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An arrest in New Haven, contraception and the right to privacy

When police raided a Trumbull Street clinic on November 10, 1961, it came as no surprise. The Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut (PPLC) had opened the clinic days earlier to offer birth control counseling and to prescribe contraceptives — deliberate violations of an 1879 statute prohibiting the use of “any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception.”Estelle Griswold, the feisty executive director of the PPLC, and C. Lee Buxton, M.D., the medical director of the clinic and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the School of Medicine, were arrested, convicted and fined $100 each. The PPLC had spent decades lobbying the Connecticut General Assembly to...

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