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DENVER - Today marks the 47th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by married couples in all 50 states and ushering in a generation of healthy, empowered women and families. Ninety-nine percent of sexually active women have used birth control at some point in their lives.

“Women’s health and lives have seen unbelievable advances largely because of affordable, accessible birth control,” said Amy Dickson, vice president of medical services for PPRM. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named birth control as one of the top ten public health achievements of the past century.  Before the Supreme Court’s decision, women and their newborns often suffered extremely poor, even fatal, health outcomes as a result of an unintended pregnancy.  Prior to Griswold, 32 women died for every 100,000 live births in this country. Today, the rate is less than half that. Infant mortality has fallen even faster — from 25 deaths to fewer than seven per 1,000 live births — as more children are born to parents who plan their pregnancies

When the Pill was approved by the FDA in the 1960’s, women earned about one-third of bachelor degrees; now, we earn over half. In fact a recent University of Michigan study concluded that fully one-third of the wage gains women have made since the 1960s were the result of the Pill.

“While the Griswold decision has allowed us to make great strides in public health over the past 47 years, unfortunately too many women struggle to find affordable birth control. The average woman pays between $180 and $600 out-of-pocket each year for birth control, money that many women need to put food on the table for their families”, added Dickson. “The more women have access to affordable birth control and plan their families, the healthier our families will be.” 

As part of the Affordable Care Act, insurers will now be required to cover prescription birth control with no out-of-pocket costs to women. The vast majority of American voters — 71 percent — believe that insurers should be required to fully cover the birth control pill and other forms of contraception.


Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains empowers individuals and families in the communities we serve to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health by providing high quality health services, comprehensive sex education, and strategic advocacy. More than 123,000 women, men, and young adults annually visit our 28 health centers throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada, and Wyoming. Since 1916, we have been the region’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care. For more information about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, call 1.800.230.PLAN or visit pprm.org for the health center nearest you.


Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Inc.


Monica McCafferty


June 07, 2012