40 years ago it was illegal in the U.S. for married people to use contraception
– it took another seven years for contraception use to be made legal
for unmarried couples...
While people have sought to control conception in order to have sex for
pleasure, to manage the size of their families, and to support the health and wellbeing of women, pretty much since the moment we understood the connection between intercourse and conception
(the Ebers Papyrus, which dates back to 1550 B.C. in Egypt, contains a
prescription for a vaginal suppository..."to make a woman cease to
become pregnant for one year, two years or three years..." ) – our
decision to make contraception legal in the United States (and thereby
accessible) is relatively new. Fully applying that decision to everyday
life, by developing safe, effective and inexpensive methods of contraception,
and guaranteeing everyone's right to choose, through our laws, as well
as by dispensing information without restriction about what options are
available so that our decisions can be informed and our entirely own –
for that, I am still waiting.
In spite of the fact that the FDA’s own expert advisory
panels voted 23-4 in favor of making the emergency contraceptive Plan
B available over the counter, the FDA rejected it.
At issue here, is
the right to privacy and self-determination. Reproductive choice is not
about having an abortion. It's about deciding if and when you want conception
to follow sex. It's about men and women having sex freely and responsibly–and
having the right to decide for yourself what that means to you.
Isn't it about time we admitted out loud and on the books that that is
what we want?
Griswold v. Connecticut
On June 7, 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Griswold
struck down state laws that had made the use of birth control by married
couples illegal. The court's landmark decision — coming five years
after oral contraceptives became available to American women and 49
years after Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in
the U.S. — legalized the use of birth control and paved the way for
the nearly unanimous acceptance of contraception that now exists in
The court's recognition of individuals' right to privacy
in deciding when and whether to have a child in Griswold became the basis
for later reproductive rights decisions. In Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972),
the court granted unmarried couples access to contraception, and in Roe
v. Wade (1973), the court recognized a woman's right to choose abortion.
While challenges remain in the struggle to provide universal access to
birth control, the court's 1965 decision in Griswold granted constitutional
protection to the life-enhancing work of Planned Parenthood and other
advocates of reproductive freedom in the U.S.
In the years since birth
control for married couples was legalized in the U.S., profound and beneficial
social changes occurred, in large part because of women's relatively
new freedom to control their fertility — maternal and infant health have
improved dramatically, the infant death rate has plummeted, and women
have been able to fulfill increasingly diverse educational, social, political,
and professional aspirations.
||Griswold v. Connecticut
381 U.S. 479 (1965)
Docket Number: 496
Argued: March 29, 1965
Decided: June 7, 1965
Facts of the Case
Griswold was the Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut.
Both she and the Medical Director for the League gave information, instruction,
and other medical advice to married couples concerning birth control. Griswold
and her colleague were convicted under a Connecticut law which criminalized the
provision of counselling, and other medical treatment, to married persons for
purposes of preventing conception.
Does the Constitution protect the right of marital privacy against state restrictions
on a couple's ability to be counseled in the use of contraceptives?
Though the Constitution does not explicitly protect a general right to privacy,
the various guarantees within the Bill of Rights create penumbras, or zones,
that establish a right to privacy. Together, the First, Third, Fourth, and Ninth
Amendments, create a new constitutional right, the right to privacy in marital
relations. The Connecticut statute conflicts with the exercise of this right
and is therefore null and void.
Reproductive choice is about men and women having sex freely and responsibly
cycle (ovarian - hormonal - menstrual)
vagina first times
vagina first times