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GOP Crusade Against Abortion Could Lead To Contraception Bans

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With Roe v. Wade on the chopping block, Republicans have increasingly been speaking up about other Supreme Court cases they don’t like. In spite of everything, with conservatives possessing a 6-3 majority, why not make a wish list?

One in all the cases that’s coming up is Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 decision that said married couples have a right to contraception access. It struck down a Connecticut law that outlawed the usage of contraception devices.

Griswold was a landmark case, ruling against Connecticut on the premise of a married couple’s right to privacy. It set the stage for future decisions ensuring contraception access for single couples, same-sex marriage rights and, in fact, abortion access in Roe v. Wade.

Many Republicans abhor Griswold precisely since it is the muse for therefore many other decisions.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) recently said it was “constitutionally unsound.” Arizona GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters’ campaign website said he would only support judges “who understand that Roe and Griswold and Casey were wrongly decided, and that there is no such thing as a constitutional right to abortion.”

In February, Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Jeff Bartos called Griswold a “terrible decision.” That very same month, Matt DePerno, the Republican nominee for Michigan attorney general, said, “Listen, all these cases that deal — Griswold, Roe v. Wade, Dobbs — these are all state right issues. … It’s going to be a state right issue on all of these items — appropriately!”

Masters has clarified that he doesn’t favor banning contraceptives.

But when Republicans get what they need ― an overturning of Griswold ― it might kick the problem back to the states and open the door to restrictions or bans on contraception methods, because there can be no federal guarantee of access.

Griswold is not going to be overturned imminently. Even Amy Coney Barrett admitted as much during her confirmation hearings in 2020, saying, “I feel that Griswold could be very, very, very, very, very, impossible to go anywhere.”

But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. In spite of everything, only a few people believed Roe can be overturned too.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is one among the GOP politicians who’ve criticized the Supreme Court’s decision in Griswold v. Connecticut.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

There’s laws in Louisiana without delay that might test the Supreme Court’s commitment to Griswold. The bill would make abortion a homicide and charge women who undergo the procedure with murder. It could also criminalize certain types of contraception ― corresponding to IUDs and Plan B ― because it might change the state’s legal definition of an individual to a fertilized egg.

Some Republicans have long pushed for federal personhood laws, which might classify fertilized eggs as individuals under the U.S. Structure, making abortion illegal. And it’s a problem that’s coming up on the campaign trail.

In Senate races, Masters said he backs it. Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Dave McCormick said he believes life begins at conception. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who’s up for reelection, said it’s “irrefutable” that life begins at conception in 2012. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who can be running this cycle, has backed personhood bills.

In congressional races, Christopher Rodriguez, a Republican running in California’s forty ninth District, said he plans to “creator a bill that may define human life as starting within the womb and subsequently protected by the US structure.” Tim Reichert, running in Colorado’s seventh District, has ― in his work as an economist ― given presentations and written opinion articles arguing that contraception harms women economically and psychologically since it makes it harder for them to get married. His campaign has said he doesn’t need to ban contraception.

And on the state level, there’s much more support. Candidates who’ve endorsed the thought of personhood laws or the assumption that life begins at conception include DePerno in Michigan, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), Arizona attorney general candidate Tiffany Shedd, Wisconsin GOP gubernatorial candidate Kevin Nicholson, Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Lou Barletta and others.

“The crux of this debate centers on when pregnancy begins,” said Osub Ahmed, associate director for ladies’s health and rights on the Center for American Progress. “Mainstream medical examiners and even the federal government define pregnancy as starting when a fertilized egg implants in an individual’s uterus. Nonetheless, conservative policymakers and advocates have attempted to shift the goal post, arguing that pregnancy begins for the time being of fertilization — well before implantation.”

“If this latest definition were to be seriously considered or incorporated in any way into state laws, it might put in danger access to a lot of contraceptive methods that prevent implantation, including emergency contraceptives and intrauterine devices, which disturbingly can be redefined as abortifacients,” Ahmed added.

On Sunday, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) didn’t give a flat-out “no” when asked whether his state would perhaps goal contraception corresponding to Plan B or IUDs.

“My view is that the following phase of the pro-life movement is specializing in helping those mothers that perhaps have an unexpected and unwanted pregnancy,” Reeves said. “And while I’m sure there shall be conversations around America regarding [contraceptives], it’s not something that we’ve got spent quite a lot of time focused on.”

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