Maybe one of the most influential pieces I've ever read is a piece by David Brooks three years ago about how Roe turned the legislative process into a bitter & acrimonious stage for zealots on both sides of the issue.
Justice Harry Blackmun did more inadvertent damage to our democracy than any other 20th-century American. When he and his Supreme Court colleagues issued the Roe v. Wade decision, they set off a cycle of political viciousness and counter-viciousness that has poisoned public life ever since, and now threatens to destroy the Senate as we know it.More...
When Blackmun wrote the Roe decision, it took the abortion issue out of the legislatures and put it into the courts. If it had remained in the legislatures, we would have seen a series of state-by-state compromises reflecting the views of the centrist majority that's always existed on this issue. These legislative compromises wouldn't have pleased everyone, but would have been regarded as legitimate.
Instead, Blackmun and his concurring colleagues invented a right to abortion, and imposed a solution more extreme than the policies of just about any other comparable nation.
Religious conservatives became alienated from their own government, feeling that their democratic rights had been usurped by robed elitists. Liberals lost touch with working-class Americans because they never had to have a conversation about values with those voters; they could just rely on the courts to impose their views. The parties polarized as they each became dominated by absolutist activists.
What most people seem to forget is that most states were already crafting legislation to handle abortion, some laws more liberal than others.
What we have now is a process where no one even respects the legislative process. If you have an issue with a law, simply venue shop to get your way.
It even showed up this week with the Clintons. They knew the rules in Nevada last March and never uttered a word, until it looked like it wasn't going to go their way; then bang, off to court.
Maybe there will be a day when the courts decide they no longer want the job of legislators and legislators decide to do theirs.