June 20, 2017

“Statute forbidding the use of contraceptives violates the right of marital privacy which is within….the Bill of Rights,” ruled the Supreme Court against the 82 year-old law that did not allow married couples to obtain contraceptives in Connecticut.
In 1965, Estelle Griswold and Dr. C. Lee Buxton appealed to the Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut claiming that this law was unconstitutional after being arrested and found guilty as accessories to providing “illegal” contraception. In a 7-2 decision written by Justice William O. Douglas, the Supreme Court ruled that the law was indeed unconstitutional by violating the “right to marital privacy” and could not be enforced against married people. The date was June 7, 1965 and we still honor the case’s victory today.
Economists have found that access to the pill allowed women to spend time and money getting training and education without worrying about whether they’d have to stop for unwanted pregnancies. In turn, they were also able to pursue careers. By the 1980s, after access to contraception had become widespread and normalized, 60 percent of women of reproductive age were employed.
Women have done a remarkable job of using the power they gained from contraception to change their lives and change our economy and society. Our country would look completely different if women weren’t in charge of their fertility and if they hadn’t marched into the workplace in such huge numbers.