The Debatabase Book: A Must-Have Guide for Successful Debate

The Debatabase Book: A Must-Have Guide for Successful Debate

The Debatabase Book: A Must-Have Guide for Successful Debate

The Debatabase Book: A Must-Have Guide for Successful Debate

Synopsis

"An invaluable resource for debaters, The Debatabase Book provides background, arguments and resources on 125 debate topics in areas as diverse as science and technology environment, politics, religion, sports, culture, and education All topics have been updated and 26 new topics added for the third edition. Each entry presents an introduction placing the question in context, arguments pro and con, sample motions, and web links and print resources for further research Organized in a handy A-Z format, the book also includes a topical index for easy searching."

Excerpt

Whether a woman has the right to terminate a pregnancy, and, if so, under what conditions, is one of the most contentious issues facing
modern societies. For some, the question is even more fundamental: At what stage is the fetus to be regarded as a child? the battle lines
are drawn between “pro-life” supporters, who argue that abortion is never permissible, and “pro-choice” adherents, who emphasize the
mother's right to choose. in 1973 the us Supreme Court ruled that abortion was legal in its landmark decision
Roe v. Wade. Since
then antiabortion groups have pressed to have the ruling overturned and have succeeded in having several states pass laws limiting the
conditions under which abortion is permitted. Pro-choice groups have opposed these efforts and made support of
Roe the litmus test for
political and judicial candidates wanting their backing.

Pros

Women should have control over their own bodies—they have to carry the child during pregnancy and undergo childbirth. No one else carries the child for her; it will be her responsibility alone, and thus she should have the sole right to decide. If a woman does not want to go through the full nine months and subsequent birth, then she should have the right to choose not to do so. There are few—if any—other cases where something with such profound consequences is forced upon a human being against her or his will. To appeal to the child's right to life is just circular—whether a fetus has rights or not, or can really be called a “child,” is exactly what is at issue. Everyone agrees that children have rights and shouldn't be killed. Not everyone agrees that fetuses of two, four, eight, or even twenty weeks are children.

Not only is banning abortion a problem in theory, offending against a woman's right to choose, it is also a practical problem. a ban would not stop abortion but would drive it once again underground and into conditions where the health and safety of the woman are almost certainly at risk. Women would also circumvent the ban by traveling to countries where abortion is legal. Either the state would have to take the draconian measure of restricting freedom of movement, or it would have to admit that its law is unworkable in practice and abolish it.

Are we really taking about a “life?” At what point does a life begin? Is terminating a fetus, which can neither feel nor think and is not conscious of its own “existence,” really commensurate with the killing of a person? If you affirm that human life is a quality independent of, and prior to, thought and feeling, you leave yourself the awkward task of explaining what truly “human” life is.

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