My two cents on the “abortion is murder” sentiment:
I believe that abortion /is/ the act of taking a potential life or a life (depending on when it happens). I also believe that it is the person who is carrying the pregnancy's choice to end that life.
Pregnancy and birth is beautifully and dangerously intertwined with death (life and death are part of each other, after all). Spontaneous abortion occurs in 20% of pregnancies, and fetal demise and intrauterine death are not uncommon (though less so in the industrialized world due to medical intervention that allows baby's to be born well before their time or to keep babys in the mother's body). It happens for a million reasons, but it boils down to two categories: a) the placenta or fetus had abnormalities that weren't compatible with continuing its own life b) something about the mother's body wasn't compatible with carrying another life.
A maternal infection can cause spontaneous abortion or still birth, as can gestational diabetes mellitus, malnutrition, stress, psychological trauma, environmental toxins, etc. Miscarriage or still birth can occur when the mother's body literally attacks the child's blood and body as in cases of Rh sensitization, etc. In all of these cases (we assume) a perfectly healthy, viable life is ended because a person cannot support another life if their own is endangered by external forces or by the pregnancy itself.
Why then, is the choice to choose one's own life over another considered outside the realm of morality and malicious blame only when there is a clear diagnosable medical or biological component. What of those whose emotional health and well being are threatened by a pregnancy, what of someone whose ability of provide for themselves physically (by way of finances) would be in jeopardy, or whose whole way of life and what they value is endangered by having to sustain another life in utero and after? There is a great quote in the Jane zine “I know some people say it's wrong, abortion, that you shouldn't take a life. And maybe you did take a life. But it's all give and take isn't it? My mother always said that everything always comes down to give and take. So, the baby today, that was the taking – and me, me, my own life, I think that was the giving.”
Life necessitates death to sustain life.This reality is only excepted in context of animal and plant life - but as anarchists we should recognize that humans are part of the web of this. Who is any one else to force someone sacrifice their own life for another. Many anarchists would argue that if an abusive partner was threatening a person, that person would be justified in ending the abusers life. That taking a cop or politician's life is part of bringing about some people's freedom. So and so on. The issue is a moral stance on who is justified to defend their life and who is allowed to dictate what defines defending ones own life.
*edited to fix my habitually bad spelling/typing.