There is a fundamental inconsistency in Western society's treatment of non-human animals on the one hand, and of human foetuses on the other.
While most Western countries allow the butchering of animals and their use in experimentation, this must occur under carefully controlled conditions that are intended to minimize their pain and suffering as much as possible.
At the same time, most Western countries permit various abortion methods without similar concerns for the developing fetus.
The only criteria for deciding which abortion method is used centre in the stage of the pregnancy, the size of the fetus, the health of the pregnant woman and the physician's preference.
This is out of step with the underlying ethos of animal cruelty legislation, cannot be justified ethically and should be rectified by adjusting abortion methods to the capacity of the fetus to experience nociception and/or pain.
And of course, feminists would oppose any legislation or regulation to consider the well-being of the unborn child. If they don't give a damn that unborn babies die, why should they care that he suffers?
Health Care Anal. 2012 Oct 18. [Epub ahead of print]
Ethical Considerations on Methods Used in Abortions.
Department of Philosophy, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, V8W 3P4, Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org.