By D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A.
A few days ago, I received an unsolicited e-mail from “Stephanie Cutter, BarackObama.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>. It read in part,
I wish to be clear: contraception is not a new subject to me, as a physician married to an obstetrician/gynecologist, or as a woman. What is new is the involvement of the state to such a degree.
Consider that in 1965, the United States Supreme Court heard a case against contraception. That was the case of Griswold v. Connecticut, in which Griswold, the Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut, and Dr. Buxton, a Yale Medical School professor as well as New Haven’s Planned Parenthood Medical Director, brought suit against the state of Connecticut. Griswold and Buxton contested the constitutionality of the Connecticut law under which they were arrested and fined for assisting married couples in preventing conception. In that decision, they questioned
In that decision, in which the Connecticut law was struck down, the Court had this to say about marriage:
Almost 47 years later, we find a different landscape. Now, not only is the “state” — in this case, the United States — allowing sale and use of contraceptives, the citizenry is being told they must provide it free for all women who desire to use it. In 1965, it was anathema (to the Court) that the government should police bedrooms for evidence of the use of contraceptives; in 2012, it seems anathema to the federal government that persons of conscience would not wish to provide and/or pay for others’ use of contraceptives. “Contraceptives” are broadly defined, and include abortifacients in some cases. Indeed, religious institutions which object to contraceptive use have one more year to figure out how to divest themselves of their consciences, and comply with the federal requirement. Some refer to this a “the rape of conscience.” I cannot disagree. On what basis can a government insist that private organizations and citizens provide hormonal treatments to its citizenry? Such a strong centralized state is itself a state on hormones; in this case, steroids: “THE STATE.” Such provision for its people is really the STATE’s iron hand in its “Nanny” glove.