Story at a glance
- Single women gained the right to obtain and use birth control in the 1972 Supreme Court decision, Eisenstadt v. Baird.
- Tuesday marks 50 years since the decision.
- More than 19 million women in the U.S. live in “contraceptive deserts,” meaning the county they live in lacks access to at least one health center that offers a full range of publicly funded contraception to those eligible.
Tuesday marks 50 years since the Supreme Court decision that gave single women the legal right to obtain and use birth control.
Though married couples were given the legal right to contraception through the 1965 decision, Griswold v. Connecticut, single women didn’t obtain these rights until the Supreme Court’s 1972 decision in Eisenstadt v. Baird.
“Today is the 50th anniversary of #SCOTUS ruling that unmarried people have the right to access #BirthControl!” the Guttmacher Institute tweeted Tuesday. “Let’s remember the importance of contraceptive access for all.”
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According to data from 2018, 65 percent of women in the United States ages 15 to 49 were using a form of contraception.
However, despite these numbers, more than 19 million women of varying reproductive ages in the U.S. live in “contraceptive deserts,” meaning the county they live in lacks access to at least one health center that offers a full range of publicly-funded contraception to those eligible, such as diaphragms, oral contraception, intrauterine devices and more.
“Fifty years after Eisenstadt v. Baird recognized a legal right to access birth control, far too many lack the ability to exercise that right in any meaningful way,” the nonprofit Power to Decide said in a press release.
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