An Important Anniversary

Today is the 43rd anniversary of Griswold vs. Connecticut, the case in which a woman’s right to privacy was first affirmed by the US Supreme Court.

Griswold v. Connecticut involved a Connecticut law that prohibited the use of “any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception.” The Griswold in the case name was the Estelle Griswold, Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut.

“Griswold led the way for a string of other decisions in which the right to contraception was extended to unmarried women (Eisenstadt v. Baird, 1972) and to minors (Carey v. Population Services International, 1977), from contraception to abortion (Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, 1973), and from reproductive rights to sexual rights (Lawrence v. Texas, 2003), where Justice Kennedy wrote of “an emerging awareness that liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex.”

I am profoundly grateful that Ms. Griswold was brave enough to push the issue forward. Please honor the day in an appropriate fashion, with the loved one of your choice.

[image from Wikipedia]


UPDATE: Bug_girl and I were just talking in email about today being National Screw On Contraception Day and we thought we should mention it here.


The American Life League, a Catholic pro-life group, is protesting Planned Parenthood today. They are calling the anniversary “Pill Kills” day, and claiming that the pill induces “chemical abortion”. I still can’t really believe that people who are against abortion are also against contraception–probably the primary means of preventing the unwanted pregnancies that would otherwise result in abortion. The illogic of this position is astounding. I guess this just shows that they really are all about curtailing women’s rights.

So close your browser, shut of your computer, and get going with that contraception screwing to celebrate the anniversary of women’s freedom. –writerdd


Bug_girl has a PhD in Entomology, and is a pointy-headed former academic living in Ohio. She is obsessed with insects, but otherwise perfectly normal. Really! If you want a daily stream of cool info about bugs, follow her Facebook page or find her on Twitter.

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  1. Happy anniversary!

    And on a personal note, I think that we could learn a lot from these court cases. If people talked less about a right of “choice” and more about the right to medical privacy, I suspect that a lot of the heat would be let out of the issue.

  2. The Americanprogress article touched on a point about pharmacies that always angers me whenever I think about it. What right do pharmacists have to deny a woman access to birth control because it clashes with said pharmacist’s religious beliefs? I remember a few years ago a very unpleasant woman in Maryland with a roadside produce stand refused to sell her wares to a black family. The police said it was against the law to discriminate in that way, but I guess if her reasons had been religious instead of racist it would’ve been all right? Just imagine a Christian scientist refusing to fill out any prescriptions at all! Grr… it’s all so very frustrating.

  3. “Today is the 43rd anniversary of Griswold vs. Connecticut, the case in which a woman’s right to privacy was first affirmed by the US Supreme Court.”

    Correction: not just women.

  4. True! But it’s the part that applies to me that I’m celebrating. since I’m the part of the equation that gets knocked up. Hypothetically.

  5. I have to disagree with your summary of Griswold. The opinion narrowly addressed the privacy rights of married couples and their decisions about reproduction. While it laid the groundwork for the decisions that came later by first divining a constitutional right to privacy, Griswold didn’t give women any rights that they could exercise independently from their husbands.

    Also, my brain was confused for a moment about the uncomfortable implications of “screw-on” contraception. Stupid brain.

  6. It was the crack in the dam that helped open the way for, eventually, unmarried people to have contraception.

    You are correct that it was about what married hetero folks could do, though.

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