Great post Ele. These are unbelievably difficult questions, and a lot of people try to oversimplify them.
I'm curious, though, does the self-defense doctrine really apply generally (outside of a direct threat to the woman's life / rape which are minority situations) in the modern world?
I think that self-defense doctrine does apply here.
There is a problem with the idea of only allowing abortion for rape and when a woman's life is at risk.
What would be the test for allowing rape as one of the few reasons a woman can have an abortion? Would she have to only say she'd been raped? Would she have to report the crime? Would it require a conviction of a rapist? Few rape charges ever lead to even an arrest, much less a trial. Convictions for rape are very rare. It can take months, even years, before a rapist goes to trial. Usually a baby resulting from rape is born long before any trial is even held, if it even goes that far.
If a woman had to prove rape, even if she was raped, few if any woman would be able to get an abortion based on rape because of the reasons I gave above. So, allowing abortion based on rape would only help the woman who suffer the worst, most violent rapes where it's evident that some guy beat her almost to death.
When I comes to the life of the mother, I can tell you from experience (as I tried to do in a post above this one) that often doctors are clueless and have little idea of what is really going on with the woman. There were complications in my pregnancy that the doctor ignored. Plus, knowing his religious convictions, I doubt that he would have agreed to an abortion no matter what I was going through.
In both of these cases, a many woman would be at the mercy of either a police/legal system that could not prove the rape and/or doctors who are clueless. (And yes many doctors are clueless.)
If it is the case that pregnancy results from a woman engaging in a behavior that she knows can (and often does) result in pregnancy. It isn't foisted on her (especially if we hold the same standard that is held to men, regarding pregnancy. Ie "well don't have sex if you don't want to have kids/child support")
In fact, the child is not some "invasive" creature, but rather something that was invited in, knowingly, by the woman who is sexually active. (excluding rape cases)
If human sex were only for the purpose of procreation, I would agree with you. But it's not. For humans, sex has a lot more to do with bonding people. We are driven to have sex for that purpose.
Plus, your statement assumes that the woman was not trying to prevent a pregnancy. Birth control fails all the time. It's far from 100%. Condoms rip or slide off.
Plus, often a woman does not realize that there is a problem until after she is pregnant.
What would you tell a young woman who is homeless and gets pregnant? She is unable to take care of herself, much less a child. Would you really tell her "tough cookies, you invited that baby by having sex. So now go back to live on the street while pregnant. Then once you have that baby, you and your baby can live on the street. ???????????????????????