NC20 June: Never a Better Time for Intentionality

Deciding when, if and under what circumstances to get pregnant is one of the most important life decisions that anyone can make. Yet so many still leave this to chance. Nearly half of all pregnancies in the U.S are described by the women themselves as unplanned.  Among single women in their 20s, 7 in 10 pregnancies are unplanned. Despite the fact that 9 in 10 say they don't want to get pregnant at this point in their lives, 40 percent aren't using contraception consistently, and even fewer are using the most reliable forms of contraception—the IUD and implant.

And that is the rub. Clearly, intention and intentionality are not aligned.  If they were, we would have a completely different picture on this front because women who do use contraception consistently and correctly account for only 5 percent of all unplanned pregnancies.

This is important in any circumstance because we know that women—especially younger women—who become parents before they are ready are less likely to complete their schooling and more likely to face economic challenges in their lifetimes. This has impacts on both the women themselves, as well as their children.

With the Zika virus emerging as a critical public health issue here and around the globe, it is even more important for us to be intentional about our intentions. The stakes are high—for us and our future generations. And the solutions are there. Never before have there been a broader array or more effective contraceptive options—that combined with a condom—can prevent both an unplanned pregnancy and the transmission of Zika.

You don’t live in a “Zika” affected area? Well, not yet. Few would argue that mosquitos are pesky—and they travel—as do people who you might encounter in your home town.  And I would argue that reliable contraception is certainly more foolproof than mosquito repellent. So if you aren’t planning to get pregnant this summer—don’t leave things to chance—find your contraceptive method of choice and use it consistently and carefully.

OTHER RESOURCES
RESOURCE: Pregnancy Planning in the Age of Zika
2016 POLLING DATA: Survey Says: June 2016: Unplanned Pregnancy and the Zika Virus (available in English and Spanish)
PRESS RELEASE: Less than Half of Adults in the U.S. Are Aware That Zika Virus Can Be Sexually Transmitted
PRESS RELEASE: Menos de la mitad de los adultos en los EE.UU. son conscientes de que el virus del Zika puede ser transmitido por vía sexual

Authored by: The National Campaign

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