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Women's Rights Pioneer Honored at Dinner Tonight

October 27, 2011

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Planned Parenthood has faced serious challenges in the past year to both its funding and its mission. Tonight at a fundraising gala, the Southern New England chapter is celebrating the life of one of its Connecticut heroines, says the organization's vice president of development, Marjorie Wren.

"Katherine Martha Houghton Hepburn, the mother of actress Katherine Hepburn, was one of the founding members of the work of Planned Parenthood in Connecticut."

In 1916, she formed the Connecticut Birth Control League, which led to the founding of Planned Parenthood. The event at Anthony's Ocean View will feature a conversation with actress Katharine Houghton, granddaughter of Katharine Houghton Hepburn, and an auction featuring items donated by Houghton that were once owned by her aunt, actress Kate Hepburn.

Wren says a lot is going on, from restrictions on abortion rights and other reproductive health care to recent efforts to eliminate all federal funding for Planned Parenthood - even after Congress had already banned funding for abortion decades ago. She hazards a guess about what Houghton Hepburn would have thought about these developments.

"She would be shocked to know we are still fighting this battle in such a fundamental way. Mrs. Hepburn would be at the front of the line, and very proud of what has grown over the decades here."

The funds raised will help cover services for the 70,000 women, men and teens who receive preventive and reproductive health care through Planned Parenthood in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT