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First Roe, Now Contraception - Republicans Push More Restrictions on Reproductive Freedom

In 1961, Estelle Griswald and Dr. C. Lee Bruxton were arrested and convicted for violating Connecticut’s 1879 Comstock law banning contraceptives (even when used by married couples).[1] Republicans want to turn back the clock and ban contraception nation-wide.

 

In 1965, the U.S Supreme Court in a 7-2 decision ruled that the Connecticut law was unconstitutional based on individual rights that created “zones of privacy.”[2] (Unmarried couples had to wait until 1972.)[3]

 

These “zones of privacy” were effectively demolished by the Supreme Court when it overturned Roe ruling that there was no Constitutional right to privacy.[4]

 

Justice Thomas in a concurring opinion said that the Supreme Court decisions regarding access to contraceptives should be reconsidered.[5] By reconsidered he means overturned.

 

Trump and the ultra-right Heritage Foundation through Project 2025 are pushing the restrictions on contraception access envisioned by Clarence Thomas.

 

The Heritage Foundation has said that “[c]onservatives have to lead the way in restoring sex to its true purpose, & ending recreational sex & senseless use of birth control pills.”[6]

During an interview with KDKA News in Pittsburgh Trump is on record that he is open to restricting access to contraception – “we’re looking at that”.[7]

 

House Democrats recently introduced legislation that would protect the right to contraception.[8] A similar bill was introduced in the Senate. Virtually all House and Senate Republicans are opposed.

 

Louisiana Republican blocked laws that would protect access to contraceptives. Idaho, Oklahoma, and Mississippi lawmakers are considering bans. Virgina’s Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin vetoed bills that would have protected the right to contraception in that state.

 

If the right to contraception fails what is next on the Republican wish list? IVF and other fertility treatments and surrogacy can’t be far behind.

 

The Heritage Foundation has issued guidelines[9] to limit and “regulate” IVF based on false and misleading science. They incorrectly assert that  “[c]hildren born through IVF have a higher likelihood of cancerautismminor cleft pallet, or a congenital heart defect.”

 

If enacted the Heritage Foundation guidelines eliminate anonymous egg and sperm donors, promotes non-assisted reproductive technology such as “natural alternatives” and prohibits pre-implantation genetic testing.

 

Michigan and Minnesota Republicans voted against bills that protected surrogacy in those state. The South Dakota legislature had considered making surrogacy a crime.

 

Republicans who claim they will not limit access to birth control despite voting against its protection are misleading the public. They must be held accountable for their actions and replaced this November.


 

 

 

 

 

[Note: Thomas said that “we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents” which includes contraception, marriage equality, for example.]

 

See also Heritage Foundation X/Twitter May 27, 2023

 

 

 

 

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