Does John McCain Want to Criminalize Contraception?

Amie Newman

Is contraception under attack? McCain's secret language, a new anti-choice campaign and a terrifying ballot initiative all point towards yes.

In a speech on Tuesday at Wake Forest University, McCain spoke not a word about Roe v. Wade, evading "the abortion issue" in a manner for which he has become known. But he did make a shrouded (and critical) reference to the 1965 Supreme Court decision "Griswold v. Connecticut" – the case that struck down a state ban on contraceptives for married couples.

According to Medical News Today, McCain, assuaging the conservative crowd in attendance said that he would appoint conservative justices to the bench and "criticized justices for using the words ‘penumbras’ and ‘emanations’." Those just happen to be two words used in the famous Griswold decision to reason that marriage fell within a zone of privacy (specifically that marriage fell under a "penumbra" of privacy and therefore married couples decision to use contraception was a private matter, not to be regulated by the government).

McCain’s coded language around reproductive rights needs to be called out. With the anti-choice advocacy community renewing their focus on contraception as murder and state ballot campaigns that seek to define a fertilized human egg as a person, birth control is under very real attack.

And if you think this is just about the "choices" women make, you’re wrong. This is about allowing physicians to practice free from strict government intervention (hint: not all women take birth control for contraceptive purposes); allowing families, couples and individuals the freedom to make private decisions without the government deciding for them; and allowing women’s reproductive cycles to occur without the government telling us whether what’s happening in our own bodies is legal or not (hint: miscarriage is not a "choice" but under Colorado’s proposed ballot initiative it might very well be considered a criminal "choice").

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