By Johanna Kaiser, Development & Communications Associate

(Public Domain/Wikimedia)

Estelle Griswold, executive director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut, was convicted of a crime for providing information and advice about birth control to married couples in 1961.

Just 50 years this upcoming Sunday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a state ban on the prescription, sale, or use of contraceptives, and cleared the way for people form intimate relationships, lead healthy sexual lives, and decide on their own whether and when to have children.

The court, in a 7-2 decision, ruled that people have a right to privacy when making personal, intimate decisions such as the decision whether or not to conceive a child. Removing this barrier to birth control was critical step in protecting individuals’--especially women’s--autonomy, equality, and ability to participate in the social, economic, and political life.

The ACLU has long fought for the right to sexual privacy and reproductive freedom. Since the early 1970s, the ACLU of Rhode Island has participated in at least a dozen court cases to protect sexual privacy.

As we celebrate this landmark decision, we also remain on guard to new threats to access to contraception and attempts to limit reproductive rights.