MEGAN MCARDLE: Abortion And The Rise Of Extremism.

But when the Supreme Court exempted abortion from the legislative process, it also exempted political figures — and voters — from having to actually think through what abortion law should look like. The legislative action moved to secondary and tertiary and quaternary issues: spousal and parental notification, health code standards for clinics, whether the federal government should give any funding to organizations that performed abortions, even if the money was tied to some other activity the government wanted to promote.

When a court has precluded making actual policy, talk is cheap and extreme opinions abound. Placing the question of abortion beyond normal politics allowed voters and politicians to declare themselves to be for “life” or “choice” while rarely thinking hard about which choices should be made about which lives, and by whom. If conservatives got their wish and saw Roe struck down tomorrow, they would probably be surprised by how painful and unsatisfying they’d find the legislative process that followed. The pro-choice side, meanwhile, might discover that blue states weren’t quite as blue as they’d fancied, when legislators could no longer justify later-term abortions on the grounds that the Supreme Court had left them no choice.

But is repealing ObamaCare really the same kind of thing?