Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History, Volume X

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This is Estelle Griswold. As the photo implies, she was a member of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut.

In 1961, Mrs. Griswold was serving as the executive director, and opened a birth-control clinic in New Haven with her colleague, Dr. Lee Buxton, a Yale obstetrician. Given the age, the powers-that-be, i.e., the busy-body men with nothing better to do than interfere in other people's lives, promptly arrested them both for dispensing contraceptives to a married couple. They were eventually convicted and fined $100.

Well, Mrs. Griswold was ill-behaved, and a good thing, too. She appealed, and when the case reached the Supreme Court in 1965, the conviction was overturned, thus striking down Connecticut's law against selling birth control, which effectively overturned similar laws in other states.

This was the beginning of the belief that Americans had a fundamental right to privacy, and eventually led to the widespread use of birth control for single women, as well.

I can't speak to the legal ramifications of this decision, as I'm clearly not qualified. But I'll tell you one thing - as a woman, I owe Estelle Griswold a profound debt of gratitude. My ability to participate fully in our society as an equal citizen is a direct result of my reproductive freedom. Freedom which Mrs. Griswold fought for.

Until recently, I didn't know who Mrs. Griswold was, and yet her life's work has informed my entire life - indeed made the life I chose possible in this time and place.

Estelle Griswold. Pioneer. Activist. Defender of women's rights. Ill-behaved woman.

Thanks, Mrs. Griswold. You won't be forgotten.

6 comments:

Nathan said...

Damned sex-promoting hussy! :D

Janiece Murphy said...

Yep, that's her.

Go, Estelle, go!

Jeri said...

I majorly appreciate her! Because, really, if I hadn't been able to stop at two there wouldn't have been enough Prozac in the world... I'd have been seeing dead people coming out of the walls, or maybe creating 'em.

Janiece Murphy said...

Jeri, if I hadn't been able to stop at 2, I might of started eating dead people.

Just sayin'...

Thanks, Estelle!

Jim Wright said...

See, the problem here is that the ones that really should be taking birth control, i.e. the busy body, sex is dirty, birth control is evil, God wants you multiply and fill the Earth retards are the ones having kids...

Nothing worse than a woman who has access to birth control and therefore starts thinking that she is somehow entitled to control her own reproductive process. No siree. The poor flawed, evil, weak, apple eating girl might start thinking she's the equal of a, gasp! man.

I swear, these people really need to move out of the iron age and join the human race.

So, yeah, go, Estelle, Go!

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