Jonah, I’m inclined to agree with Larry on this. For one thing, if you do not accept that abortion is a moral issue, a moral argument is unlikely to be persuasive – and most pro-abortion types fall into that camp.
However, take a chap like Vladimir Putin. Given his attitude to, say, terminating journalists in the 150th trimester, he’s hardly likely to be much exercised by the morality of abortion. Nevertheless, Russia has one of the highest abortion rates in the world, with surveys recording that two out of three pregnancies are aborted. The country is also in net population decline. He’s trying to figure out a way to reverse that.
Would a moral argument work with his citizenry? Russia’s had legal abortion since 1920, and many women have had a handful of them, at great damage to their reproductive capacity. Right now the government would be very grateful for any anti-abortion argument that plays in whatever’s the Russian equivalent of Peoria.
By the way, Ramesh’s recollection is right: in his fine book, he says that abortion in the US caused conception to increase by 30 per cent, but births to decrease by six per cent.