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Comstock Law - Did You Know . . .

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  • The distribution and use of contraceptives remained a crime until 1965 when the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision, ruling that the ban on birth control interfered with an individual's right to privacy.
  • Another Supreme Court decision in 1969 ruled laws banning possession of obscene material in a person's home were unconstitutional.
  • One of the largest morals cases before the Supreme Court was in 1973 when the Court ruled that the ban on abortion (during the first three months of pregnancy) in most states was unconstitutional, again on the grounds of invasion of privacy.
  • A major international organization opposing the distribution of birth control information and devices as well as abortions in the twenty-first century is the Roman Catholic Church.
  • In 1878 the first birth control clinic was opened, located in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands.
  • In the late 1990s Congress attempted to control pornography on the Internet through the Communications Decency Act of 1996 and the Child Online Protection Act of 1998. Both, however, were found unconstitutional reflecting the difficulty of enforcing standards on the Internet.
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