The Rights Of The United States Constitution

Decent Essays

The United States Constitution was designed to enfranchise the white men who, in 1787, were the only citizens included in John Locke’s conception of the social contract (outlined in his Second Treatise of Government). At this time in history, women were not invited to be free and equal, in relation to their husbands and fathers or as citizens in the founding fathers’ new republic. Therefore, the Constitution never addresses abortion, contraception, or marriage. Arguments made in laws and court cases on these topics, specifically reproductive rights, have therefore traditionally rested on a right to privacy the court has interpreted as being found in the first, fourth, fifth, and fourteenth amendments to the Constitution, rather than a right to freedom from sex-based discrimination found in the nineteenth amendment. The landmark supreme court cases Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade were both won on these grounds, both setting a precedent for the expansion of the right to privacy. This protection has also been affected by the 2003 Partial-Birth Abortion Ban and the Hyde Amendment.
First off, in 1965 the supreme court ruled 7-2 in the Griswold v. Connecticut case that the state of Connecticut’s ban on contraception was unconstitutional, because it denied a married couple’s right to privacy (a right extended to unmarried individuals under the Griswold precedent in the 1972 Eisenstadt v. Baird supreme court case). This expansion of privacy in Griswold later informed Roe v.

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