Senate Democrats

Statement By Senator Harry Reid Marking the 40th Anniversary of Griswold V Connecticut

Reid calls for the Passage of “Prevention First” Legislation

“Forty years ago today, the Supreme Court recognized a constitutional right to privacy in Griswold v. Connecticut that laid the groundwork for widespread access to birth control for all American women.

“Birth control is a basic part of preventive health care for women. Over the past forty years, increased access to birth control has helped to reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, abortion and infant mortality.

“While we have made significant advances over the last forty years, we still have a long way to go. The United States has among the highest rates of unintended pregnancies of all industrialized nations. Half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended, and nearly half of those end in abortion. Making contraception more accessible and affordable is one crucial step toward reducing unintended pregnancies, reducing abortions and improving women’s health.

“We can’t let the pendulum swing backwards. We need to pass legislation like the Prevention First Act (S. 20) that will continue to improve access to contraception and will improve women’s health, reduce the rate of unintended pregnancy and reduce abortions – all while saving scarce public health dollars.”