An embryo or fetus is not “another life”. It’s the fruit of a woman’s womb and totally dependent on her. Compelling her to carry a pregnancy to term makes her the slave of the embryo/fetus, inflicting servitude and forced labour upon her, which is forbidden by Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Society has no right to prioritize fetal life over women’s lives. It is a fundamental human right to control one’s fertility (CEDAW). When pregnant women are prohibited from having abortions, they no longer have a right to life themselves, and become second-class citizens under the law. When abortion is outlawed and/or fetal rights are protected by law, women’s bodies, rights, and health are subordinated to the protection of embryos.
Prior to legal abortion in any country, women had two options: to undergo an unsafe, illegal abortion that put their lives at risk or to continue their pregnancy, even in situations that disadvantaged both the woman and fetus.The legal consequences of anti-abortion laws are catastrophic, as we’ve seen in Romania, Ireland, Nicaragua, Brazil, Poland, much of Africa, and other places where abortion is outlawed. Today, an estimated 22,000 to 43,000 women die every year and over 8 million are injured from unsafe abortion.
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) – Article 16, Marriage and Family
serendip.brynmawr.edu – Abortion and Women’s Rights: Unification of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice through Feminism (2008)
International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics (link goes to author’s blog) – A call for consensus and cooperation to resolve differing estimates of abortion-related deaths (2016)
Guttmacher Institute – Banning abortion endangers women’s health