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, Bedsider, Contraception, Media, Popular Culture
May 21, 2015

Pregnant Pause Marie Claire Smart Girl's Guide to Birth Control

What a great week! One of my favorite magazines of all time, Marie Claire, is devoting 8 pages of prime June issue real estate to one of my favorite topics: birth control. And they're doing it such a smart, fun, and interesting way. Just like real life, not all experiences discussed here are rosy and perfect. Reading this series of essays, tweets, facts, and personal birth control timelines feels like a conversation with a bunch of smart women, not a one-way guide or lecture. Which is really refreshing and inspiring.

As you read through the series of honest, first-person stories and the comprehensive method guide, a new kind of picture emerges: it's all about taking control of your birth control, finding a method that is low-maintenance and suits the life you have, and not about adjusting your life to suit your birth control. Or worse, resigning yourself to a method because that's what you've always done, even if it’s not working for you. So often, birth control is talked about in a sterile, static way that just doesn't connect to the context and messiness and fluidity of real life. Women want and deserve to hear about the good, the bad, and the quirky, and to get informed without an agenda.

We are thrilled to have worked closely with Marie Claire over many months as this series has evolved. Earlier this year, Senior Editor Whitney Joiner came to DC and we had a candid, hilarious, and totally different kind of conversation with a bunch of smart women to help shape the story. You can see some of their birth control timelines in the magazine.

The conversation is just getting started. All week, is covering a different topic online, and sharing relevant Bedsider content. Over the next few weeks, Marie Claire and Bedsider are inviting readers to join in by drawing their own birth control timelines and posting them and by submitting their most pressing birth control questions for Bedsider’s own Dr. K to answer during her office hours on Twitter June 9. Follow @Bedsider and @MarieClaire for details, and be sure to snap up a few extra copies of Marie Claire as you pack for the long weekend. 

Authored by: Marisa Nightingale

As The National Campaign’s Senior Media Advisor, Marisa Nightingale leads key partnerships with entertainment media executives to help integrate prevention messages into their work. She and her colleagues provide information, story materials, and hands-on help to hundreds of content creators in television, print, and digital media whose work is most popular with teens, young adults, and their parents. She works across departments to help bring the Campaign's expertise to media decision-makers. 

Marisa joined the Campaign in 1996, shortly after its founding, and is the architect of its nationally-recognized Entertainment Media program. She served as the program’s Senior Director for 12 years and continues to advise on program strategy, forge new media partnerships, and expand relationships with existing partners including NBC, FOX, The CW, ABC, Hulu, Marie Claire, and more, with a special emphasis on reaching Latino audiences. Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaigns developed under her direction have won multiple awards and have garnered millions of dollars in free placements. She helped conceive, develop, and launch the "Thanks, Birth Control" program, a social media effort designed to create a positive public conversation about all that birth control makes possible.  

Prior to joining The National Campaign, Marisa was the Communications Director at Share Our Strength (SOS), one of the nation’s leading anti-hunger organizations. At SOS, she informed journalists about the causes and consequences of hunger, and trained chefs and restaurateurs to speak out publicly about hunger and poverty. She is a regular guest lecturer at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business and is a seasoned speaker on the role of media in preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy.  She has served as a Campaign spokesperson on The Today Show, The View, The Ricki Lake Show, NPR, USA Today, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. Marisa graduated with honors from Yale University and lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two children.

Other Recent Posts

Declines in Teen Birth Rate = Slower in Rural Counties
May 19, 2015
Authored by: Alison Stewart Ng

Alison Stewart Ng is the Research Coordinator at The National Campaign. She is responsible for keeping The National Campaign’s online data portal up to date with the latest statistics, and for providing assistance with research requests.  She has co-authored Freeze Frame 2012, and three new additions to our Why It Matters series.  These briefs provide research on the consequences of teen childbearing on topics including education and economic wellbeing, single parenthood and father involvement, and child welfare.

During her time at The National Campaign, Alison has participated in several other projects, including updates to the public cost of teen childbearing, and the redesign of the data portal.   In early 2014, she co-authored a Science Says on teen childbearing in rural areas, and she is currently working on an analysis of factors explaining this rural-urban disparity.

Alison received her BA in International Relations from Tufts University, and is currently working on her MS in Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University.  She currently resides in Washington, DC with her husband, Abraham.

For years, we’ve received questions about teen childbearing in rural areas. Some people were sure that teen childbearing had to be the highest in the most urban centers, while others were just as convinced that rates were highest in rural communities. So, two years ago we answered that very...
Contraception, State and Local, Teen Pregnancy, Teens
Pregnant Pause Aunt
May 18, 2015
Authored by: Ronesha Dennis

Ronesha D. Dennis is the Partnerships Manager at The National Campaign.  She is responsible for fostering relationships with sororities, fraternities, faith groups, and other organizations to encourage their members to become educated about the importance of unplanned pregnancy prevention.  Ronesha joined the Campaign in May 2011 as the Office and Fulfillment Coordinator.

A native of New Orleans, LA, Ronesha currently resides in Temple Hills, MD, where she spends her weekends planning sorority service events, studying marketing trends, and practicing French.  Ronesha earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a concentration in Print and Online Journalism and a minor in Computer Science from Howard University in 2011.  Her greatest accomplishment was redesigning the website for the university’s then-daily newspaper, The Hilltop, and the Howard University News Service.  

In August of last year, my niece visited me the week before her 16th birthday. I took a few days off to spend time with her, to get to know the teen she’d become since the last time I saw her three years prior. Our conversations were engaging. Some were funny, some were serious, and at moments, I...
Relationships, Teens, Virginity
May 06, 2015
Authored by: Jessica Sheets Pika

Jessica Sheets Pika is the Director of Communications at The National Campaign. In that capacity, Jessica is the community manager and content strategist for The National Campaign’s award winning websites, (the Campaign’s corporate website) and (the Campaign’s teen website). She curates and writes content, manages consultants and content contributors, handles both sites’ social media presences, and develops new activities and content areas for both sites. In addition, Jessica handles press initiatives, spearheads the design and creation of new National Campaign materials, and provides general communications and editorial guidance to all program areas of the Campaign.

Jessica joined The National Campaign in 2006 and has nearly 15 years of experience in the non-profit health care world. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Political Science from Wake Forest University and lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, her adorable son, and their dog, Cora.

The 14th Annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy was only two short days ago but we've already seen tons of great coverage of what our partners in the field did on May 6th and are doing throughout the month. "Teen Pregnancy Prevention: Why There’s Still More Work To Do"Northwest...