed as capable intelligent women with minds of their own, capable of taking responsibility for their own fertility, and making choices in their own best interest.

Without the right to choose, women are degraded to the position of human incubators and babysitters, who are too fragile of intellect and emotion, to make their own choices.

In contrast, I have shown that women choose abortion for a multitude of elective reasons, and to deny her that choice, would deny a woman the right to choose how she leads her life and pursues her goals, and indeed forces her into situations that are often detrimental to the baby, leading to neglectful resentful or abusive care for the baby, or burdens for society in areas of welfare, daycare, or foster care.

In closing, I would like to remind those opposed to abortion, that the right to choose, includes abortion, but it does not seek to promote it as the only choice. Nor does it attempt to exclude all other choices. Abortion is all about a woman’s choice, and her rights, and thus about her right to choose.

posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 12:48 PM
Once again, my thanks to 2l82sk8, chissler and ATS for this opportunity to debate abortion. 2l82k8 and I are now both 'fighters', as is every woman, in light of the pressures that force women into the most difficult dilemmas, challenges and decisions. Decisions for which women are increasingly disparaged as self-appointed 'victims' for delineating the painful and often unjust circumstances surrounding them.

I feel my opponent has been too easily dismissive of the economic coercions in question. Certainly it's impossible to deny the enforced dependence inherent in child-birth. Unless a woman has access to day-care, maternal leave and equal pay, childbirth creates a disadvantage. If my opponent dislikes day care, the economic recognition of motherhood freely eliminates the often unwanted choice of having other's raise your children.

The fact is that now, it often takes two workers to financially pilot a family. Price range for different nations are designed according to capacity, rates of inflation and profit. All the benefits enabling productive and nurturing social environments are opposed by those industrial interests whose policies are aimed at increasing private profit and decreasing social expectations.

Also I feel she is too easily dismissive of the male responsibility in procreation. Suggesting vasectomies which do not bring on early menopause or interfere with sexual drives and are a comparatively simple procedure that don't require general anaesthesia is not coercion, it is justice.

Suggesting that men take an equal role in assuming responsibility for procreation is not coercion, it is justice. Justice, in the same way that suggesting a society that loudly proclaims abortion is murder for which women, not men, are culpable, give more attention to the dual nature of creating a prenate - more attention to the societal pressures that are behind abortions - those suggestions are not coercion they are justice.

Moreover, the moral issues of assuming personal responsibility for sexual behavior includes men. Men who, by not bearing the brunt of gestation and child rearing, have historically exploited that advantage. At one time in Western society, a man would have been shunned for abandoning his children, now those responsibilities are often easily dismissed by simply slandering the mother. If she was good enough to impregnate, she is good enough to support in the raising of one's child.

Remember the Simpson's episode in which Pastor Lovejoy scolds the children at Sunday school that they should behave lest they wind up in hell with the murderer's, rapists and single mothers. People joke about truths - that, if one doesn't laugh at, one cries over - and the fact that women are dammed if they do and damned if they don't, is still very much a social reality. It is a sad statement on social censure, propaganda and poverty and women's vulnerability to all three.

Any statistic can be manipulated to reflect a desired bias. There has been a concerted propaganda campaign launched by right-wing think tanks denying the reality of the economic dependence and economic disparity for women; bolstered by the concerted campaign to discredit and obfuscate court jurisdiction over issues of support and custody.

These campaigns are instituted by the same people denying a woman's right to legal abortion. They loudly cite moral issues and a woman's spiritual culpability in abortion because it easily takes root in a blaming society, a blaming society comprised of men anxious to avoid financial responsibility to their children. A society that prefers to cast aspersions than critically evaluate the propaganda that constantly attributes high taxes to a poor sub-class. A society that prefers to blame rather than face difficult dilemmas.

A reflexive indoctrination of blaming the poor and the needy for high taxes has successfully overshadowed the real purpose of taxation - that it is meant to provide opportunities and assistance to the people who have paid them. It was not created as a method of subsidizing private enterprise, but as a way of ensuring responsive governing bodies.

Taxation has become the subsidy of private profit. A taxation policy reinforced and erroneously justified by a global economy. Corporations are never called 'welfare mother's', though their profits hinge on the existence of a poor sub-class and the free labor of what is essentially female slavery. The value of money is always increased by its scarcity. It's no surprise that those who seek to perpetuate that injustice are the same people stridently promulgating judgmental religious views.

In the 70's there was a growing social movement to demand those very benefits and ethics from the corporate culture. A demand successfully dismissed with the initiation of globalization. A global economy, in which vulnerable markets are not lifted. The oppression is exploited in order to increase profits.

Demands, some have even suggested, have been socially discredited by a large influx of male immigrants from countries where women are still living in overtly subservient conditions. If the intention of these policies was to provide freedom for the oppressed, why were the women not given entry.

The requirements for entry hinge on financial ability, and access to money is easily acquired by those with ulterior motives. Immigration policies that now enable division and suspicion within our own borders by loudly calling these same immigrants sleeper cells. Policies instituted by the people who send women screeching to hell for needing an abortion because it reinforces the double standards perpetuating female slavery, and by extension the slavery of all.

Women have already had their right to choice stripped away. Stripped away by draconian and patriarchal structures that exploit and perpetuate her subservience. In some cultures that have faced genocide and persecution, including the outlawing of their rituals and religions - the child is the center of a number of circles. The first circle around a child is the mother. The next circle is the father. The following circle is the extended family. Surrounded by the support of the village. After that is the land, likewise the mysteries of the universe that sustain humanity beyond our understanding.

To say that an infant is not able to rely on the larger society for nurturing and support, is to throw them to the wolves in an animal kingdom, in which only the ruthless survive. To dismiss the true fact that child birth and child rearing are hand in hand with dependency is to present the very obfuscations instituted by those who would deny a woman's choice altogether.

Women do not choose abortion easily, lightly or without reservation, nor should they. It's nothing more than an extension of the degradation of their emotional needs which has resulted from the 'sexual revolution.' A degradation that extends to making defenseless forms of human life, disposable.

It is not a dilemma that can be dismissed by denying the overwhelming evidence that her biological function interferes with her independence or ability to compete economically. Economic competitiveness that is being deliberately undermined in order to increase the profits of very few.

If abortion is all about a woman's right to choose, then permit her to choose life in social and economic security and independence. The degradation systemic to the double standard perpetuated in the propaganda and censures used by those with an interest in free labor, is successfully evinced by my opponents statement -

women are degraded to the position of human incubators and babysitters, who are too fragile of intellect and emotion, to make their own choices.

There is nothing degrading at all about gestation or child rearing. There is no fragility of body or intellect engendered by motherhood. Motherhood requires the strategic ability of a General, the patience and self-sacrifice of a saint, the perseverance of a marathon athlete, the flexibility of intellect ascribed to genius, it requires being a teacher, cook, nurse, cleaner, driver, coach, counselor and motherhood increasingly requires being the sole provider - and it requires all of this for free.

Elevate the position of motherhood to it's proper status, (not simply in name only but by recognition of the value of the labor) -

The Most Important and the Most Difficult Job in the World

and you will elevate all of mankind.

posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 02:45 PM

Congrats to both members on this hard fought debate. I'll get in touch with our staff of judges and get the results back to you guys as soon as possible. I do ask that you be patient, as it is the weekend, so it may be a few days. Hopefully not though.

Either way, both of you should be proud.

Stay Tuned...

posted on May, 5 2007 @ 08:08 AM
Well, this debate has been quite the read for anyone who has taken the moment to read what these to fine members put forth. Before I go anywhere, 2l82sk8 and clearwater need to be praised up one side and down the other for the efforts they put forth here.

I can not say enough about this debate, and how grateful I am that you guys allowed the Head-2-Head Ring to house this amazing battle.

Kudos to both of you.

Let's Do it....


A Message From The Judges

2l82sk8's opening statement, set the tone of the argument. It helped steer the argument, and any subsequent rebuttals, away from the morality issues surrounding this topic. It clearly focused the issue. I had to give points t 2l82sk8 for this in spite of some rather meandering follow-up statments that were, frankly, difficult to follow at times.

Clearwaters' first rebuttal was really excellent. I appreciated her attempt to control the semantics of the issue by attempting to offer her own definitions. In my case, personally, I was actually "buying" into her argument.

The moment Clearwater brought in Padre Pio into the discussion, citing his saintly clairvoyance, I found myself deducting points from my mental tally sheet. With profound respect fro Clearwater's religious views, in my own mind, they simply did not 'hold water' or lend her arguments any validity. Nevertheless, Clearwater did go on to make some interesting and insightful statements about the social issues surrounding women , family and the father's responsibility in child-rearing. Off topic? Yes, but certainly an effective effort at clouding the abortion / women's right issue with additional social questions.

2l82sk8's reply to Clearwater was the hammer on the nail head. To me, it summed up the entire debate succinctly and logically.

In reply, Clearwater seemed to bring out tangent arguments about aspects of male responsibility and the short-comings of society and the way we should do things in a perfect world. A good debating ploy but certainly not an argument that would derail 2l82sk8's argument. I must add that 2l82sk8 is much better at rebuttals than opening statements.

After two solid rounds, I was surprised that 2l82sk8 would venture into the socio-economic morass that seems to be Clearwater's prime argument against a woman's right to choose. In this area, I had to give Clearwater points. Clearwater did, indeed, make some excellent statements on the socio-economic influences on women and why they might feel coerced into making a choice for abortion.

Let me just say, WOW! Our members are awesome! That was such a good read... clearwater mentioned some things that had been moving around in my head for quite a while.


So who won you ask?

This debate has taken some time to get some results rolling in. The shear size of this debate was breath taking in and of itself, and the manner in which both debaters presented their argument, well.. it is not a decision that the judges were willing to come to lightly. Above is a summarized version of the comments I've received from all of our judges.

After receiving so much feedback from our judges, and everything literally being split down the middle, we are not prepared to stand up and say that one of you did a better job. Ultimately, the H2H Forum is about harnessing your debating skills and having a good time. Hopefully those that compete here will take part in an ATS Debate Tournament in the future, where everything is based on winning and losing.

But here, in the H2H forum, we run on a different schedule. I hope that both members understand, and are satisfied with this decision, but I am here to call this one a draw. The two of you have done such an admirable job, we can not justify telling one of you that the other was slightly better. Our panel of judges were split down the middle, I've read the debate myself and I can not possibly decide, so there we have it. The first "draw" in H2H history.

Both of you have been rewarded with Applauses for your efforts, and rightfully so. In addition, both of you will receive an added bonus of 10,000 AP points.

Tremendous job to both of you, and please do not be a stranger to our forum.

This Debate is now open to comments from any "Fighter".

posted on May, 7 2007 @ 02:39 PM
Wow, we stumped the judges!

To chissler and the judges- thanks so much for your time and efforts in judging this debate and for spelling out why it was a draw. Indeed, I am happy with the decision as it was my first debate and.... well, a draw is much better than losing.

Thanks for the constructive criticism and praise. Indeed, I know I have no experience in debating and my first ever opening statement was a bit weak, and I was afraid to even start the debate!

I would love to hear more from the more experienced debaters if anyone has the time/inclination to offer specific constructive criticism and tips on debating, writing an opening statement, etc.

To clearwater-congratulations on our shared win.

I really enjoyed debating with you, and with the angle you chose , boy oh boy, you definately presented me with a new challenge on the topic of abortion and choice. Thank you for a great debate.


[edit on 7-5-2007 by 2l82sk8]

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