Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly


Jeanne L. Vance


In a desperate effort to cut government costs, many state legislators have introduced bills that would pay women on welfare to be surgically implanted with the longlasting contraceptive Norplant. This Note explores the constitutionality of these proposals by analyzing traditional and developing privacy law, the interplay between constitutional rights and the receipt of public benefits, and the equal protection doctrine as it applies to gender classifications. This Note argues for a constitutional interpretation that takes into account social conditions behind legislation and concludes that, under any of these doctrines, the described proposals would be unconstitutional.