Nearly 3 in 10 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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Bedsider, Contraception, Relationships, Stay Teen
August 29, 2014

heart in the sand

Most of us know at least some of what we want in a romantic partner. Good looks? That would be nice. Smart? Yep. Someone who makes us laugh? You bet. Honest and loving? Of course.

But as I note in my most recent blog on Huffington Post, what we don’t think about enough is what we don’t want in a partner. Lauren, a work colleague in her 20s, reminded me of this.

She had been dating a guy exclusively for two months, discovering along the way that they had similar tastes, including particular musicians and Vietnamese food. Then he started doing things that really bothered her. She hung in there for a while and eventually broke off the relationship before she got too attached. She has no regrets.

“There are so many qualities in a partner that you might not want but you don’t think about,” she said. “If it hadn’t been for our time together back then, I would never have learned these things about myself.”

Time together in a relationship is essential for learning things not just about your partner, but about yourself. Young women and men these days are lucky; they can take that time and not worry about pregnancy because of the remarkable (to us old fogies) varieties of birth control. Looking for birth control options? and explain all your options.  

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.

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Authored by: Liz Sabatiuk

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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.

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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.

Although it is the height of rudeness to brag about yourself, we thought we’d take this one small opportunity to do just that. Don’t hate us for it. (Too much.)In the almost 20 years that the Campaign has been in business, we have been honored with more than 80 awards for our various resources. ...
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Authored by: Kelleen Kaye

Kelleen Kaye is the Senior Director of Research at The National Campaign. Before joining The National Campaign, she spent 12 years as senior analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, where she developed and oversaw studies on a wide variety of issues related to family formation, poverty and public assistance. She also has worked for the National Opinion Research Center, the New America Foundation, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution. She has served on several advisory committees including the Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics and the Interagency Working Group for the National Survey of Family Growth. She has received the Vice President’s Hammer Award for her work on the Fatherhood Initiative and the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award for data analyses related to Hurricane Katrina.

Kelleen received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Wisconsin and a Masters degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan.

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