Prohibition of what many people want: It never works
As noted in a previous post, prohibition didn’t work even when the forces of prohibition were omnipotent and omniscient: God famously prohibited Adam and Eve from eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and that prohibition didn’t work, even though it was God Himself and there were only two people to keep an eye on. So how can mere humans expect to enforce prohibition of something many people want. It’s been tried and failed many times, and the failure is not merely that people can readily obtain the prohibited thing, but that the business of supplying it is a financial boon to criminals and quickly results in strong and prosperous criminal organizations—something that I think people in general do not want.
So instead of prohibiting things that many people want, the rational approach would be to regulate access to the prohibited thing, making it possible to legally obtain the thing at a competitive price, but with restrictions on who can purchase the thing, who can sell it, and where it may be used.
Alcohol is one famous example, tobacco another (even just overtaxing tobacco products leads to smuggling). Marijuana is another famous example, with the forces of prohibition stubbornly ignoring the total failure of the effort and its enormous cost (in human lives ruined and in public money wasted). Religion is another: when the Soviet Union tried to stamp out religion, it failed. Sex is another: the Catholic church forbids sexual activity for its priests and nuns, yet obviously that has failed and the church’s efforts to conceal the failure has stripped it of its moral authority (IMO).
And abortion: Those who wish to make all abortions illegal fail to recognize that enough people want—and feel that they need—abortions that any prohibition will fail: abortions will continue as a criminal activity. That’s not just a supposition, that’s how it has always worked in the past. It’s far better to face the fact that some things are not amenable to prohibition. (So this effort in Alaska to define the fœtus as a person in order to outlaw abortion is going to fail, one way or the other.)
Robbery is also prohibited, of course, and yet we have robberies. Yet the number of people who believe robbery should be legal is zero or close to it: we (as a people) do not want robbery, so when that prohibition is broken, we have the police go after those responsible. And because people in general don’t want robbery, robbers don’t have the tacit support of a major part of the populace, and so they are generally caught.