Madison: Severa Austin was in her 20s back in 1965, when the landmark Supreme Court ruling Griswold v. Connecticut made birth control legal and accessible for married couples. "I remember going to my gynecologist for the first time and getting a prescription and walking out and being stunned that this had happened."
The Griswold ruling declared Americans had a right to privacy, including making decisions regarding family planning. Severa says women were harassed back then.
Democrats and Pro Choice advocates say a similar climate exists today. "In an incident in a Milwaukee Walgreens, a women was denied her prescription for emergency contraception," says Rep. Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee). "The woman was not given her prescription and had an abortion as a result."
"I never imagined that 40 years later we would still be fighting to protect access to birth control for women," says Sen. Judy Robson (D-Beloit).
That's why Democrats announced the Birth Control Protection Act. It requires pharmacists to fill prescriptions for drugs like emergency contraception, even if they have a moral or religious objection.
It's basically the exact opposite of a Republican bill called the Conscience Clause that protects pharmacists.
Pro–Life Wisconsin Lobbyist Matt Sande says they have a different way of remembering the Griswold ruling, because a few years later that same right to privacy led to legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade.
"When you look at the right to privacy, we don't see it as a constitutional right, we see it as a court ordered right that was shoved down the throats of the American people," says Sande.
Sande says hormonal contraceptives cause chemical abortions. "Hormonal contraceptives that were made legal by Griswold, we'd like to see that decision reversed. Naturally, ultimately we don't want to see these drugs exist. We don't want people to use them."
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