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.

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Contraception, Teen Pregnancy, Teens
September 29, 2014

IUD

The IUD as birth control method of choice? Those of us of a certain age may pause at that suggestion, put forth today by the American Academy of Pediatrics. We remember the now-infamous intrauterine devices of the 1970s, particularly the infamous Dalkon Shield which was found to cause severe pelvic infections and septic abortion among a large number of women (resulting in millions, if not billions, of dollars in settlements.)

But as reporter Mackenzie Carpenter points out in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, IUDs, like other forms of long-acting, reversible birth control, have improved dramatically in reliability and safety.  They prevent fertilization and are safe even for young girls who have never had intercourse, Carpenter writes.

Two years ago, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists approved IUDs, along with subdermal implants, as the best methods for preventing pregnancy among young women. The AAP’s recommendation will make it easier for girls, on the advice of their doctors, to benefit as well. 

Need more information about birth control methods? Check out Bedsider, our site for 20-somethings and Stay Teen, our site for teens.

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 CNN.com 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.

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Books
September 27, 2014
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, www.TheNationalCampaign.org (the Campaign’s corporate website) and www.StayTeen.org (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.

The Huffington Post: "Well-Known Scholar Says Planned Births, Not Marriage, Top Priority for Child Well-Being"Laura Sessions SteppEven if we believe that more marriage would be helpful to children (as I do), turning the tide here...is likely to be difficult. Reducing fertility, on the other hand,...
20-Somethings, Contraception, Parents, Popular Culture, Teens
World Contraception Day
September 26, 2014
Authored by: Liz Sabatiuk

Liz Sabatiuk is Digital Media Manager at The National Campaign. She’s responsible for developing and managing content for The National Campaign’s award winning website, Bedsider.org—a birth control support network for 18- to 29-year-olds— and related social media channels. Liz works closely with consultants, content creators, and partners to produce engaging, medically accurate content that represents and extends the Bedsider brand. This includes everything from Bedsider feature articles to tumblr posts to the Guy’s Guide to Birth Control.

Liz began working at The National Campaign in 2008 for the Latino Initiative and co-authored the report Toward a Common Future: Latino Teens and Adults Speak Out About Teen Pregnancy. She earned a BA in English Literature from Goucher College.

Couples around the world have been using some form of it for centuries, because having the power to control when you have children is, as Ron Burgundy would say, kind of a big deal. This year Bedsider is celebrating World Contraception Day with fun facts and pie charts about birth control use...
20-Somethings, Bedsider, Contraception, Unplanned Pregnancy
It’s On Us: Preventing Sexual Assault on College Campuses
September 26, 2014
Authored by: Chelsey Connolly

Chelsey Connolly is the Manager of College Initiatives at The National Campaign. She is responsible for fostering relationships with college faculty and administrators and working with them to help students achieve their educational goals by preventing unplanned pregnancy. She also supports the development of materials, such as the online lessons, Preventing Unplanned Pregnancy and Completing College. In December 2012 she co-authored a report published by the American Association of Community Colleges, titled Make It Personal: How Pregnancy Planning and Prevention Help Students Complete College, about its project with the Campaign to incorporate the topic of preventing unplanned pregnancy into academic courses.

Since joining the Campaign in 2007, Chelsey has worked in several departments including State and Local Action, the Latino Initiative, and Public Policy. She also managed a federal grant to give teens information about how to have healthy relationships, through which she helped create the award-winning online games, My Paper Boyfriend and My Paper Girlfriend on StayTeen.org.

Chelsey earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing at Georgia Southern University. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, Brian, and their rescue dog, Sophie.

Video of President Obama Speaks at the Launch of the “It’s On Us” Campaign I was so pleased to attend a White House event last week…and, I confess, a little star struck. Not just Olivia Munn and these guys were there, but both Vice President Biden and President Obama spoke. But in all seriousness...
Colleges, Education, Public Policy