For years now, social conservatives have set their sights on overturning Roe v. Wade. Now, they want to overturn its antecedent, Griswold v. Connecticut, a U.S. Supreme Court decision that recognized a “right to privacy” and struck down an old Connecticut law that banned contraception.
As I outlined in blogs that I recently wrote for the Huffington Post and CARE2, public comments made by Rick Santorum have exposed what many have long suspected: many anti-abortion advocates are also anti-contraception.
After voters in New Hampshire reacted negatively to Santorum’s attack on family planning, Romney and other Republican presidential aspirants have taken steps to distance themselves from Santorum and his comments about Griswold. But not very far. In debates this past weekend, Romney opined about the improbability of any state voting to ban family planning, but he didn’t back off his pledge to abolish Title X, which provides low-income women in the U.S. with access to family planning and reproductive health services. Nor has he changed his mind about a “personhood” amendment that would effectively ban several forms of modern contraceptives: he’s still for it.
Rick Perry still trumpets the fact that Texas this year cut state support for family planning clinics by two-third, and he still wants to ban abortions, even in the case of rape or incest.
Only time will tell how far these attacks on contraception and reproductive choice will go, but social conservatives have already succeeded in drastically cutting state support for family planning clinics in states like Texas and New Jersey.
It’s time, in this politically-charged year, for everyone who supports family planning and women’s rights to make their voices heard. Call the campaigns. Write a blog or a letter to the editor. Post something on Facebook. Tweet about it. Talk to your neighbors. But don’t stay silent. Not now.
Posted by Robert J. Walker, President