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Catholic World News News Feature

Pro-life group mourns Griswold anniversary June 07, 2005

On the 40th anniversary of the US Supreme Court's decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, the American Life League (ALL) argues that the case-- in which the court discovered a "right to privacy" in the US Constitution-- "opened Pandora's box."

"That decision has been responsible for a tragic moral breakdown in our culture," said David Bereit, national director of the ALL's STOPP International project. "One can hardly imagine a single Supreme Court decision that has done more damage to our society," agreed STOPP's executive director, Jim Sedlak.

The Griswold case involved two Planned Parenthood officials who were charged with violation of a Connecticut law banning the dispensation of information about contraception. The high court, in a majority opinion by Justice Willim O. Douglas, ruled on June 7, 1965 that the state law was unconstitutional because it violated the privacy of married couples. Justice Douglas reasoned that although "privacy" is not mentioned in the Constitution, the concept is implicit in the background-- as he called it, the "emanations" and "penumbras"-- of the document.

The precedent set in the Griswold case has been cited repeatedly in later court decisions that have advanced the legalization of abortion, same-sex marriage, physician-assisted suicide.

The ALL's STOPP project is dedicated to fighting the influence of Planned Parenthood. In noting the anniversary of the Griswold decision, STOPP's Bereit suggested, "It is time for Americans to take a long, hard look at the real legacy of the Griswold decision. Although we can't undo the consequences overnight, we can begin to take back our society one step at a time. The first step is to put an end to the destructive influence of Planned Parenthood, the organization that forced this tragedy upon our nation 40 years ago."

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