The only "quintessential American idea" pertaining to abortion is that we have the inherent, inalienable right to life. We always have that right, not because some pompous agist bigot decrees it, rather because it is a natural part of who we are. Human rights do not begain at some arbitrary point during our lifespan just because some bloodcrazed tyrant says so. All humans always have human rights at all ages.No one wins when an abortion happens. That having been said, it is no one's right to tell another what their decision must be about very personal matters.
The right wingers will march as they may and cry "murder, most foul!".....that doesn't make it so. Life begins long before conception, but we haven't outlawed certain wastage practices prior to conception. Sustainable life may begin closer to 20 weeks gestation in most cases. Those who believe that it begins at the moment of conception have had that notion handed to them by some (arbitrary) arbiter of these things...for there is no verse in the Good Book that says "life begins at x weeks."
Very few of us advocate the notion that abortion makes everyone involved happier. It doesn't. Abortion should be avoided whenever possible for fairly obvious reasons. It may in some circumstances be the lesser of two evils and I don't propose to tell anyone what decisions they ought to make. The consequences of personal decision should remain the consequences of personal choice. It may not be a Roman notion, but it is a quintessential American idea.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--"
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. On December 23, the Declaration and the Constitution were removed from the shrine and placed between two sheets of acid-free manilla paper. The documents were then carefully wrapped in a container of all-rag neutral millboard and placed in a specially designed bronze container. It was late at night when the container was finally secured with padlocks on each side. Preparations were resumed on the day after Christmas, when the Attorney General ruled that the Librarian needed no "further authority from the Congress or the President" to take such action as he deemed necessary for the "proper protection and preservation" of the documents in his charge.