Liberty and Sexuality
The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe V. Wade
Baker & Taylor
Draws on interviews and archival research to trace the fifty-year-long legal and political struggle that led to "Roe v. Wade"
Pulitzer-prize winner Garrow ( Bearing the Cross ) traces the struggle over sexual freedom from cases in the 1920s and 1930s, over the legality of using birth control, to the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. He also considers the fate of sexual freedom after Roe v. Wade. A huge book about a huge subject. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
Blackwell North Amer
Roe v. Wade's 1973 constitutional guarantee of a woman's right to choose abortion emerged from a long and remarkable battle to extend Americans' individual liberties to include a fundamental right to sexual privacy. Only in 1965 had the Supreme Court first begun to protect such intimate personal freedoms by finally invalidating an archaic Connecticut criminal law that had prohibited the use of birth control.
Despite the landmark importance of this crucial struggle, not until now has this legal revolution received the comprehensive treatment it deserves.
Roe v. Wade's origins lie not in the U.S. Supreme Court's dramatic internal deliberations of 1971-72 or even in the grassroots women's movement of the late 1960s but, instead, in the 1920s and 1930s efforts to win repeal of the Connecticut birth control law. Those initial attempts failed, but twenty years later Connecticut Planned Parenthood director Estelle Trebert Griswold launched a new crusade against the statute. After one appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court lost by the narrowest of margins in 1961, Griswold and a medical colleague were convicted for providing birth control services in open defiance of the law. When their appeal finally reached the Supreme Court, the justices held that such a fundamental constitutional right to privacy did indeed exist.
That resounding Supreme Court decision in Griswold v. Connecticut opened a previously unimagined constitutional door: the opportunity to argue that a woman's access to a safe, legal abortion was a fundamental individual right. In 1969, the first abortion rights case was filed in federal court in New York, soon followed by others, including Roe v. Wade in Texas and Doe v. Bolton in Georgia. After those two challenges were upheld by local federal courts, the U.S. Supreme Court - which so far had confronted the abortion issue on only one occasion - agreed to review both decisions.
The comprehensive, once-secret files of former Justices William J. Brennan, William O. Douglas, and Thurgood Marshall now allow for the first fully documented and comprehensive account of the Court's dramatic internal debates. Likewise, those papers also offer an inside-the-court look at the post-Roe abortion cases that have highlighted America's emotion-ridden battles over abortion for two full decades since 1973.
However, despite the Supreme Court's 1992 reaffirmation of Roe in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Court so far has refused to acknowledge that the right to privacy likewise shields gay Americans from governmental intrusion into their personal lives.
Based upon hundreds of interviews and nationwide archival sources, Liberty and Sexuality provides a compelling account of the remarkable women and men who made the right to privacy a meaningful part of America's constitutional heritage.
Employs material taken from hundreds of interviews and archival research to trace the fifty-year-long legal and political struggle that led to Roe v. Wade, discussing the women involved in the fight. 60,000 first printing. $50,000 ad/promo. Tour.
New York : Macmillan Publishing ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, 
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v, 981 pages ; 25 cm