Human beings do not know where they come from, originally. Intelligent design advocates and deists insist that an omnipotent engineer somehow created the universe whereas paleontologists proclaim that our species somehow emerged out of the primordial goo. Seeing that this fundamental aspect of our existence is simply unknown, it is not surprising to see the human species argue with each other as to when life begins, since no one truly knows were we came from in the first place. The reason why the class of medical procedures known as abortion are contentious in the first place is that the differing perspectives on the origin of life, as well as on personal morality, are becoming comingled with whether the government has any proper authority to intervene in medicine at all.
The typical constitutionalist position is that they federal government should not have any say in the matter (since it is not explicitly granted by the Constitution) and therefore any such possible authority rests with the 50 state legislatures. Absent a comprehensive analysis of all 50 state constitutions, it would otherwise be rational to infer that indeed the various state level legislatures reserve the ability to intervene in whatever they damn well want. In terms of political procedure, it’s still up in the air at this time.
In terms of political philosophy, however, “public health” is fallacious at best. The so-called rationale for claiming that the institution that maintains a monopoly on the initiation of the use of coercive force must somehow provide voluntary medical protection for its citizens is contradictory on its face. Unless said “medical protection” is compulsory, in which case you have men and women in fine suits dictating to you what you can and can not do with your body; if so, this violates the self-ownership axiom. So, you are dealing with either a logical fallacy or the blatant violation of self-ownership (the latter concept of which we are told forms the basis for the “consent of the governed” pursuant to a limited government’s proper authority, according to minarchist republican theory).
Personally, I have a noticeable disgust for abortion; however I can’t be considered a pro-lifer since all they advocate is overturning Roe v. Wade (1973) as well as using governmental force to somehow criminalize those who voluntarily choose to undertake a particular medical procedure. Even if said procedure is utterly contemptible to me and would violate my own moral code should I choose to participate in it, that does not therefore mean I should sanction other peoples’ attempts to coercively prohibit something to others who happen to want it. Due to the incredibly intimate nature of what it is, only the parents and their doctor have any role or say in the matter; not me, not the public, and certainly not the government. If a particular doctor has a moral problem with abortion, the parents are free to find another OB-GYN in the remnants of the free-market who would be more than happy to supply that particular demand.
Until such time that there are compulsory abortions and draconian “one child policies” (such as those that the Chinese Communists have been subjecting their domestic population to), the issue of abortion in these United States is a totally junk issue. It would seem to suggest that those who perpetuate The Left-Right Paradigm want to get the public stuck on this incendiary non-problem not only as a diversion from the truly relevant problems that affect of us quite deeply, but also as a mechanism to balkinize the populace. While there may be something to be said for the protection of life, the government can’t even moderately do that well for the sake of the living, so what makes you think they’ll do a better job with the unborn?