Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Verdict

Publication Date

6-8-2015

Abstract

Amid discussions of whether the FDA should approve a so-called Viagra for women, which creates a desire for sex (rather than simply facilitating it), it is hard to imagine a world in which it was a crime for a married couple to use birth control. But that indeed was the law that sparked a lawsuit and led to the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut, fifty years ago this week.

On June 7, 1965, the Supreme Court found a surprising thing: a constitutional right of married couples to access and use contraception. It didn’t literally find those words in the Constitution—of course they don’t appear—but it found, in the “penumbras and emanations” of several amendments, a right to privacy that was broad enough to encompass this particular right.

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