Tuesday, June 07, 2005

40th anniversary of legal birth control

Today is the 40th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, a June 7, 1965 Supreme Court ruling which overturned a CT state law that stated, "Any person who uses any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception shall be fined not less than fifty dollars or imprisoned not less than sixty days nor more than one year or be both fined and imprisoned. (emphasis added)" In other words, the use of birth control pills, even among married women, was punishable by imprisonment. Seriously. It was ruled unconstitutional based on a privacy rights argument. Apparently the same right was not extended to unmarried individuals until 1972.

More info from:
FindLaw
Planned Parenthood
US Government Printing Office

On a related, more recent note, the "Access to Legal Pharmaceuticals Act" was introduced in the House (HR. 1652) and Senate (S. 809) on April 15, 2005, which would prohibit pharmacists from refusing to fill women's birth control prescriptions.
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