Finding in the Constitution Something That's Simply Not There
Roe v. Wade is another in a long chain of decisions, finding in the Constitution something that's simply not there, and instead was read into it by Justices who wanted it to have been there. There are plenty of examples of this, and the part that's most annoying to me is that it didn't have to be this way: if a socially desirable result couldn't have been achieved based on plain reading of the Constitution (and I do recognize that the Constitution as it exists at the moment does not have literal opinion on some things that it probably should), we could have just amended it -- if there is a way in which the Constitution is obviously deficient, there shouldn't be much of a problem to get enough support to amend it, and if there isn't, it probably shouldn't be left to a handful of people in robes.
But yes, saying that bans on abortion are plainly unconstitutional is pure gaslighting. Imagine an alternative universe, where the Supreme Court takes the Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, which, let's recall, says:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Then with respect to the "liberty" mentioned in the Fourteenth amendment, they claim that it means not only the right of the citizen to be free from the mere physical restraint of his person, as by incarceration, but the term is deemed to embrace the right of the citizen to be free in the enjoyment of all his faculties, to be free to use them in all lawful ways, to live and work where he will, to earn his livelihood by any lawful calling, to pursue any livelihood or avocation, and for that purpose to enter into all contracts which may be proper, necessary, and essential to his carrying out to a successful conclusion the purposes above mentioned.
Consequently, a slave person sues for his freedom, and the Supreme Court rules against him. Why? Well, again, they argue that the "liberty" mentioned without doubt means the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.
Since holding slaves is a common occupation of life of free men, depriving them from it would be depriving them of liberty. Doing so may force upon the slave holder a distressful life and future, imminent psychological harm, mental and physical health may be taxed by physical deprivation. There is also the distress, for all concerned, associated with the missing labor, and there is the problem of removing labor source from a family already unable, psychologically and otherwise, to perform it. In other cases, as in this one, the additional difficulties and continuing stigma of poverty may be involved. Therefore, they conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the slaveholding decision, but that this right is not unqualified and must be considered against important state interests in regulation. Thus, they limit the slaveholding for a period of 30 years, or until the slave can independently support him or herself.
Does that sounds unreasonable, and clearly reading into constitution something that's plainly not there? Sure, obviously it does. At the same time, the italicized part are rough quotes from Supreme Court that form constitutional basis for abortion right, with abortion replaced with slavery as the analogy required. In my eyes, suggesting that 14th amendment, substantive due process and right to privacy plainly lead to constitutional right to abortion is akin to suggesting that the same arguments plainly lead to constitutional right to slavery, and any person suggesting that is either really dumb or really evil, and in any case, extremely dangerous, as the entire point of written constitution and laws is so that you can't read into them anything you want as desired.
In any case, I do like 14th Amendment. Obviously, on its face it was the slavery-banning amendment, but it did not actually end slavery it was the very bloody war, where thousands of free people gave their life in order to secure rights of some people they mostly never even met, that did it. The reason I like it though is that once the conflict was won, the proper procedure of encoding the understanding into the constitution has followed. That's how I'd want the constitutional right to abortion to exist, if we are to have any: not through total bullshit legal "reasoning", but through clear and unambiguous political process. This will however never happen anymore. The United States which amended its constitution has already collapsed, and the new system that arisen in its place has no need to do so. Therefore, we will not see any substantial amendment to the current constitution until the current political system collapses.