Pro-choice advocates are known to argue for abortion access on the basis of sexism in history, namely, women have been oppressed and marginalized over the ages and chief among these are traditional role expectations in patriarchal (male-centered) societies. Abortion, in that case, represents a means of liberating women from that stricture so she can pursue education, employment, property ownership, business management, and various outlets that are hard to access for pregnant women and mothers.
This avenue of argument, however, works both ways. Injustice is not unique to women. To be sure, there have been many injustices foisted on women over the ages. It would be too involved here to attempt to identify whether that array of injustices are overwhelmingly caused by men specifically, by nature, by God, country, religion, or culture. But, there are many injustices in the world, and women, as such, are not the only victims. Children-in-utero are also subject to victimization. No child-in-utero has ever been guilty of a capital crime hence no child-in-utero ethically deserves the equivalent of capital punishment–i.e., willful prescripted killing. It may be legal to have an abortion, but many injustices have been legal before too. The injustice argument is not restricted to considerations of legality or illegality.
For every injustice women have suffered, there is liable to be a child-in-utero that has been comparably harmed or worse. For the sake of argument, however, let us suppose that the plight of women is so unique that it does not admit comparison to the plight of children-in-utero. By this supposition, oppression against women is not considered better or worse than the plight of children-in-utero. Their oppression/suffering/harm is just different.
Now comes the crux of the argument: Injustice is no cure for injustice.
Admitting that women have endured injustice, it does not seem like a viable solution to extend to them the option to commit injustice against their own children-in-utero, namely, to kill their offspring. The plight of women can be horrible, and pro-life advocates should never diminish or dismiss that fact. Women endure higher numbers of rape than man, lower pay in the workplace, and are exclusively burdened with child-bearing. Not to mention there are countless ways that society and culture can burden them with unreasonable expectations and restrictions too subtle to measure or prove. But granting all of that, we are left then wondering if abortion is a viable option to help “equalize” things.
If injustice is no cure for injustice, then it appears that we need to find other solutions besides abortion if we are to achieve even an approximate equality for women. Stated formally, the argument is that:
Premise 1) Abortion is unjust towards children-in-utero
Premise 2) Injustice (against children-in-utero) is no cure for injustice (against women).
Conclusion) Therefore, the fact of injustice against women fails to justify abortion.
To sum up, abortion is injustice. And the victimization of women, however real and pronounced it may be, is no excuse to multiply injustice in the form of abortion. It does not vindicate women to complicate their injustice by complying with, participating in, or even advocating for further injustice.