June 5, 2015

Sunday, June 7 is a critically important day for those who believe in social justice. We will celebrate an important historical milestone in the reproductive rights movement…the 50th anniversary of Griswold vs. Connecticut.

On June 7, 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that married couples had the right to privacy in making medical decisions about the use of contraceptives. This landmark decision legalized birth control on a national level, and opened a pivotal door for the expansion of vital reproductive health services for women and their families across the nation.

I’m proud to be a board member of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (Rhode Island and Connecticut.) It’s my honor to serve as Board Chair, 2014 – 2016. And I give to PPFA, too.

Here’s part of what our CEO, Judy Tabar, shared with the PPSNE Board of Directors:

“It was the arrest in 1961 of one of my predecessors, Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut executive director Estelle Griswold along with Dr. Lee Buxton for counseling and providing patients with birth control that set this historic case in motion.

“While we have made phenomenal progress in the past 50 years, we still have a long way to go before all women can fully realize the rights that were won with the Griswold case. Troubling health disparities persist across race and class lines in our society. The United States still has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the developed world. Yet just as all those involved in the Griswold case knew they could make a difference, I know that we too can – and are! – creating positive change.

“Let’s imagine 50 years from now when we celebrate Griswold’s 100th anniversary. By then we can erase the health disparities that currently exist among young women, low-income women and women of color. Together, let’s continue building a future where everyone can access the information and services they need. Let’s build a future where all women, men, and teens can fully pursue their dreams, wherever they may lead.”

Thank you, Judy, for these important words.

I see Estelle’s photo in the lobby of PPSNE corporate headquarters whenever I’m there. I smile and thank her. And I thank all the donors and volunteers and staff who fight for reproductive rights and justice everywhere. All this is part of social justice.


About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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