A major difficulty in any discussion of abortion is the radical attitude of some religious people against abortion. That´s why first of all I´d like to say that I think that in the question of abortion being legal or not, religious ideologies are no foundation.
Freedom of religion is guaranteed to every citizen, so why would values and beliefs of one religion affect laws? There is a reason why church and state are separate, so any argument against abortion on religious grounds shouldn´t matter.
Furthermore even if abortion was illegal, it wouldn´t disappear. Women would still find a way to abort (like in the past), which would just be an opportunity for black markets and dangerous to life and health of woman.
But in the question of if abortion is right or wrong I´d relate to the time-limit given by law. In my opinion abortion is just the termination of a pregnancy and could also be considered as “self-defence”. Self-defence in many cases, not only necessarily when your life is in danger giving birth. You should always have the right to defend yourself in all sorts of situations, especially in the case of rape and abuse which is a traumatic experience. It would be inhuman to force someone to have a kid in a pregnancy caused by that. Those women didn´t even get pregnant by choice!
And because of that time-limit I don´t agree with the blame of “ending a life”. How is it, that one ignores the desires, rights, freedoms and health of a living, breathing, feeling person in favor of a developing fetus that isn´t even conscious?
It´s likely, that pro-life supporters appeal to the values of life, such as “all human life is equal”. But is it really? We are talking about the value of life, not the value of a heartbeat. We are talking about the value of experiencing life, living life, awareness, which I, indeed, think is more valuable!
Matt Dillahunty, american public speaker known for atheism and secular activism says:
“I couldn´t tell someone: Yes, you are pregnant and you do not want to be, that must be terrible for you. I´m sorry that nature has screwed you, but that´s the way it has to stay, unless we find that your life is in risk or another kind of exception and we somehow realise, that there is a kind of self-defence involved…”
So, yes, we have to value an individuals right to live but that doesn´t change the nature of the discussion: I do not have any obligation to do something with my body I don´t want to do!
Moreover if someone already knows they can´t take care of a child properly, it´s better for them not to have a child! Wanted babies are more likely to be welcomed into families, that are financially and emotionally ready to receive them. If a mother doesn´t want a kid, it is probably better for the kids sake not to be raised by that mother! Bringing children to life who are unwanted sounds a hundred times more cruel to me, than aborting them.
According to data from the “pro-choice public education project”, 77% of anti-abortion leaders are men. 100% of them will never be pregnant!!! So I say: if it´s not your body, it´s not your decision. Don´t like abortion? Don´t have one! A womans mind + a womans body = a womans choice!
Interesting philosophy relating to this topic; Judit Jarvis Thomson “a defense of abortion”: http://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/Phil160,Fall02/thomson.htm