Thank you for your truly wonderful letter and your generous emotional response. You're a writer! As I suggested in my last comment, I think if budding young women want to keep on budding and be the center of the universe for a while they should do everything possible to avoid getting pregnant.
I don't think abortion is okay for the sake of self-development. I don't think the legality of abortion should encourage women to be careless about getting pregnant. I think women should be as terrified of having an (even early) abortion as they were when it was illegal because they have come to understand what it is.
What I worry about if it is made illegal is the desperate ones who are in a bad bind who will do it anyway. My grandmother told my mother that after my mom's older sister was born -- a very difficult birth followed by a severe postpartum depression -- she had two abortions before having my mom. This would have been about 1920. Her mother, a poor immigrant a generation earlier, had a very horny husband and no birth control. She had multiple abortions, at least one very bloody one on the kitchen table in front of her daughter, my grandmother, who was so traumatized she dropped out of high school for a year. Frank Sinatra's mother was an abortionist.
The point is, some women have always done this, like some men have always gone to prostitutes and used pornography. If we are to get almost completely beyond it, it will have to be through understanding, enlightenment, spiritual evolution. Outlawing it will not make it go away, just make it go underground.
I will say that law would not have stopped me from having an abortion, but culture -- hearing the truth, and maybe particularly the truth from an older woman, who knew about regret, and what's really important and lasting -- really might have.
I come back to: to force a woman to bear a child she conceives under any circumstances is a kind of slavery. (Maybe you have to remember a time when it was illegal to feel this way.) To persuade her to do so is something else entirely.
What infuriates me about the so-called "pro-choice" is that they don't want anyone to say what abortion really is because it makes them uncomfortable. They act as if they have a right to be comfortable and it's being violated by telling the truth, so shut up.
Well, I better shut up and write the actual essay.