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ABORTION AND CONTRACEPTIVES – Pro-Life Action of Oregon begins a new series on the connection between abortion and contraceptives with this entry.

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The History of  Legalized Abortion Begins With Legalized Contraceptives – PART ONE

“How Abortion Became Legal”

From Choices in Matters of Life & Death by Judie Brown with Paul Brown

If we study the Supreme Court’s decisions and try to see when the Court began arbitrarily granting the right to kill, we have to go back to 1965 when the last of the so-called Comstock Laws or the old birth control laws in America was overturned.  [Margaret Sanger played a major role in the legalization of birth control.]

  • In Griswold v. Connecticut [1965], the Court created the “right to privacy.”
  • There never has been in the U.S. Constitution a right to privacy, but in 1965, to legalize all forms of birth control for married couples, the Court ruled that couples have a “right to privacy” and therefore the state has no compelling interest even in alerting them to the medical side effects of birth control.
  • This contrived “right to privacy” laid the groundwork for further anti-life actions by the Court. [Emphasis added.]

Justice Stewart agreed that the “right to privacy” was contrived and could not be found in the Constitution.  In his dissenting opinion in Griswold, he wrote:

“In the course of its opinion the Court refers to no less than six amendments to the Constitution:  The First, the Third, the Fourth, the Fifth, the Ninth and the 14th.  But the Court does not say which of these amendments, if any, it thinks is infringed by this Connecticut [birth control] law.

“What provision of the Constitution, then, does makes this [birth control] law invalid? The Courts says it is the right of privacy ‘created by several fundamental constitutional guarantees.’ With all deference, I can find no such general right of privacy in the Bill of Rights, in any other part of the Constitution, or in any case ever before decided by this Court.

“At the oral argument in this case we were told that the Connecticut [birth control] law does not ‘conform to current community standards.’  But it is not the function of this Court to decide cases on the basis of community standards. We are here to decide cases ‘agreeable to the Constitution and laws of the United States.’”—-Justice Stewart’s dissenting opinion in Griswold.

In 1972, in Eisenstadt v. Baird, the Supreme Court again referred to the “right to privacy,” ruling that contraceptives may be given to unmarried individuals, concluding that the “equal protection under the law” guaranteed by the Constitution confers the rights of married persons on the unmarried as well.

What the Court did in 1973 [Roe v. Wade] was simply to carry forward that right to privacy created in 1965 and legalize the killing of innocent preborn children.

Judie Brown is the president of American Life League and a member of the Pontifical Academy For Life.

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See also our post, “The Contraceptive Ethic”

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