(The Valley Reporter is continuing its editorials exploring the consequences of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade)
In his concurring opinion on reversing Roe v Wade, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggested that the concept of privacy, and all of the legal precedents that it protects, be revisited. That includes access to contraception, private sexual behavior and same sex marriage.
Are we ready to live in a society with a government that inserts itself into people’s private lives? In 1963, Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protects the liberty of people to buy and use contraceptives. To revisit this issue is to ignore the fact that contraception does more than prevent pregnancy.
For many women it regulates the menstrual cycle, prevents endometriosis and can help manage fibroids and other medical conditions. Per the CDC, in 2015-17 64.9% of women used contraception.
Consider the words of Mara Gay, writing for the New York Times in an opinion piece titled The Republican War on Sex.
She writes that for “the puritanical tyrants seeking to control our bodies,” it’s a problem that women have sex for pleasure. “This radical minority, including the right-wing faction on the Supreme Court, probably won’t stop at banning abortion. If we take Justice Clarence Thomas at his word — and there’s no reason not to — the right to contraception could be the next to fall. Why? Because many in this movement are animated by an insatiable desire to punish women who have sex on our own terms and enjoy it,” Gay writes.
“A radical minority of Americans want to make an example of women who have sex outside marriage, women who compete with men in the workplace, women who are independent and who cannot be controlled. That’s part of why birth control is likely their next target,” she continued.
“In the America where I came of age, I was told my life was worth more than my ability to have babies. And my sexuality was nothing to be ashamed of,” May points out.
She concludes that there are more people invested in women’s equality than not and adds, “That’s especially true if American men recognize that their way of life is also under attack. Men also have sex for pleasure. This is not just a women’s issue.”