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, Unplanned Pregnancy
October 29, 2014

Birth control matters: The ability to plan, prevent, and space pregnancies is directly linked to benefits to women, men, children, and society, including more educational and economic opportunities, healthier babies, more stable families, and reduced taxpayer burden.

Among adult women who have had sex, 99% have used birth control. It’s a normal part of life and should not be a taboo topic or the subject of political posturing. The vast majority of single young adults say they don’t want a pregnancy right now, yet four in 10 of those who are having sex are not using contraception consistently. More than half of sexually active college-age women say they would be more comfortable using contraception if more people talked about it in a positive way.

For me, birth control has allowed me to time and space the birth of my three children. I have a career, serve on non-profit boards, volunteer at school and in the community, and enjoy the daily demands and richness of mothering my three children. My life has meaning, purpose, and is filled with joy. Thanks, Birth Control!

On November 12, 2014 The National Campaign will hold the second annual Thanks, Birth Control day. 

This social media campaign asks everyone to publically support birth control and all that it makes possible for individuals and society. We want to turn up the volume and turn down the controversy. We want people to speak up, dispel myths, share facts, and mobilize friends and colleagues to say #ThxBirthControl.

In anticipation of the day, we will have a bunch of digital postcards and a really catchy video available on November 5 (check back first thing in the morning!).

In the meantime, here are a few suggestions on how you can participate and encourage others to participate:

  • Use #ThxBirthControl in your social media posts and tell your friends and followers what birth control makes possible for you or for others.
  • Share one of our statistics, infographics, articles about birth control and why it's so important to society.
  • Blog about the benefits of birth control.

What does birth control make possible for you? Please join me and millions of others on November 12, 2014 in saying “Thanks, Birth Control!”

Authored by: Jennifer Gootman

Jennifer Appleton Gootman is Project Director of the Birth Control Initiative for The National Campaign, a series of activities designed to rebuild support for and understanding of the important positive role that birth control in the lives of women and men.

Prior to her work for the Campaign, she was Senior Program Officer for the Board on Children, Youth, and Families at The National Academies. In that position she directed a number of studies on topics including adolescent risk behaviour, adolescent health, teen driving, food and beverage marketing to children and youth, youth development programs, and the impact of work on children and youth in low-income families. In 2003 she took leave from the Academies to participate in the Ian Axford Fellowship in Public Policy, where she worked in New Zealand to examine and publish a report on New Zealand’s national youth development strategy and related child and youth policies. She has worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the New York City Public Advocate’s Office, and the Constitutional Rights Foundation. Her work has focused on child and family policy for low-income families, including welfare reform, child care, child health, youth development, and teen pregnancy prevention issues.

She received a B.A. in education and fine arts from the University of Southern California and an M.A. in public policy from the New School for Social Research.

Other Recent Posts

college student
October 27, 2014
Authored by: Lisa Shuger

Lisa Shuger is the director of public policy for The National Campaign. She is responsible for assisting in efforts to develop and execute effective policy strategies to help prevent teen and unplanned pregnancy, taking the lead on high school completion, and opportunity/mobility. She has responsibility for building partnerships with national, state, and local organizations involved in K-12 education. In addition, she works on health and human services policy to improve outcomes for women and families.

Prior to working for The National Campaign, Lisa was the Washington director for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). Her focus included immigration reform and international refugee protection/assistance. From 1996-2001, she served as deputy director/legislative representative to New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani where she led efforts on immigration and welfare reform. She has worked for the American Psychological Association and the American Orthopsychiatric Association.

She studied K-12 education and Russian and East European studies, and received her BA in education from the George Washington University.

As education leaders continue to push for increased high school graduation rates in the United States—and reaching a rate of 80% for the first time is something to celebrate—there are still school districts with low graduation rates and, perhaps not so coincidentally, with high teen birth rates. In...
Colleges, Education, Public Policy, Teen Pregnancy, Teens
college students, gradutation
October 23, 2014
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.

We’d like to think that college students make better decisions as they continue through college. However, one study suggests this may not be the case, at least when it comes to risky sexual behavior. Surprisingly, the risks actually increase between freshman and senior year. A recent study* shows...
20-Somethings, Colleges, Contraception, Relationships, Unplanned Pregnancy
Men Playing Football, Bedsider, Pregnant Pause
October 21, 2014
Authored by: Lawrence Swiader

Lawrence Swiader has spent his career studying the intersection of technology, media, education, and how it can better people’s lives.  Currently, as Senior Director of Digital Media at The National Campaign he leads the Bedsider program which makes use of digital media to improve the reproductive health behaviors of young adults in the U.S.  For 10 years before that, he used technology as a tool to teach about the history of the Holocaust and to motivate people to act to end contemporary genocide.

In his second home of Athens, Greece, he has consulted on various projects for clients including the Athens Metro and museums of Greek history.  Lawrence graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in 1989 with a degree in Television, Radio, and Film and in 1993 earned a Master’s degree in Instructional Design, Development, and Evaluation from Syracuse University’s School of Education.

Lawrence has a 13-year-old daughter and finds inspiration from playing tennis, sea kayaking in Greece, art, and a good book.

  “What about men?” This is a question those of us who work on the program often receive and it is a question that I’ll address at a session of the upcoming American Public Health Association annual conference in New Orleans. Without a doubt Bedsider’s focus is women and, as a recent...
20-Somethings, Bedsider, Men, Unplanned Pregnancy