Constitutional Law – Substantive Due Process – Statute Prohibiting Use of Contraceptives

A Connecticut statute prohibits the use of contraceptives to prevent conception. Plaintiff-doctor sought a declaratory judgment to have the statute declared unconstitutional as an unreasonable restraint on his right to practice his profession inasmuch as his advice would render him an accessory to a violation of the statute. Three companion cases were also brought, one by a patient to whom another pregnancy would present serious danger, and two by married couples who could not give birth to normal children. The patients claimed that the statute deprived them of the doctor’s best medical advice which would relieve them of a dangerous threat to their health and happiness, and should therefore be declared unconstitutional as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The trial court sustained the state’s demurrer to the complaint. On appeal, held, affirmed. Use of contraceptives may be the best scientific method of preventing pregnancy, but the legislature need not approve this method where there is the alternative of abstinence from sexual intercourse. It cannot be said that the legislature could not reasonably conclude that the greater good would be served by a prohibition without exceptions. Buxton v. Ullman, (Conn. 1959) 156 A. (2d) 508, review granted 28 U.S. LAW WEEK 3344 (1960).