The Conversation: What’s next after Roe v. Wade is overturned: Other rights connected to privacy are in danger

by | Jun 24, 2022 | Stock Market

Almost all American adults — including parents, medical patients and people who are sexually active — regularly exercise their right to privacy, even if they don’t know it. Privacy is not specifically mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. But for half a century — until its June 24, 2022, ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson — the Supreme Court has recognized it as an outgrowth of protections for individual liberty.

As I have studied in my research on constitutional privacy rights, this implied right to privacy is the source of many of the nation’s most cherished, contentious and commonly used rights — including the right to have an abortion. Read: Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade: An estimated 40 million women will lose access to abortionA key component of liberty The Supreme Court first formally identified what is called “decisional privacy” — the right to independently control the most personal aspects of our lives and our bodies — in 1965, saying it was implied from other explicit constitutional rights. For instance, the First Amendment rights of speech and assembly allow people to privately decide what they’ll say, and with whom they’ll associate. The Fourth Amendment limits government intrusion into people’s private property, documents and belongings. Relying on these explicit provisions, the court concluded in Griswold v. Connecticut that people have privacy rights preventing the government from forbidding married couples from using contraception. In short order, the court clarified its understanding of the constitutional origins of privacy. In the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision protecting the right to have an abortion, the court held that the right of decisional privacy is based in the Constitution’s assurance that people cannot be “deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.” That phrase, called the due process clause, appears twice in the Constitution — in the Fifth and 14th Amendments. Decisional privacy also provided the basis for other decisions p …

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