Roughly one in four teen girls become pregnant at least once by age 20 and fully half of all pregnancies in the United States are reported by women themselves as unplanned. Not too good.

By posting some intemperate thoughts about sex, love, relationships, pregnancy, childbearing, the media, public policy, our dogs, and other topics, we hope to spark a two-way discussion about how best to bring down the high rates of teen and unplanned pregnancy in this country. And who knows…from time to time, we might even offer up a few cogent thoughts that will be helpful.

Latest Post

20-Somethings, Contraception, Unplanned Pregnancy
June 26, 2015

Oh Bristol.  I’m so sorry to hear that you’re pregnant when you clearly don’t want to be. Parenthood is hard enough under the best of circumstances—I can’t imagine the despair you must feel doing it without a supportive partner or the warm embrace of your family. 

You said you didn’t want any lectures, and I don’t blame you. So consider this some helpful advice instead: Birth control. There are lots of methods and with a little effort you can find one that works for your body and life. Abstinence is a method you’ve spoken about often and passionately, and it is the only 100% effective method out there…but obviously it isn’t the best fit for you. There is no shame in that and luckily there are other options. Might I suggest as place to start? 

Back in the day, when you were the most famous teen mom in America (pre-MTV’s 16 and Pregnant, obviously), I thought you were brave for speaking out about your experience and encouraging other teens to choose a different path than you had taken. I was also sympathetic because it couldn’t have been easy to be in your mom’s glaring spotlight during such a difficult time. But a lot has changed since then. 

For one, you’ve grown up. You’re 24 years old now with a 6 year old son. You’ve danced with the stars, had plastic surgery, been engaged a few times, bought and sold real estate, written a book, and had your own reality show. Certainly you can work with a health care provider to find a birth control method that works for you. That’s what responsible adults do. I get that teens feel the need to hide things like sex and birth control from their parents, but you aren’t a kid anymore.

I wish you and your family the best during this trying time. And just like in 2008, I hope your story serves as cautionary tale to other young women. 

P.S.  Despite what you may read online, Bristol Palin has never been affiliated with The National Campaign in any way. Certainly we’ve talked about her over the years, but she has never been employed here nor has she ever served as a spokesperson for this organization.

Authored by: Amy Kramer

Amy Kramer is the Senior Director of Entertainment Media at The National Campaign. She came to the Campaign in 2007 after more than fifteen years as a television news producer and communications consultant.

Amy’s role at the Campaign is to advance the organization’s mission by working with entertainment media executives, writers, producers, and others to help them incorporate teen and unplanned pregnancy prevention messages into the content of their work. She consults and advises on many television programs and websites, writes episode discussion guides for parents and teens in order to help them watch TV together and talk about it afterward, produces Campaign PSAs and other videos for educational and promotional purposes, and works with outside experts on the media goals of the Campaign.

Prior to joining the Campaign, Amy was a producer at ABC, CNN, and CNBC. She began her career at the political Hotline, a daily news wire service covering state and national politics, and then started in television as a political researcher for CBS News. As a communications consultant she worked with corporations and foundations on issues such as drug abuse, education, health care, aging, and employee/employer relations. She has moderated focus groups, written surveys, and provided analysis and direction on public opinion related to these topics. She has also worked as a political campaign press aide and a summer camp waterski instructor. Amy graduated magna cum laude from Lehigh University with degrees in government and journalism. She lives in Maryland with her husband and dog.

Other Recent Posts

June 22, 2015
Authored by: Andrea Kane

Andrea Kane is the Senior Director of Public Policy at The National Campaign. She is responsible for The National Campaign’s public policy program, as well as its growing initiative with community colleges. During her time at the Campaign, she has also had responsibility for partnerships with a wide range of national, state and local organizations and helped launch The National Campaign’s work with youth in foster care and with Latino communities.

From 2001 through 2008, she was also affiliated with the Brookings Institution’s Center on Children and Families in various capacities. Before joining The National Campaign in 2001, Andrea served at the White House Domestic Policy Council as a special assistant to President Clinton. She has also worked at the National Governors’ Association, and at the state and local level in California, Texas, and Virginia.

She studied Government at Smith College, received a BA from Cornell University and an MPA from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.

Last week brought good and bad news when it comes to preventing teen pregnancy.First the good news: The teen birth rate in the U.S. declined 9% in 2014 and has now plummeted a jaw-dropping 61% since peaking in 1991.  You might expect that the rate of progress would slow over time, but in fact we’ve...
Contraception, Public Policy, State and Local, Teen Pregnancy, Unplanned Pregnancy
June 18, 2015
Authored by: Liany Elba Arroyo

Liany Elba Arroyo is the Director of Partnerships at The National Campaign where she identifies strategic partnerships that strengthen initiatives to prevent teen and unplanned pregnancy.  In addition, she manages the Latino Initiative Advisory Group and the Personal Responsibility, Religion, and Values Advisory Group.  

Prior to coming to The National Campaign, Liany spent over 13 years working in the government and non-profit sectors developing programs and promoting public policies that aimed to improve the health status of Latino communities across the nation.  Most recently, Liany was the Associate Director of the Education and Children’s Policy Project at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), where she worked on advancing NCLR’s education priorities and policies affecting Latino children and youth.  Liany has published several pieces on children and Latino health and has been cited by Spanish and English media, including The New York Times, Newsweek, and Univision.

Originally from Bridgeport, Connecticut, Liany currently resides in Landover, Maryland with her husband and daughter.  She holds a BS in psychology from Wellesley College and an MPH from Columbia University.

The best part of my job is getting to work with groups that one wouldn’t normally think of when looking for partners to work on teen and unplanned pregnancy prevention. For instance, most folks wouldn’t think of working with a Greek Lettered Organization on unplanned pregnancy but I get to do that...
Latino Initiative, Religion, State and Local
Teen Birth Rate Drops
June 17, 2015
Authored by: Bill Albert

Bill Albert is the Chief Program Officer of The National Campaign. As Chief Program Officer, Bill is responsible for overall program planning and development, and for tracking program progress. In addition, Bill provides oversight to the Campaign’s media outreach and communication strategies, as well as the writing, editing, design, and production of Campaign’s numerous publications and materials. In addition, he oversees the Campaign’s popular, award-winning websites, the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, the organization’s work with new media, and the Campaign’s marketing efforts.

Before his work with The National Campaign, Bill spent 12 years working in television news, most recently as the Managing Editor at Fox Television News in Washington, DC. His responsibilities included managing the editorial content of two daily news broadcasts, assigning, editing, and writing stories for air, conducting interviews, and overseeing the work of reporters and electronic news gathering crews.

Bill received his degree in Communications at American University and resides in Kensington, Maryland with his wife, Carol. His perfect 21-year-old son, Harrison The Boy Wonder, is a junior at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD to its friends). 

Just when you thought teens just might be taking their foot off the declining teen birth rate accelerator; just when you heard the voices of behavioral economists chanting in your ear, “regression toward the mean, regression toward the mean;" just when you thought that the national success story...
State and Local, Teen Pregnancy, Teens