Asymmetrical Information has 8 straight posts from Jane Galt (a.k.a. Megan McArdle) that demolish both sides of the abortion debate.
Here are the parts I liked best, but go read the whole thing.
1) Roe left the sizable minority in this country that vehemently opposes abortion with no recourse except to pack the court with judges.
... While I think that we need keep abortion available, I see no reason to make it easy.
What are we, three? If you're old enough to have sex, you're old enough to tell Mom, Pop, or Hubby that you got pregnant.
2) ... I'm told that more than half of the people getting abortions are repeat customers.
That would seem to be more than random chance at work.
Neither rape nor incest are significant contributions to the national abortion rate, and making public policy around them is silly.
To sum up, the overwhelming majority of women having abortions are doing so because of their own failure to use birth control correctly, or to ensure that their partners are doing so.
3) If your typical strongly pro-choice woman is five months pregnant, and has a miscarriage, she does not call her mother to say "I lost the fetus"; she sobs "I lost the baby". Nor would she vote to allow a woman to slit the throat of her premature baby, even though this is functionally equivalent to a procedure that she thinks should be legal, the "intact dilation and extraction" aka the "partial-birth abortion".
And your typical strongly pro-life man does not, in fact, want to see women sent to jail for having abortions, even though he would almost certainly endorse a stiff stretch in the pokey for any woman who hired a doctor to hack her infant to pieces and throw the pieces of the body in a medical waste bin.
If abortion were either murder, or irrelevant, than we wouldn't need to ask those questions. And indeed, most people with strongly held positions like to maintain that it is at one of these two poles, because it shuts down debate, obviates the need for compromise, and forestalls confrontation of the ugly consequences of whichever side you ultimately come down upon.
4) Most second- and third- trimester fetuses feel pain. ... Abortion at that stage involves hacking what I hope pro-choicers will at least recognize as the moral equivalent of a small, defenseless animal to death without anaethesia.
Preventing a pregnancy just isn't the same thing to us as ending it once it has occurred, and you can ask any woman who's had an abortion if you need confirmation that it does not feel just the same as, say, having an IUD inserted.
An abortion prevents the highly-likely birth of a single, specific child; birth control prevents the possible birth of millions of potential combinations of sperm and egg, all of which have an extremely low probability of being born.
5) ... Reproduction is not fair. It is not going to be fair. ... I know, none of us made that decision. But we didn't decide to walk upright or have opposable thumbs, either, and yet we reap the fruits of the wise planning of our ancestors.
Instead of trying to surgically correct reality in a fruitless quest to torture an organic thing into some impossibly symmetrical idealized shape you have in your brain, how about talking about tradeoffs, and making uncomfortable compromises? How about we stop pretending that we can find a perfect solution (or even worse, pretending that we have found it, and angrily denouncing any evidence to the contrary), and settling for finding the best one in a decidely imperfect world?
6) I hate the way the abortion debate is handled in this country. ... This is the only thing we care about in a Supreme Court justice? ... I am amazed that half the chattering classes really purport to believe that the single most important issue facing the courts is whether or not ten or so low-population states will, or will not, be allowed to outlaw abortion.
7) ... Even the most avid pro-choicer who caught the neighbours preparing to disassemble their children with a chainsaw would presumably try to stop it, not wander back to their own yard mumbling about the right to privacy.
Acting as if concern for the potential life in that womb is the same thing as peeking under the window shades to see whether you're renting porn or leaving dirty dishes in the sink is insulting. Try this one on for size: "If you think lynching is wrong, don't string up your neighbours."
8) ... The Supreme Court is no longer the Supreme Court of past fame. It is now the National Abortion Tribunal, and its members are no longer jurists, they are the Keepers of the Abortion Toggle Switch.
Fig. 1A. Abortion Toggle Switch, closed.
Suction motors will engage.
As we can see from the schematic diagram above, the Abortion Toggle Switch is currently in the closed (ON) position. The entire purpose of the so-called Supreme Court, as current wisdom understands that purpose, is to stare at this switch all day wondering whether they should play with it or not.
Now this is a sad state for this once-great court to have fallen to, and makes me wonder if we don't need another court to assume the neglected responsibilities of the current one. Then the Abortion Toggle Switch could be moved to some remote corner of the public's attention, and the various abortion partisans could play their endless game of Keep Away without buggering up the entire constitutional process.
The last item is drawn from Canis Iratus.
I'm pro-choice, but I think this all sums up the weak path the
pro-choice movement has made by trying to be absolutist -that's a
position that can work for pro-lifers, but anyone who thinks abortion
should be safe, legal, and rare has got to lighten up a bit or they're
going to lose. It's only a matter of time, and it's an issue that should not be decided in an all-or-nothing way because the pro-choice movement is copping an attitude.