Brief Fact Summary. The Appellee, Baird (Appellee), was arrested for lecturing on contraception to a group of University students and distributing contraceptive foam to a student after the lecture.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The State may not discriminate between married and unmarried individuals in prohibiting the distribution of contraception.
The constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a state to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.View Full Point of Law
Issue. May the state discriminate between married and unmarried couples in prohibiting birth control methods?
Held. No. Appeals Court ruling affirmed.
Justice William Brennan (J. Brennan) notes that “if the right to privacy means anything, it means the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child.”
Dissent. Chief Justice William Burger (J. Berger) argues that there is nothing in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution) that suggests birth control must be made available on the open market.
Discussion. A right to privacy is again recognized in Eisenstadt. Here, the right to contraception is extended to unmarried individuals, as well.