The Overturn Of Roe v. Wade May Lead To Nationwide Ban On Contraception And Same-sex Marriage

The decision made by the US Supreme Court to overrule the 1973 Roe v. Wade case, thereby revoking the federal right to an abortion, is now raising suspicion in the public eye about what may follow. There are growing concerns that the use of contraceptives and birth control will be under attack next. Justice Clarence Thomas, along with other Republican leaders, has suggested a possible overturning of the court’s 1965 ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut, which established the right to privacy and legalized birth control. Other significant cases guaranteeing fundamental rights for women and the LGBTQ+ community are also in jeopardy. 

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his concurring opinion, “In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell. Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”

The cases Justice Clarence referred to were all fundamental in establishing federal rights to gay marriage, contraceptives, and privacy. Griswold allowed for married couples to buy and use contraceptives, paving the way for the right to contraception for all women a few years later. Lawrence v. Texas was a 2003 Supreme Court ruling that established the right for consenting individuals to participate in same-sex intimacy. Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 legalized the right to same-sex marriage. Justice Thomas is questioning the integrity of these cases and thus jeopardizing the fundamental human rights of women and the LGBTQ+ community across the US. Since the cases above all rely heavily on substantive due process, the Justice’s remarks are highly alarming for the future of the Court’s agenda. 

Even if Griswold isn’t overturned, some definitions of illegal abortion being passed in Southern states are threatening the legal use of contraceptives. This includes states such as Missouri that define the life of an unborn child as starting at fertilization, which subsequently can be dangerously interpreted as encompassing contraceptives such as Plan-B. 

President Joe Biden called out Justice Thomas and other Republican leaders in his speech following the overturn of Roe v. Wade: “[Justice Thomas] explicitly called to reconsider the right of marriage equality, the right of couples to make their choices on contraception. This is an extreme and dangerous path the Court is now taking us on.”

The recent overturn of Roe v. Wade is a war against women and the LGBTQ+ community. The fight for the rights of women and the LGBTQ+ community in America is largely dependent on the votes of the American people this upcoming fall in the 2022 Midterm elections. Congress has the power to reinstate Roe v. Wade with a 60% majority vote. It has never been more essential to vote for representatives who place women and the LGBTQ+ community as a priority. The future of this country depends on it.