Coming in first is usually a good thing – except when, well, it’s not. Case in point: the U.S. has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the developed world. And older couples aren’t doing that much better: nearly half of all pregnancies in this country are unplanned.
The Ad Council and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy are teaming up to do something about that. They recently launched a three-year multimedia campaign that address the importance of birth control through a series of humorous PSAs and Bedsider, a new website that’s chock full of information and advice about birth control options.
Although the site is aimed at women ages 18-29, there’s a lot on it that is relevant for both men and women of all ages. I particularly enjoyed the “Fact or Fiction” section, which answers such questions as can guys buy emergency contraception (short answer: yes, if they’re 17 or older); and “Real Stories,” where men and women share their experiences with the female condom, the patch, and the IUD, among other birth control methods.
Also cool? Bedsider’s handy-dandy reminder function. Users can set up reminders for appointments or birth control that works on a schedule (i.e. the ring, pill, shot, or patch). Just enter the relevant information and create an account, and you’ll get a reminder via text or email. Other resources include an exhaustive list of questions and answers; a health clinic locator; and a way to find your closest source for emergency contraception.
Besides the wealth of information and the ads themselves, perhaps the most notable aspect of the campaign is its attitude. As Sarah Brown, CEO of the National Campaign, said in a press release, “Bedsider and the accompanying PSA campaign are trying to ‘rebrand’ contraception as a positive part of life that promotes self-determination, education and achievement … [b]oth bring fun and a light touch to an area that is too often hush-hush, serious and boring.”
Sarah's first book, Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement, will be out March 2013. For more information, follow her on Twitter @saraherdreich, or check out saraherdreich.com.