NCJW Celebrates 50 years of Griswold Birth Control Ruling

June 5, 2015, Washington, DC — The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today celebrates the 50th anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized contraception for married couples in every state. The case, Griswold v. Connecticut, affirmed a right to privacy in matters involving family planning that led to the legalization of abortion in Roe v. Wade and to government support of family planning. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:

“NCJW joins with women across the nation in celebrating Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 Supreme Court decision that made contraception legal across the nation, leading to Roe v. Wade, government support for family planning at home and abroad, and even to today’s struggle to ensure marriage equality for all.

“Federal support for family planning in the US began with Title X in 1970, which still funds a critical network of family planning programs across the nation. It was followed in 1972 by the expansion of Medicaid to provide contraception and other reproductive health care services to eligible low-income women as part of comprehensive health care. The federal government had already begun funding family planning efforts abroad in 1965. Most recently, the 2010 Affordable Care Act ensures that more than 55 million women have health insurance that covers contraception without co-pays or other added costs as part of a broad set of guaranteed preventive services, provisions that NCJW fought hard to have included in the new law. Congress must invest in these vital programs as well as protect the Affordable Care Act.

Griswold’s affirmation of privacy in intimate relationships undergirds Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 Supreme Court decision that overturned laws banning sex between same gender couples. Building on Griswold, that ruling set the stage for further progress in civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, including marriage equality.

“The legacy of Griswold also underscores that courts matter, and the judges who sit on them are critical to ensuring our fundamental rights and freedoms. As we celebrate 50 years of Griswold and anticipate landmark Supreme Court rulings later this month, we remain committed to ensuring that our rights and fundamental freedoms are protected long into the future.”

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. BenchMark: NCJW’s Judicial Nominations Campaign seeks to engage the Jewish community and the general public about the importance of a full, fair, and diverse federal judiciary.

Contact: Samantha Friedman, West End Strategy Team
Cell: (202) 215-9260

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