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.

Latest Post

Contraception, Public Policy, Unplanned Pregnancy
July 30, 2014

GI Jane Movie Poster

So here’s a confession—I have watched the movie G.I. Jane many times. Really. I’m not even going to apologize to you for it. Why? Because while cheesy, it’s got a really great storyline—that of a female Navy officer becoming the first woman to survive SEAL training. But, because I’m a policy nerd who spends a lot of time thinking about how to improve women’s contraceptive coverage and access, I always wonder what Demi Moore’s character’s plan was there. You see her having a check-up, but where’s the “so, have you thought about what contraceptive method would work best during these grueling months, and what will work when you deploy to the desert to (spoiler alert) save your entire unit?”

Now, I’m not saying Senator Shaheen and 15 of her fellow Senators had this movie in mind when they introduced The Access to Contraception for Women Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2014 today, but it certainly starts to answer my question. The bill will provide women in the military and their dependents contraceptive coverage without co-pays or deductibles through TRICARE (the health care program for members of the military and their families). It will also ensure that military women receive education and counseling on the full range of FDA-approved methods and the options that might be best for their particular deployment situations.

Did you know that more than 350,000 women serve on active duty in the Armed Forces or in the Selected Reserve? Or that nearly five million female beneficiaries are eligible for health care through the Department of Defense? That’s a lot of amazing women! And these women need comprehensive counseling for pregnancy prevention, particularly in their pre-deployment preparations. Not getting that counseling contributes to unplanned pregnancies among servicewomen and dependents. As our fearless leader Sarah Brown notes, “When servicewomen are able to select and use the most appropriate contraceptive method for their situation, unplanned pregnancy will decline and our military will be strengthened.”  I’m pretty sure G.I. Jane would be all about that.

Authored by: Rachel Fey

Rachel Fey is the Assistant Director of Public Policy at The National Campaign. Rachel is responsible for the organization’s health policy work, including implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid family planning, and the Title X Family Planning Program. She also works on health disparities and budget and appropriations, where she focuses on funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs and public funding for family planning.

Prior to joining The National Campaign, Rachel was Manager of Government Relations at the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) where she worked on health care reform and the Medicaid and Title X Family Planning programs. She has years of experience working in the field of nonprofit reproductive health, including for the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Communication Programs. Ms. Fey holds a BA in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University.

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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, 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.

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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.

“@lenadunham Because I'm not financially prepared for another pregnancy/child.”“@lenadunham for such bad PMS that I physically couldn't move, had migraines for a week straight, and for my skin!”“@lenadunham because I want control over my sexual health and reproductive future. And that's OK.”These...
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Authored by: Becky Griesse

Becky Griesse is the Senior Manager, State Support at The National Campaign. Becky works with the State Support team to provide assistance to state and local communities regarding teen and unplanned pregnancy. 

Prior to joining The National Campaign, Becky was the Adolescent Sexual Health Program Manager at the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD). There she provided technical assistance to CDC/DASH funded state education agencies to improve youth access to sexual health services. Becky also has experience coordinating a local teen pregnancy prevention coalition, the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP) in Alexandria, VA. 

She attended James Madison University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and George Washington University where she received a Master in Public Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health.  

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