Most Commentators Agree-Griswold Opened the Door to Legalized Abortion
Posted: 08 Apr 2008 09:26 AM CDT
All of the commentators I read before posting this agree that "Griswold v. Connecticut" in 1965 was the open sesame that swung the door ajar to legalized abortion later in "Roe v. Wade." I am particularly indebted to Matt Nelson for his views basis his constitutional law studies and Frank Nofsinger who comes "right on" with the same judgment. With this decision the Supreme Court ruled that sexual morals and their relation to family life are matters of personal taste and choice in which the state has no interest. The decision was, as reader Frank Nofsinger relates, like turning on a faucet.
There was a time when the Supreme Court defended the concept of the family in Judeo-Christian terms on the basis that the foundation of the republic assumed as much. Ergo: In 1895 Justice Joseph P. Bradley condemned polygamy as "contrary to the spirit of Christianity and the civilization Christianity produced in the Western World." The statement was accepted as part of the fiber of jurisprudential review.
But following "Griswold," in "Eisenstadt v. Baird" in 1972 the Court reversed the Massachusetts conviction of William Baird for distributing contraceptives to unmarried persons, holding that "whatever the rights of the individual to contraceptives may be, the rights must be the same for the unmarried and married alike." The marital couple "is not an independent entity with a mind and heart of its own but an association of two individuals each with a separate intellectual and emotional makeup."
It added "If the right of privacy means anything"-enumerating the "right" that Justice Douglas had discovered rummaging around the penumbras and emanations-"it is the right of the individual married or single to be free of unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child." Thus the Court treated marriage as a mere personal contract with the family no longer the natural, primary cell of human society that precedent Supreme Courts did. Before "Griswold" but waiting in the wings was a discovery by the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology at Clark University in Massachusetts that helped develop the contraceptive pill in 1956. The contraceptive pill must rank with the splitting of the atom which ultimately aided the Supreme Court to assume the role of custodian of life, ruling in "Roe" in 1973 that whatever a judicial majority agrees on binds the nation meaning that no one can say what is unjust because all is changing depending on the nose-counting of a Supreme Court majority.