08 June 2011

I Stand with Planned Parenthood

Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Posted: 06/ 7/11
Hat tip to Andrea Wilson for posting the link to this on facebook. Pictures added. For full article, click on title "Celebrating Estelle"
Chances are you've never heard of Estelle Griswold. But she radically changed the lives of women in America. Forty-six years ago today[6/7/11], her courage secured a basic right that many of us take for granted today: the right to use birth control to plan and time our pregnancies and to keep our families healthy.
As the stiff-spined director of Planned Parenthood in Connecticut, Griswold had spent years challenging an archaic state law that barred anyone, including married couples, from using "drugs or instruments" to prevent pregnancy.
The police obliged, raiding the clinic, arresting the operators, and setting in motion a series of convictions and appeals that ultimately led to the United States Supreme Court. On June 7, 1965, the Court settled the matter -- declaring the Connecticut law unconstitutional and opening a new era in reproductive rights and social progress.
The decision paved the way for subsequent rulings that have legalized birth control for unmarried couples, secured women's right to choose abortion, and overturned myriad restrictions on the sale and marketing of contraceptives. Together, these decisions have transformed women's lives.
Access to birth control has made it possible for generations of women to pursue the education and careers they want. The proportion of women who complete four years of college increased fivefold between 1965 and 2008. So did the proportion of PhDs awarded to women. And the number of women in the workforce surged from 26 million to nearly 72 million.
It's an impressive legacy -- handed down by a brave woman in a local Planned Parenthood health center.
As we celebrate the legacy of the Griswold decision, let's recommit ourselves to building on it. We can improve the nation's health by investing in family planning programs and ensuring that birth control is within reach for all women.

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