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, Parents, Popular Culture, Teens
September 19, 2014

BooksSo much good stuff out's a wonder you have time to eat when you're so busy reading. To help your addiction, here are a few excellent articles that posted this week:

  • The New York Times Sunday Review: "Beyond Marriage"
    Isabel V. Sawhill (@isawhill AND @nytimes)
    Marriage is disappearing.... We’ve been worrying about these trends for years, and wondering: Can marriage be restored as the standard way to raise children? As much as we might welcome a revival, I doubt that it will happen.
  • The Wall Street Journal: "Many Pediatricians Are Skipping the Sex Talk With Teens"
    Jeanne Whalen (@JeanneWhalen)

    Talking to teenagers about sex is tough—so tough that many pediatricians appear to be avoiding the topic all together. Health experts recommend that teens receive regular care relating to their sexual health, including screening and vaccination for sexually transmitted infections, but studies show that few pediatricians offer these services regularly.

And if you're looking for something on the lighter side (it is Friday after all), you cannot—CANNOT—miss Sarah Kliff's latest piece on Vox.

  • "How Not to Use Birth Control, As Illustrated by Stock Photos"
    Sarah Kliff (
    Yesterday, I was searching for some art to accompany an article about Obamacare increasing access to birth control. I turned to stock art site called Shutterstock that Vox subscribes to — and found a whole bunch of photos that do not explain how birth control pills work (here's how birth control does work).

Happy weekend everyone (and you're welcome)!


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 more than 10 years of experience in the non-profit healthcare world. She received a Bachelors 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.

Other Recent Posts

You Tube/Bedsider Blog Image
September 18, 2014
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.

Photo credit: YouTube channel Hey Yo ShannaAccording to a survey released last month by the showbiz gurus at Variety, young people are more enchanted with the stars of YouTube than they are with the better known celebrities of TV, music, and movies.  In related news, The National Campaign is happy...
20-Somethings, Bedsider, Contraception, Media, Popular Culture, Unplanned Pregnancy
Alarm Clock
September 15, 2014
Authored by: Laura Sessions Stepp

Laura Sessions Stepp is a senior media fellow at The National Campaign and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Prior to her arrival at the Campaign, she worked as a reporter and editor for The Washington Post for 26 years. Most of her writing has focused on millennials from the time they started school until the present. She contributes columns to and The Huffington Post and has written two books published by Riverhead/Penguin: Our Last Best Shot: Guiding Our Children Through Early Adolescence and Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both. Laura has twice been a visiting scholar at the Board on Children, Youth and Families, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences. She is married and has three grown children.

“Your biological clock is ticking.”How many childless women in their late 20s and early 30s have heard someone (or several someones) say that to them? As if they don’t know it (or want to hear unsolicited commentary about their ovaries in the first place).Some of these women don't want to have...
20-Somethings, Popular Culture, Relationships, Unplanned Pregnancy
Edge of Eighteen Promo
September 12, 2014
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 expertise, story material, 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.

Marisa joined the Campaign in 1996, shortly after its founding, and is the architect of its nationally-recognized Entertainment Media and Audience Strategy 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, ESSENCE, and more, with a special emphasis on reaching Latino audiences. Public Service Ad (PSA) campaigns developed under her direction have won multiple awards and have garnered millions of dollars in free placements.

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 talk to press about hunger, poverty, and child nutrition issues. She is a seasoned speaker on the role of media in preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy, and has served as a Campaign spokesperson to local and national media, including The Today Show, The View, The Ricki Lake Show, NPR, USA Today, The Washington Post and more. Marisa graduated with honors from Yale University and lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two children.

Photo credit: Al Jazeera America Ever wondered what would happen if you gave video cameras to 15 teenagers from different backgrounds, brought them to New York for some intense training in filmmaking, then sent them home to document their senior year of high school? Award-winning filmmakers Alex...
Media, Parents, Popular Culture, Teen Pregnancy, Teens