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 public: choice:    safe and effective contraception {US}
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – they meant sex, right? {US} • 

  My fellow Americans,

In 1972, just 32 years ago, your right as a citizen of the United States to have sex at your own discretion was granted by the Supreme Court. You might not think that the right to have sex is something that need be granted. You might have assumed that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness would, of course, include sex.

Well, it didn't. Until the Eisenstadt v. Baird decision (see details of the case to the right), it was a felony to distribute contraception to people who were not married.

Think of all the times you've had unmarried sex – and now subtract from that list all of those times that you wanted the sex, and weren't looking to have a child. Prior to 1972, the times left on your list would have been the sum of your sexlife until and unless you got married.

Why am I bringing this up now?

To bring to your attention that while the right of unmarried people to use contraception is on the books, the conversation is not over.

Just yesterday, June 28, W. David Hager, a staunch and active opponent of a woman's right to choose, was reappointed to an FDA panel that advises on reproductive health drugs.  Hager is an avowed opponent of easy access to the morning after pill and to other important methods of birth control.

So, if you feel that you are qualified to decide for yourself when you will have sex and with what likelihood that will lead to conception, then I ask you to consider the ramifications of having a man who lectures women on his beliefs about your sexlife before prescribing contraception holding a place among the scientists whose job it is to rate the safety and decide the availability of the contraception methods.

While the subject of contraception and abortion is generally put on the table of women's issues – and, yes, it does have a much greater impact on the life of a woman – this is a quality of life issue for everyone. It's about men and women expressing their sexuality. It's about everyone's right to privacy, self-determination and to have sex on your on terms.

So, if your looking at your boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, with love and lust in your eyes, and without the intention to conceive a child – think about this: what good is your right to use contraception, if the likelihood of effective and readily available methods becoming available to you is in the hands of someone who doesn't think you're entitled to pursue your version of life, liberty and happiness?

W. David Hager's anti-choice credentials:

 - As a practicing ob-gyn, he will not perform surgical abortions, nor prescribe mifepristone (medical abortion), and will not even provide intra-uterine devices (IUDs), a widely accepted form of contraception.

 - Dr. Hager helped the Christian Medical Association write a "citizen's petition" in August 2002 that called for the FDA to reverse its approval of mifepristone and pull it off the market, ignoring over a decade of international research that has established the safety and efficacy of this early abortion option.

 - He wrote "Stress and the Woman's Body" with his wife, Linda, recommending  scripture readings as treatment for premenstrual syndrome and other medical maladies.

Sign a petition to show that pro-choice America opposes President Bush's stubborn insistence on jeopardizing women's reproductive health in the name of his extreme anti-choice ideology.

  Eisenstadt v. Baird
405 U.S. 438 (1972)
Docket Number: 70-17

Argued: November 17, 1971
Decided: March 22, 1972

Facts of the Case
William Baird gave away Emko Vaginal Foam to a woman following his Boston University lecture on birth control and over-population. Massachusetts charged Baird with a felony, to distribute contraceptives to unmarried men or women. Under the law, only married couples could obtain contraceptives; only registered doctors or pharmacists could provide them. Baird was not an authorized distributor of contraceptives.

Question Presented
Did the Massachusetts law violate the right to privacy acknowledged in Griswold v. Connecticut and protected from state instrusion by the Fourteenth Amendment?

In a 6-to-1 decision, the Court struck down the Massachusetts law but not on privacy grounds. The Court held that the law's distinction between single and married individuals failed to satisfy the "rational basis test" of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. Married couples were entitled to contraception under the Court's Griswold decision. Withholding that right to single persons without a rational basis proved the fatal flaw. Thus, the Court did not have to rely on Griswold to invalidate the Massachusetts statute. "If the right of privacy means anything, wrote Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. for the majority, "it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision to whether to bear or beget a child."

Reproductive choice is about men and women having sex freely and responsibly

 • reproductive cycle (ovarian - hormonal - menstrual)

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 • women's vagina first times

 • men's vagina first times

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