The most common idea of the pro-life movement is the fetus's right to life. They say that, if the fetus is recognized as a human being / person, that therefore it will have a right to life and therefore abortion will be illegal.
The idea sounds plausible, but we need to investigate further.
First off, should all people have a right to life? Yes. That's obviously true. All people deserve equal rights, and life is one of the basic rights we recognize.
The problem arises when we question whether the fetus's right to life would prevent a woman from choosing abortion. We must look into current rights given to people, and see if a right to life really would prevent women from aborting.
We'll start with a big picture idea. If everyone has the right to life, and that prevents them from being killed, then why do we have war or the death penalty? These examples show us clearly that a person with a right to life can still be killed.
Next we should ask- is it only after a government decision that a person can be (legally) killed? Nope. It's possible to kill a person without the government giving you the "go ahead." The best example of this is self-defense, such as a woman killing her rapist or someone killing a kidnapper.
Obviously, it is possible to kill someone who has a right to life, given you have a legally recognized acceptable reason.
Now we can look at the other side- does a right to life allow a person to use someone's body?
The answer to this should be simple. Every person has a right to their body- liberty, if you will. No one has the right to use a person's body unless it is consented to. But can we make an exception to save someone's life?
The answer is NO. We see in McFall v Shimp that a person cannot force another to have their body used, not even to save a life.
For our law to compel the defendant to submit to an intrusion of his body would change the very concept and principle upon which our society is founded. To do so would defeat the sanctity of the individual, and would impose a rule which would know no limits, and one could not imagine where the line would be drawn.
Less direct but of the same idea is the fact that we cannot force someone to donate any part of their body- blood, organs, bone marrow- even to save a life. There are thousands of people who die each year because they do not receive a donated organ in time. The government could force people to donate organs, and they would be saving thousands of lives doing so. However, the government recognizes the right of a person to liberty and their body.
So let's review everything we've learned.
1. You can still be killed, even if you have a right to life.
2. The government does NOT force people to use their body to support the life of others.
Clearly, abortion will not suddenly be made illegal if fetus' are recognized as persons. A fetus's right to life does not allow it to use a person's body without consent- not even the pregnant woman. Giving the fetus a right to life will not stop abortion.