CONNECTICUT: Unreasonable Restraint

Still stirring controversy in Connecticut last week was a relic of the long-forgotten crusades of Anthony Comstock (1844-1915) and his bluenose New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. In 1879, during the Comstock agitation in New York and neighboring states, the legislature in Comstock's native Connecticut made it illegal to use, or to help or advise anyone to use, "any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception." Penalty: $50 fine and up to one year in jail.* Despite perennial campaigns to soften or repeal it, and despite the evident availability of contraceptives in many...

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