Pro-choice won from the first discussion. Every discussion which followed was merely an over-wrought explanation of why anti-choice had already lost.
The problem with faith-based, public-policy demands, which impose arbitrary injunctions against particular behaviors, is that they cannot accomplish their goal without also destroying their own mandate. What I mean by that is that the anti-abortion crowd wants an exclusive audience, a particular kind of legislative outcome, but make demands based on nothing more than a mere exercise of free speech defended by the same legislation! Their demands, however, can be met only by a requirement that the State would meddle with the internal organs of both men and women. Mostly women.
Women would be made into objects of and subjects to possibly continuous State scrutiny. The State, when given the legal instrument for bodily intrusion, will not stop at that arbitrary border, neither in theory nor in practice.
When pressed, anti-women say they want a particular outcome to be made illegal but don’t seem to quite understand that it is the State which is the instrument by which legality and illegality are defined and enforced. This is a matter which involves, first and foremost, the internal organs of a woman. Would they not create for themselves a difficult scenario wherein abortion would be criminalized but, even while claiming to support the rights and autonomy of the individual, the enforcement of that same law would somehow not involve the woman’s organs!
Consider a slightly different example of the creep of unthinking mandate: The American public wanted more security after 9/11. They got more than merely careful border inspectors (they didn’t even get that); they were also denied the ability to carry food (yes, I’m serious, something as banal as sustenance and water) into a commercial airplane and are even now uselessly subjected to x-ray machines. You might argue, with limited success, that these are necessary. I would respond simply that these are examples of getting more than what one bargained for.
Anti-abortionists want to exercise their rights towards the goal of explicitly removing the right to control one’s own bodily organs. They make that demand on the flimsiest of evidence, which proves to be no evidence at all but mere hysteria about, for example, a person who “could have been” or assertions about a clump of undifferentiated cells containing some ghost of personhood. They’ve destroyed their own arguments with nonsense and hypocrisy.