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Before the person is born, I consider it more of an issue of its being a part of the mother's body, in which case, it is between her and her family, her doctor and her clergy, since it is at least her life (to be 'pro-'). Life actually began well before anyone's particular life, continues through it well into the future. Your life, your particular set of cells and ideas started well before you or your parents were born, conceived or whatever and they lead directly to you--choosing any point of origin is arbitrary and needs some justification for being selected.

It is the "pro-lifers" that make it a public issue. Making it a public issue is a simple way of developing a 'moral' sense, especially in morally ambiguous times. If you were really "pro-life" you would be busy promoting prenatal counciling centers, school nutrition and after-school programs, lobying your government to support international health and education efforts--not inhabiting them. Not to mention natural resources conservation programs and issues.