When it comes to contraception, the United States could be viewed as the land of lunacy. The facts and figures from that country demonstrate the power of contraception to change a society.
More than 20 different methods of long-acting and short-acting hormonal and barrier contraception are now available, many of which are 99-percent-plus effective. But strange superstitions live on.
Two separate research efforts—one looking to prevent STD transmission and the other looking to treat cancer—may ultimately lead to new options in contraception including a pill for men and a vaginal ring that prevents both STDs and pregnancy. But the journey from lab to pharmacy is long and we shouldn’t forget the good methods we already have.
Levi Johnston, infamous for his association with former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol, and his now-girlfriend Sunny are expecting a child together and have informed the press that the pregnancy was unplanned. Instead of mocking Levi’s many adventures in contraceptive use (or lack thereof), let’s have a serious discussion about how to expand access and adherence to the various methods that are available to those who do not wish to become pregnant.
As the State of Texas and Planned Parenthood take their fight for the Women’s Health Program to court, Texas women are left wondering where they will get the health care they need–and when. This is just one woman’s story out of 130,000.
With all the negative attention given to anti-choice legislation passed in Wisconsin recently and Senators saying silly things, it’s easy to look over the fact that Wisconsin is actually winning when it comes to innovation in contraceptive service delivery.
While campaigning in Oklahoma, Rick Santorum signed the Personhood petition that is being circulated in that state. Santorum’s signature is no surprise, as all of the GOP nominees have jumped on that bandwagon. But, Rick continues to try to have it both ways.
Amidst the controversy around Rush Limbaugh and birth control coverage, there have been some missed opportunities to dive deeper into the underlying issues. What I had hoped (and continue to hope) for is space for a more nuanced discussion about privilege, sex and sexuality, and feminism.
The fight against birth control coverage smacks of theocratic thinking – the notion that government ought to be ruled by or subject to religious authority. Clearly we need a much more inclusive conversation about religion and reproduction.
Women of color experience much higher unintended pregnancy rates than their white counterparts. As a group they also suffer higher rates of chronic diseases, including pregnancy-related conditions, which can be prevented with consistent use of contraceptives. The new regulation guaranteeing access to contraception without a co-pay will help greatly with these and other health issues.