Saturday, October 20, 2007
Via the New York Times:
Catherine Roraback, a lawyer who pressed the Connecticut case that eventually led the United States Supreme Court to rule that laws banning the use of contraceptives were unconstitutional, a precursor to its Roe v. Wade decision on abortions, died on Wednesday in Salisbury, Conn. She was 87.
Her death was confirmed by a cousin, Andrew Roraback.
Ms. Roraback was the lead lawyer in several other controversial cases in her 50-year career, including the 1971 trial of the Black Panther leader Bobby Seale in the killing of another party member.
In the early 1960s, Ms. Roraback represented Estelle Griswold, then the executive director of Planned Parenthood in Connecticut, and Dr. Charles Buxton, the chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University’s School of Medicine, as their case rose through the state courts.
In 1965 in Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court ruled that the constitutional right to privacy encompasses the right of married couples to use contraception. In 1972, this right was extended to unmarried persons in Eisenstadt v. Baird. One year later, the Court decided Roe v. Wade.
Read more about Catherine Roraback at the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame website.