What About the Boys?

Continuing our focus on National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, this week’s post is written by one of FPA’s Pregnancy Prevention Coordinators.

I’ll never forget it. Standing in front of a hundred or so eighth-grade boys, I asked them where they got their information about sex and staying healthy.  After an uncomfortable silence, one brave soul shrugged and said “Mostly…from the streets.”

The ‘streets’ he was referring to are lined with oak trees and sidewalks.  But, I knew what he meant. I had been asked to speak to that group of boys because the principal discovered an underground condom ring going on within the school.  Yep, that’s right.  Some entrepreneurial boy realized he could make good money selling condoms to his classmates.  The same condoms, mind you, that can be legally obtained in about ten different stores in their town.  This makes you wonder…

When I asked them if they had these conversations with an adult at home, they slowly shook their heads.  A few gave me a patronizing smile with that “You’re outta your mind, lady.” look.  I have posed this question to students before, so I wasn’t surprised by their reaction.  But, something about that particular instance has always stuck with me.  Continue reading

What are You Doing for the ‘Jessie’ in Your Life?

May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month.

Here at the FPA, every day is devoted to the prevention of teen and unplanned pregnancy. Our clinical staff, prevention staff, legislative advocacy staff, and the administrative staff that keep the business side of things going are all committed to helping women and men plan their families and avoid unwanted pregnancy.

But what about all the folks who aren’t doing teen pregnancy prevention work as part of their day job — is there anything the average person can do?

By way of answering that question, I’d like to tell you about Jessie.

Continue reading

Knocked Up — Twenty-Somethings & Unplanned Pregnancy

Katherine Heigl and Leslie Mann in a scene from the movie "Knocked Up"

Here’s a quiz for you.*

Since the 1990s the rate of teen pregnancy in the United States has:
A. declined by about a third.
B. stayed about the same.
C. increased by a third.

The group of unmarried women in the U.S. most likely to have used an effective method of birth control the last time they had sex is:
A. teenagers.
B. women in their twenties.
C. women in their thirties.

The group with the highest number of unplanned pregnancies in the United States is:
A. women in their twenties.
B. teenagers.
C. women in their thirties.

*From: “What You Don’t Know About Unplanned Pregnancy”  The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Continue reading

GYT — It’s National STD Awareness Month

April is National STD Awareness Month, an annual observance to call attention to the impact of sexually transmitted diseases and to promote STD testing across the United States.

You may not think you’re affected by STDs but we all are in some way or other.

Every year, STDs cost the U.S. health care system $17 billion — and they cost affected individuals even more in immediate and long-term health consequences. Continue reading

A Healthier America — 8 Things You Can Do

April 2-8, 2012 is National Public Health Week.

Since 1995, the first week of April has been designated as a time to focus on critical public health issues with the goal of helping people live longer, happier, healthier lives.

The main themes for the National Public Health Week 2012 are:

  • Active Living and Healthy Eating
  • Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs
  • Communicable Diseases
  • Reproductive and Sexual Health
  • Mental & Emotional Well-Being

It’s so good to see a national public health campaign discuss reproductive and sexual health as critical services in such a no-nonsense manner!

Why is the issue of reproductive and sexual health an important public health issue? Continue reading

I Will Always Stand Up For Women

Note: This is the last week we will give away a 4000 Years for Choice poster. Comment on any post to be entered in the final drawing. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who shared a comment. We hope our readers will continue to share their reactions to our blog posts.

On Sunday, April 1st, the 40 Days of protests will come to a close.

To coincide with this year’s protests, the FPA held its 4th Annual Pledge-a-Picketer Campaign. We invited people to make a pledge to FPA based on the number of picketers at our gates each day.

Earlier this week, curious as to why people choose to support the campaign, we asked them to complete this sentence — “I gave to FPA’s Pledge-a-Picketer Campaign this year because…”

Here are some of the wonderful responses we received.

Continue reading

You Are a Good Woman — What the Protestors Don’t Know

Note: We continue to give away a 4000 Years for Choice poster each week. Comment on any post to be entered in the weekly drawings.

The 40 Days protestors think they know why women come to our abortion care facility.

They have an image of who these women are and why they seek abortion care services. Absolutely sure of their version of the “truth” — they pass judgment on FPA patients.

Here’s the real truth — most women have several reasons for their decision to end a pregnancy. Continue reading

Celebrate Abortion Providers Appreciation Day

Note: We continue to give away a 4000 Years for Choice poster each week. Comment on this post to be entered in the weekly drawings.

This Saturday — March 10th — is Abortion Provider Appreciation Day.

Why March 10th?

Because on that date in 1993, David Gunn, MD was shot and killed by an anti-abortion protestor as he walked from his car to a clinic in Pensacola, Florida. Gunn’s murder occurred at a time when violent crimes committed against reproductive health care providers and abortion clinics had been steadily rising for fifteen years. Murder, kidnapping, assault, threatening, arson, bombing – the litany sounds like a terrorist toolkit.

As a result of Dr. Gunn’s murder, the U.S. Senate decided that the conduct of anti-choice extremists was interfering with the constitutional right of women to receive reproductive health care services, especially abortion. In 1994, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act became law.

The new law prohibited behaviors that made it difficult or dangerous to get in and/or out of an abortion care facility.  Although the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act dramatically reduced the number of violent assaults against abortion providers and facilities, the violence continues. On New Year’s Day of this year, a family planning clinic in Pensacola, Florida was firebombed and burned to the ground.

The violence and threats of violence in the U.S. have taken a toll on abortion access.

Continue reading

On The Front Lines