In 1961, Estelle Griswold, Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut, and Dr. C. Lee Buxton, a physician and professor at the Yale School of Medicine, opened a birth control clinic in New Haven, Connecticut to dispense information and contraception to married couples. Sounds OK—except it was illegal by virtue of an 1879 law that had never been tested. Griswold, Buxton and the Planned Parenthood League successfully tested the law in front of the United States Supreme Court on the grounds of the privacy that should be afforded to a husband and wife. It was not a long journey to Roe v. Wade! We look at this early case that framed the female body as a site of contestation and control.
Susan J. Brison, Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Dartmouth College where she also teaches in the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies. She is co-editor of Contemporary Perspectives on Constitutional Interpretation, and author of Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self.
Naomi Rogers, Associate Professor in the Program for the History of Science and Medicine at Yale University. Her first book was on polio and public health in the Progressive era (Dirt and Disease: Polio before FDR 1992), and her second book examined a homeopathic medical school which survived the post-Flexner years (An Alternative Path: The Making and Remaking of Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital of Philadelphia 1998).
Heather Munro Prescott, Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University. Dr. Prescott’s teaching interests include recent U.S. history, U.S. women’s history, and the history of medicine and public health. Now that she has completed her second book, Student Bodies: The Impact of Student Health on American Society and Medicine, she begins a new project on the history of emergency contraception.
- Liberty and Sexuality; The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe v. Wade by David J. Garrow, Macmillan (1994)
- Griswold v. Connecticut Contraception and the Right of Privacy by Susan Wawrose; Grolier (1996)
- Griswold v. Connecticut; Birth Control an the Constitutional right of Privacy by John W. Johnson, University of Kansas (2005)