Volokh conspirator Todd Zywicki has an interesting post up asking about people's development on the issue of abortion. Specifically, how and why they might have changed their mind on the issue. He says that he knows plenty of people who used to be pro-choice, but became pro-life -- but few who made the opposite journey. And for those who have, he's curious as to what prompted the change in mindset.
My abortion journey, like the hobbit's, was a case of there and back again. I started off pro-choice in my youth, primarily as an off-shoot of growing up in a generally liberal household that made my default views on most issues liberal. Then I switched over to being pro-life, albeit uncomfortably. I say uncomfortably because all the reasons for being pro-choice made no less sense to me: it still seemed critical for the equality of women, and it still seemed like not allowing it was a tremendous state imposition on female bodies. But even those tremendous costs, large as they were, could not logically seem to override my thought that you're still killing a person, which I took to be a moral bright-line.
My discovery of pragmatism aided in me switching back to the pro-choice side. I decided that, regardless of when and whether a fetus qualified as a biological member of the species, that doesn't answer the question of when it becomes infused with moral personhood. That is a question that has no bright-line answer, and thus ought to be answered pragmatically. At the point, the massive costs the "life(/moral personhood) begins at conception" standard imposes on women becomes a good reason to reject it as a standard. Alternative measures seem far more effective at balancing whatever moral interest we have in protecting fetal life with insuring the equal participation of women in society (not to mention allowing women ownership over their own bodies). Judith Jarvis Thompson's "violinist" story also was helpful in my transition by raising the point that moral personhood might, in fact, not be relevant at all (though I'm not 100% sure I buy it).
The major point is, however, that once I lost my faith in the existence of crystalline, pre-social categories of moral truth, the pro-life position became untenable, because it constructed a moral framework that was hideously oppressive to women on the basis of a groundless presupposition that we could just as easily avoid. Given the choice, I choose to draw the rules so as to promote equality.
But I'm interested in your stories, if any of y'all have undergone similar shifts on the issue (in any direction). Leave them for me in the comments.