The Birth Control Solution: Education + Re-Branding

November 04, 2011

Unplanned Pregnancy

This piece was published on Bedsider's TUMBLR on November 3, 2011.

In Nicholas Kristof's NY Times column today he writes, "What's needed isn't just birth-control pills or IUDs. It's also girls' education and women's rights--starting with an end to child marriages--for educated women mostly have fewer children." Clearly, Mr. Kristof had women and girls worldwide in mind when he wrote that.

But as we are one week away from the official launch of a nationwide public service announcement campaign for Bedsider--including TV, print, and web ads--which will be the first time such a campaign runs in the U.S., we are reminded that education is needed here too. But the education needed is regarding all the options of birth control available and how to use it correctly and consistently.

Among single women in their 20s, more than 7 in 10 pregnancies are unplanned according to The Fog Zone, a nationally representative survey commissioned by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and conducted by the Guttmacher Institute

Young adults care about avoiding pregnancy. The overwhelming majority say they really don't want to get pregnant right now. But, they don't put this into practice very well.  If we look at those in a current sexual relationship who are not pregnant or trying to get pregnant, nearly one fifth use no contraception at all! 

With Bedsider, we've tried to address the real issues and hurdles that women face, and give them tools they can actually use to stick with their plans to not get pregnant before they're ready. Part of it is education, for sure. But it's education in a voice that makes sense and comes from the point of view of the women to whom we're speaking.

Bedsider re-brands birth control. And through this re-branding we hope to make birth control a normal part of healthy lives and, ultimately, healthy families.

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 VP of Digital Media at The National Campaign he oversees all aspects of The National Campaign’s digital presence.  Previously, 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 14-year-old daughter and finds inspiration from playing tennis, sea kayaking in Greece, art, and a good book.

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