In centuries past, it was respected that a woman gave birth safely and willingly, it was her right. Unfortunately with the rise of the patriarchal organised religion known as christianity, it created a superstition among men, a fear that any part of their body parts detached from them, would be susceptible to magic, and used against them.
This included their hair, finger nail clippings, spit, blood and of course their semen. Semen in their minds was an extension of their soul, hence destruction of it, was considered the destruction of them, so abortion became illegal, even at the price of the woman's life.
However the catholic church later realised that this was a contradiction in their doctrine of Passive Conception, insofar that the human soul only comes from their god, so the church decreed that a fetus was soulless up until the fifth month, and abortion was allowed up until then. In 1869 the church changed its mind again, confessing that they had heard their god incorrectly, And that instead of the soul entering into a fetus at five months, it was actually at conception.
Naturally the church staunchly denies that it was ever in favour of abortion, but rather, that it was always against the midwives (Witches) that performed them, as they state officially in their little handbook of the Inquisition: "No one does more harm to the catholic faith, than midwives. Yet the church alone, tortured, and sent many pregnant women to the burning stake.
To this day, the catholic church declares, that it has the right to control a woman's reproductive ability, even though pregnancy is the most dangerous life threatening biological act a woman can undertake, willingly or not.