Family Planning: Celebrating History & Committing to the Future

Author Jean Baker, signs copies of her new book about Margaret Sanger

Last Wednesday, November 9th, about 100 people gathered at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport to hear author and historian, Jean Baker, talk about her new book, Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion.

Dr. Baker teaches history at Goucher College and has written several books on various topics in American history. Her lecture was enlightening and inspiring. Baker talked about Margaret Sanger as a person who was committed to improving the lives of women and their families, a woman who was a product of her times and who could be difficult, but who nevertheless gave her life to the effort to assure that every woman was, in Sanger’s own words, “the absolute mistress of her own body.”

In talking with Dr. Baker at the start of the evening, I was impressed by how interested she was in what’s happening with family planning in Maine. She asked as many or more questions than she answered. But Dr. Baker and her lecture are just a part of what made the evening so special to me.

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7 Billion… and Counting

October 31, 2011 — That’s the day United Nations demographers determined that planet Earth is now host to seven billion people.  The number is significant for lots of reasons — the rapidity with which we reached this number, the concerns about food and energy and water and all of the resources needed to sustain such a large number of people on a very finite planet.

I wanted to write something about this topic for On the Front Lines, to talk about the link between population growth and access to family planning services.  So I did some reading on the subject. Continue reading

Do You Think Sex is Bad or Good? — Answering Students’ Questions

Anyone who has ever taught a sex education class knows that students come to class with a multitude of questions. When a trusted adult creates a safe space for young people they may ask questions that can be challenging to answer. Questions like, “What’s a wet dream?” or “Is sex better with a bigger penis?” or “Do you think sex is bad or good?”

Answering anonymous student questions is almost always part of evidence-based curriculums. And it’s also the part of the curriculum that’s the least scripted, where teachers don’t always know what to expect or how to respond to different kinds of questions.

As the primary resource for sexuality educators in Maine, the FPA is always seeking new ways to support those who have the responsibility for teaching sex ed to our young people.  To that end, our Pregnancy Prevention Program staff is creating a series of short video clips around the theme of “Answering Students’ Questions.” Continue reading