A simple defense of the right to abortion

A few days ago Kevin Drum lamented that the conservative attacks on Roe vs. Wade are much easier to understand than liberal arguments defending it:

Conservatives say, “Abortion isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Constitution and it was illegal almost everywhere before 1973.” In response, liberals stutter and stammer and reel off a few hundred incomprehensible words about a complicated and unintuitive legal doctrine.

Look, it’s not that hard to understand. There is no way in hell that that the document that enshrines our most fundamental liberties would nevertheless allow a state to force someone to undergo a procedure that permanently changes the shape of their body, costs tens of thousands of dollars, culminates in what has been described as “one of the most severe pains which has ever [been] evaluated,” and when it goes wrong can lead to permanent damage, infertility or death. If your favorite method of constitutional interpretation comes up with a different answer then that’s a good indication that your method is either flawed or, more likely, was chosen to get the answer you wanted.

Edit 7/7: I just wanted to add that this kind analysis isn’t new. At just 4,400 words long, the U.S. Constitution is the shortest written constitution of any major government in the world. It’s not a piece of legislation, it’s an outline. As Chief Justice Marshall put it in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), “Its nature, therefore, requires that only its great outlines should be marked, its important objects designated, and the minor ingredients which compose those objects be deduced from the nature of the objects themselves.” (Check out Alan Brownstein’s op-ed in The Hill for more on the limits of textualism.)