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Women's Right to Privacy in Contraception Decisions Long-Established, Op-Ed Argues

Women's Right to Privacy in Contraception Decisions Long-Established, Op-Ed Argues

June 10, 2014 — The Supreme Court's pending ruling this month on challenges to the federal contraceptive coverage rules raises "the question as to why women need to go to the Supreme Court to gain access to their own privacy," Brenda Thomas, CEO of the Arizona Family Health Partnership, writes in an opinion piece for the Arizona Republic.

Thomas notes that the court in 1965 determined that "an 1879 Connecticut law prohibiting the use of contraception was unconstitutional on the grounds that it violated the 'right to marital privacy.'" Later Supreme Court decisions "expanded this 'fundamental right to privacy' to unmarried couples and ultimately led to the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973," Thomas writes.

"Today, contraception is basic preventive health care for women with strong support from the American public," Thomas continues, noting that research has shown that 99% of U.S. women use contraception at some point in their life.

"Already, the [Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148)] requirement being challenged has helped more than 27 million women access affordable contraception and other vital preventive health care," Thomas writes, adding that "now that the ACA has knocked down the 'cost barrier' that has affected how women choose the best method for them, the Supreme Court should not erect another and clear the path so women no longer have to ask someone else's permission for their rights and privacy" (Thomas, Arizona Republic, 6/9).