Marking Anniversary of Legalized Contraception, Six Rivers Planned Parenthood Celebrates Expanded Access to Birth Control under New Health Care Law

Says “We Can’t Let Politicians Take Us Back to the Days Before Griswold”


Tia Baratelle, Director of Public Affairs

Published: 06.07.13| Updated: 06.07.13

On the 48th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, the historic 1965 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by married couples, Six Rivers Planned Parenthood is celebrating the gains made by women since the decision, and is reminding Humboldt County residents of the expanded access to birth control made possible by the Affordable Care Act.  Access to birth control has ushered in a generation of healthy, empowered women and families and thanks to the Affordable Care Act, birth control is now covered as part of the preventive benefit, without a co-pay.  June also marks the 53rd anniversary of the approval of the pill as an oral contraceptive by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“We can’t let politicians take us back to the days before Griswold.  Access to birth control shouldn’t be a revolutionary idea, but unfortunately it is to some — with a small group of vocal politicians and bosses still working to deny women access,” said Denise Vanden Bos, Chief Executive Officer at Six Rivers Planned Parenthood.  “Forty-eight years after the Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court decision, 99 percent of women say they’ve used birth control at some point in their lives — many for a wide range of health reasons in addition to preventing pregnancy.  Thanks to this landmark court decision, the number of women in the U.S. labor force has more than tripled, and women’s income now constitutes a growing proportion of family income.


“These benefits will only be expanded thanks to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, which enables millions of women to get access to the full range of FDA-approved birth control options without a co-payAs the leading women’s health care provider and advocate in Humboldt County, Six Rivers Planned Paernthood works every day to break down the barriers that still exist between women and their ability to access contraception. We celebrate the Affordable Care Act and will continue our work to ensure that every woman — no matter where she lives or who her boss is — has access to its benefits,” said Vanden Bos.

The court's landmark decision — coming five years to the month after oral contraceptives became available to American women and 49 years after Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. — provided the first constitutional protection for birth control for women across the country. Before that, a woman’s ability to control the size and timing of her family depended on her zip code.


·        Access to birth control has expanded opportunities for women and has helped them move closer to economic equality. Since Griswold, the number of women in the U.S. labor force has more than tripled, the number of women lawyers has increased ten-fold, the number completing four or more years of college has increased more than five-fold, and in 2010 women received more than half of all doctoral degrees. 

·        A 2012 report from the Guttmacher Institute confirmed that women use contraception to better achieve their life goals, with the majority of participants reporting that contraception has had a significant impact on their lives, allowing them to take better care of themselves and their families, support themselves financially, complete their education, and keep or get a job.

·        Research finds that availability of the pill is responsible for a third of women’s wage increases relative to men. By the 1980s and ’90s, the women who had early access to the pill were making eight percent more each year than those who did not.

·        According to the Guttmacher Institute, 58 percent of pill users report that they use it for a wide range of health reasons, like treating endometriosis, a common but little-understood disease that affects 5.5 million women and is a leading cause of infertility.

·        You can learn more about the impact of legal birth control and the challenges that remain here:


·        Seven in ten Americans (70 percent) believe that health insurance companies should be required to cover the full cost of birth control, just as they do for other preventive services.

·        Approximately 47 million women nationally, including 4.9 million Latinas, stand to benefit from the Affordable Care Act’s women’s preventive health care provision, including no co-pay birth control. Already, it’s estimated that nearly 27 million women nationally are benefiting from the women’s preventive services provision which went into effect last August.  

·        You can read stories from supporters of the birth control benefit here:

Every year, more than 750 Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide see nearly three million patients — two million specifically for birth control information and services.  Planned Parenthood also offers online tools that can help people start a conversation with providers about health care: My Method can prepare women for a conversation with their providers about the most appropriate and best birth control option for them. 

Find A Health Center