Plan B, contraceptives remain legal in Texas after Supreme Court ruling
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With the annulment of Roe v. Wade, Texas is set to ban almost all abortions within the next few months.
But birth control and emergency contraceptives, commonly known as Plan B, are different from the drugs used to induce an abortion.
In the same decision that overturned Roe, the U.S. Supreme Court made clear that the constitutional right to access contraceptives remains undiminished — although a judge said he would welcome challenges to that right.
What protects the right to contraceptives?
Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court of 1965 established that married couples have the right to purchase and use contraception. In 1972 the court upheld in Eisenstadt v. Baird that the right also extended to unmarried persons.
In Griswold, the court ruled that the US Constitution guarantees the right to privacy, with some justices saying this was implied throughout the Bill of Rights and some saying it stemmed directly from the Due Process Clause of the 14th amendment.
The court then relied on similar logic seven years later to decide Roe.
What was struck down in Dobbs v. Jackson?
The court’s decision in Dobbs was limited to overriding the constitutional right to abortion established by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
The court held that Griswold and other cases involving contraceptive use did not involve “the destruction of what Roe called ‘potential life'” and are not affected by the court’s denial of the right to birth control. ‘abortion.
In his concurring opinion in Dobbs, Judge Clarence Thomas welcomed challenges to cases that hinge on the right to due process of privacy, including Griswold. But the majority opinion, which is the court’s final decision, is clear:
“To ensure that our decision is not misunderstood or misinterpreted, we emphasize that our decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion. “Nothing in this opinion should be construed as challenging precedents that do not relate to abortion.”
Disclosure: Planned Parenthood financially supported The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations, and sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the journalism of the Tribune. Find a full list here.
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