Here’s a fun fact! The Constitution does not explicitly state that we, the people, have the right to privacy. It exists in what the Supreme Court calls the “penumbras of constitutional rights.” This means that, while not explicitly stated in the Constitution, the right can be inferred from other rights that are.
Why is this important and how did it lead Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Doh!) to support Roe v. Wade?
It all goes back to this little Supreme Court decision in 1965 called Griswold v. Connecticut. That decision stated that the State does not have the right to to tell married people what they can do in their bedroom. From there, the right was extended to unmarried couples (Eisenstadt v. Baird 1972) and Griswold eventually served as the basis for Roe v. Wade. You know, that awful, evil, satanic ruling that allows women to make their own decisions about their bodies.
Yet, here is Sen. Grassley defending it (and not even realizing it):
“Nothing can be done to your body without your permission.” Really? How about being forced to give birth against your will? I would think that would be right up there with having an RFID chip inserted in your arm for tracking purposes.
This shows us an important thing about the right wing’s decades long war on abortion: many on the right don’t even know what it is they’re opposed to or why. Republican politicians are opposed to abortion because it’s a useful wedge issue and it gets them votes. That’s it. They don’t care nor do they understand that they are attacking the right to privacy that they claim to revere above all things. In one breath they will demand less government intrusion in our lives and in the next tell women that they must have a vaginal probe if they want an abortion. Is there anything more private than your own body?
Perhaps a reporter could point out the inherent contradiction involved and we can watch Grassley fume at being called on his hypocrisy. I won’t be holding my breath, though.
An important related fact to take note of: There is a not-inconsequential segment of the conservative movement that despises the right to privacy. These are the people who are not really against abortion but rather oppose contraception in any form. The idea that gay sex is legal appalls them and they would very much like to make that pesky right to privacy go away. As ThinkProgress points out:
Good luck finding a Democrat or liberal that would say this. When conservatives of this ilk demand “smaller government,” what they’re really advocating for is the right for state governments to be as intrusive as they want; even going so far as to dictate what kind of sex you are allowed to have and who you are allowed to have it with. The party of personal freedom? I don’t think so.