Did the “right to privacy” Argument in Griswold v. Connecticut Hinder the Advancement of Women’s Rights?

Jill Lepore examines the complex history of women’s rights as it played out in the courts from Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), which ruled Connecticut’s law banning contraception was unconstitutional, to the present. Griswold was decided on the basis of a couple’s right to privacy, rather than a woman’s right to determine her own path in life. Lepore argues that this precedent carried forward in later judicial decisions to the detriment of women’s struggle for full equality as citizens. “There is a lesson in the past fifty years of litigation. When the fight for equal rights for women narrowed to a fight for reproductive rights, defended on the ground of privacy, it weakened. But when the fight for gay rights became a fight for same-sex marriage, asserted on the ground of equality, it got stronger and stronger.” Read her entire argument here:

From Griswold v. Connecticut to Gay Marriage – The New Yorker.

"Illustration by Cristiana Couceiro; Clockwise from Top Right: Lee Lockwood / The LIFE Images Collection / Getty (Griswold); Paul Morigi / Getty Images for HRC and Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call / Getty (Flags); Barbara Alper / Getty (Sign); Purestock / Getty (Supreme Court)"

“Illustration by Cristiana Couceiro; Clockwise from Top Right: Lee Lockwood / The LIFE Images Collection / Getty (Griswold); Paul Morigi / Getty Images for HRC and Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call / Getty (Flags); Barbara Alper / Getty (Sign); Purestock / Getty (Supreme Court)”

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