The Corner

Contraception

Several readers email to point out that some contraceptives can act as abortifacients and that therefore state legislatures newly empowered by the Supreme Court to outlaw abortion would be able to act against those contraceptives–thus setting up a Court challenge to Griswold. One reader adds: “Also, what if a legislature outlawed the sale of contraceptives to minors (under 18) without their parents consent? Also, what if the Congress or a state agreed to subsidize prescription contraceptives to married people but not unmarried people? Those are not unimaginable hypotheticals.” Fair enough. But 1) I think it is highly unlikely that any state would ban any class of contraceptives on the basis of their possibly being abortifacient. 2) In none of these cases would the core right to contraception be challenged, even if the scope of that right were narrowed. Also, if the idea is that people should be scared about these possibilities, it should be remembered that they can come to pass only if majorities or near-majorities of state populations want them to.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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