For decades, feminists have been warning that if the U.S. Supreme Court ever overturned Roe v. Wade, far-right Christian fundamentalists would go after contraception and the landmark Griswold v. Connecticut ruling as well. And sure enough, when the High Court overturned Roe in 2022 with its 5-4 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Justice Clarence Thomas recommended that the High Court also “reconsider” Griswold.
Thomas is Catholic, not a Protestant evangelical. But like Justice Samuel Alito and the late Justice Antonin Scalia, he has been an ally of far-right evangelicals and a persistent critic of Roe and other right-to-privacy rulings.
Handed down by Warren Court in 1965, Griswold invalidated a Connecticut ban on contraception for married couples and, by extension, similar laws in other states. Griswold, for married couples, made contraception access a national right. And the Court expanded that right to unmarried couples in 1972’s Eisenstadt v. Baird.
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In a report for “Reveal,” broadcast by many National Public Radio (NPR) affiliates, host Al Letson and his colleagues devoted an entire hour to efforts by anti-abortion activists — including the group Students For Life — to outlaw contraception as well.
“For many in the anti-abortion movement,” Letson reports, “overturning Roe v. Wade isn’t enough. They want to restrict access even in states where abortion remains legal.…. But the attacks go beyond abortion. Groups like Students For Life have been targeting other forms of reproductive healthcare, including something millions of people rely on every day: hormonal birth control.”
Letson adds, “It seems, well, contradictory. If you’re opposed to abortion, why would you also be opposed to the most effective forms of contraception? But groups like Students For Life don’t see it that way. They see things like IUDs, emergency contraception and even the pill as causing abortion.”
Letson notes that when MSNBC’s Joy Reid interviewed Students For Life President Kristian Hawkins in 2017, Hawkins called for IUDs and birth control pills to be outlawed along with abortion.
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“More recently,” Letson warns, “Students For Life has gone on social media, doubling down on the idea that birth control is harmful and can cause abortions.”
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Listen to the full “Reveal” broadcast at this link.
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