[...]I think a good way to look at abortion is the thought experiment - I forget whose it is - of the famous musician and you:
A famous musician who is very talented is diagnosed with a terrible illness that destroys his liver. He cannot get a transplant, for whatever reason, but there is the technology available that allows him to make use of someone else's liver. You are found to be the only person in the world with a matching blood type, and the musician's followers/fans/groupies kidnap you. You wake up one morning attached to this musician, and he is now using your liver to survive. If you disconnect the cord, he dies. If you keep the cord intact, you're responsible for the well-being of a complete stranger for the next 20-odd years, maybe longer. There is the chance you will come to like the musician, and of course there is the chance you may hate them, but you are stuck with him. The point is that you have not chosen this outcome - although you may have volunteered for it had you been aware of his plight, depending on who you are.
Do you disconnect the cord?
I like how the experiment conveys the essential nature of the matter. Everyone involved is put in an emotionally heartwrenching situation, through no great fault of their own, and is faced with their own set of tough moral decisions. That said, it suffers from similar problems as other "lifeboat scenario"-type moral experiments.
First off, no sentient being is created in a particular situation, without any responsibility for the choices that caused it. If a grown man has no money and steals food in order to survive, then this theft is one in an escalating sequence of poor life decisions.
The difference is that the both of you are adults. Not an adult and a baby. If it happened to me personally?[...]
This is true. The singer is a sentient human being, capable of negotiation and complex thought, unlike a fetus. Also, the victim in the example is presumed to be an adult human, capable of advanced moral decision making, which is not always the case with unwanted pregnancies.
The example does not specify whether the singer chose to be hooked up to the patient. He might have been reduced to a vegetative state before he even knew of the possibility, giving him no chance to protest at his fans' overzealous actions, or he might simply have chosen to go along with it. In contrast, a fetus has no capability to make moral decisions, and no say in the matter of which mother to be born to, if any.
Ah, but he didn't. A third party acted without his consent or yours.
And if it's okay to unplug his ass and let him die when he's already a talented and contributing member of society, why is it wrong to abort a fetus who a) may not survive to adulthood and b) is completely a blank slate, neither good nor bad?[...]
I take some offense at the notion that the singer might have more right to the body of another person, based on the fact that he is famous or rich. Should not all people have the same right to their own life and property, regardless of who they are and where they are from?
For that matter, why would you condemn a random woman (this particular thought experiment addresses rape victims specifically) to being chained to a random stranger for the next 20 years, responsible for being their blood pump for the next 9 months and responsible for the (highly expensive) process of providing for them for 18 years after?
Ultimately, even with the aforementioned minor caveats, I'm going to agree with you on this one. The victim in the example and a woman who is suffering through an unwanted pregnancy both have the right to do as they see fit with their own bodies, and only a morally retarded barbarian would use force or violent threats to deny either of them that right.