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

Popular Culture, Stay Teen, Teen Pregnancy
November 24, 2014


It was a whirlwind weekend for The National Campaign. We hosted the third and final meeting of our 2014 Youth Leadership Team (or YLT). Sixteen teens and young adults from around the country arrived in DC for three days of fun (with a little learning thrown in). The first activity? Designing YLT T-Shirts! We put on some music and got to work. Everyone had a great time deciding with their group what they wanted the shirts to look like, and we ended up with some really great looking designs. Check out just a few of them below.


Afterwards, each student was randomly assigned a fellow YLT-er and tasked with creating an award and writing a short speech about them. When we presented the awards and speeches later that weekend, it ended up being the highlight of the trip. Crowded in one hotel room, the group laughed and even cried a little while everyone got the chance to share their honoree with the group. We even skyped in the one member who was unable to make the meeting! I tried to get at least a few photos of the awards:


And of course, there was some learning involved. We enjoyed presentations from The National Campaign media department, communications department, and from Bedsider! I’ve never met a group of teens so eager to be assigned MORE work. They asked to do more writing for Stay Teen, remain involved in focus group work, and become involved in collaborating with Bedsider on their college campuses, even though they technically graduated the YLT program last weekend.  It was an honor to lead a group of such mature, motivated, and positive teenagers (that are practically adults now!), and I’m so glad they all plan to be permanent members of The National Campaign Family. 

Authored by: Kate Meroski

Kate is the Communications Coordinator at The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting values, behavior and policies that reduce both teen pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy among young adults. She is responsible for managing the Campaign’s youth initiative work, including the National Youth Leadership Team and the DC (District of Columbia) Teen Advisory Board.  Additionally, she creates content and is the Campaign’s internal graphic designer.  Kate also manages content on the Campaign’s teen and corporate web properties ( and and social media accounts.  She also plans Campaign events and coordinates external communications including press releases and the weekly newsletter, the Campaign EGRAM.

Kate holds a Bachelors degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from The George Washington University. 

Other Recent Posts

Thanks, Birth Control Rocky the Dog
November 20, 2014
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.

By early counts the number of people Tweeting, posting, liking, and sharing all things #ThxBirthControl last Wednesday, November 12 was in the thousands. But beyond the numbers, I loved was how good everyone was looking saying “thanks!”                  And I loved how creative people were being...
20-Somethings, Contraception, Popular Culture, Thanks, Birth Control, Unplanned Pregnancy
November 17, 2014
As a peer health educator on a college campus, I’m continually surprised by how many students still don’t know about certain methods of contraception. Maybe that’s because I work in the field of sexual health and have access to more information about the full range of methods. However, I feel like...
20-Somethings, Bedsider, Contraception, Teen Pregnancy, Unplanned Pregnancy
November 14, 2014
Authored by: Marisa Nightingale

As The National Campaign’s Senior Media Advisor, Marisa Nightingale leads key partnerships with entertainment media executives to help integrate prevention messages into their work. She and her colleagues provide expertise, story material, and hands-on help to hundreds of content creators in television, print, and digital media whose work is most popular with teens, young adults, and their parents.

Marisa joined the Campaign in 1996, shortly after its founding, and is the architect of its nationally-recognized Entertainment Media and Audience Strategy program. She served as the program’s Senior Director for 12 years and continues to advise on program strategy, forge new media partnerships, and expand relationships with existing partners including NBC, FOX, The CW, ESSENCE, and more, with a special emphasis on reaching Latino audiences. Public Service Ad (PSA) campaigns developed under her direction have won multiple awards and have garnered millions of dollars in free placements.

Prior to joining The National Campaign, Marisa was the Communications Director at Share Our Strength (SOS), one of the nation’s leading anti-hunger organizations. At SOS, she informed journalists about the causes and consequences of hunger, and trained chefs and restaurateurs to talk to press about hunger, poverty, and child nutrition issues. She is a seasoned speaker on the role of media in preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy, and has served as a Campaign spokesperson to local and national media, including The Today Show, The View, The Ricki Lake Show, NPR, USA Today, The Washington Post and more. Marisa graduated with honors from Yale University and lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two children.

In fact, 99% of adult women who have had sex have used birth control. It's totally normal and commonplace, but you'd never know that from the way people shy away from talking about it. That's why The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and are launching #...
Contraception, Media, Popular Culture, Thanks, Birth Control, Unplanned Pregnancy