OK, a couple of caveats. I don't want to be deceitful, so I'll come right out and say that I am Pro-Life and I am sure that affects how I view Pro-Choice rhetoric. But, to any Pro-Choice person out there, please don't reject my point here until I have actually stated it, because I may not be saying what you think I will be saying.
First of all, I completely acknowledge that it is proper to understand the Pro-Choice movement as defending rights, specifically women's rights. What I reject is the idea that just because we are dealing with women's rights that we are therefore dealing with equality. In reality, we are dealing with a moral issue that happens to only directly affect women.
Here is where I think you (that is pro-choice people) have a point. In most contexts, a person has the right to decide what medial procedures will and will not be done to them. The government should not have the right to say that a smoker who develops lung cancer should just deal with the cancer because it is the natural consequences of their choices. In fact, I think we pro-lifers actually undercut our message when our arguments seem to ignore this.
However, there are other notable exceptions to this: suicide and drugs for instance. I would also include prostitution here, though it isn't a medical procedure. But it is still true that there are exceptions to the idea that we are allowed to do whatever we want with our own bodies. It is also important to note that the above activities are illegal for both men and for women. It is not gender specific.
And, quite frankly, neither is the illegality of abortion. The fact that it only influences woman is a consequence of biology, not patriarchy. Any Pro-Life person would equally abhor a man killing a fetus if he were pregnant; it just only happens in movies. The morality of the thing falls on our belief that the fetus is a human being and thus should have human rights. I want the full rights and privileges of the mother to be maintained in tension with the full rights and privileges of the child.
But here is the Pro-Life position, and I'll wrap it up really tight so that there is no confusion: fetuses are children. To me, the distinction between a fetus and a newborn is no different than a newborn and a toddler. Morally they are equivalent. So in a nutshell, we want human rights for fetuses. That is it. Period.
I regret that making abortion illegal will force a long term medical situation on the mother, and that is not shallow regret. I really regret it. It is a horrible thing to force on someone, especially since pregnancy shouldn't be something horrible. It is the most beautiful thing in the world, and I hate the fact that it can become something ugly in a woman's life because it was forced on her. That is appalling to me. But so is killing children.
And that is what we are against: killing children whether by men or women. This particular means is only biologically available to women, so naturally restricting it would only affect women. Thus, it is legitimately a matter of women's rights: how should the mother's rights and the child's rights be resolved when they are in direct conflict? That is a very difficult question, but it has nothing to do with mean at all, and thus has nothing to do with equality or inequality. I believe that equality is a very important thing, and tying abortion into the category of equality both waters down the word, and can hinder legislation that is truly about equality under the law between men and women. This issue is a separate issue, and should be kept separate.
Thank you for your consideration.