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Restrictions on Contraception Could Set Women Back Generations

The New Yorker – “When the current Supreme Court issued its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization last week, overturning Roe v. Wade and eliminating the constitutional right to abortion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a concurring opinion that sent chills through almost anyone who takes the personal freedoms of modern life for granted. He wrote that the Court “should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” the decisions that legalized access to contraception, the right to engage in private acts of intimacy with same-sex partners, and the right to marry whomever one chooses. All three of these cases were decided using similar logic to Roe, which was based on the idea of a fundamental right to privacy rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, which establishes due-process rights and equal protection under the law for all citizens. The impact of the Roe v. Wade reversal on the economic prospects of women—especially low-income women—will be significant. If the Court were to restrict access to contraception as well, the results could be financially devastating, potentially leading to a drastic reimagining of women’s role in our economy and society at large. The concept of providing support for working parents through paid family leave and affordable child care is already controversial. “We don’t support families. We don’t support people who are bearing children,” Khiara M. Bridges, a professor of law at the U.C. Berkeley School of Law, told me. Restricting access to contraception would “exacerbate inequality that already exists. The wealthy will be able to control the timing and spacing of their children, and those who are poor and working class will not. It’s folks who are unprivileged who will be forced to resort to unsafe methods of avoiding pregnancy or terminating pregnancy. Or be forced into a state of constant childbearing.”…

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