The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy is joining the Ad Council to debut a groundbreaking, first-ever public service campaign designed to reduce the rates of unplanned pregnancy among unmarried young adults in the U.S. The three-year campaign directs sexually active women ages 18-24 to Bedsider.org, a new comprehensive online and mobile program, to help them find the right birth control method for them and use it carefully and consistently in an effort to prevent unplanned pregnancy.
The U.S. has one of the highest rates of unplanned pregnancy in the entire developed world. Nearly one in ten unmarried young women (ages 20-29) has an unplanned pregnancy each year, according to new data developed by the Guttmacher Institute . That is approximately 1.3 million unplanned pregnancies annually—a 13 percent increase in this age group between 2001 and 2006.
According to public opinion data, the vast majority (84 percent) of unmarried young adults in their 20s believe it’s important to avoid getting pregnant or cause a pregnancy right now. Even so, previous research conducted by The National Campaign suggests that less than half of young women are using birth control consistently. Young adults who experience unplanned pregnancy and birth have fewer opportunities to complete their education or achieve other life goals, and their children experience more health risks and social risks as well.
The Bedsider website aims to help young women (ages 18-29) find a method of birth control that’s right for them and stick with it through a series of online, video and mobile components. At Bedsider, visitors can explore, compare, and contrast all available methods of contraception, set up birth control and appointment reminders, view videos of their peers discussing personal experiences, and view animated shorts that debunk myths about birth control.
The light-hearted ad campaign uses humor to communicate to young women about the importance of birth control. Featuring a montage of relatable and funny “sex mishaps,” the television ads conclude with the line “You didn’t give up on sex. Don’t give up on birth control either.”
"Bedsider and the accompanying PSA campaign are trying to 'rebrand' contraception as a positive part of life that promotes self-determination, education and achievement," said Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign. "Both bring fun and a light touch to an area that is too often hush-hush, serious and boring."
“Despite the public’s perception that unplanned pregnancy is largely confined to teens, new research reveals that this issue is a major problem among young adults and the consequences can be very serious,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “This breakthrough ad campaign uses identifiable humor to empower young women to find the birth control method that is best for them. It’s a public health effort that has the potential to benefit many, many young women.”
The Ad Council is distributing the new PSAs to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide. The ads will air and run in advertising time and space entirely donated by the media.
The new research data is based on special tabulations conducted by the Guttmacher Institute (www.guttmacher.org). Information on pregnancy intentions comes from the 2002 and 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) surveys conducted by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and a Guttmacher survey of abortion patients, and were combined with data on births from NCHS, induced abortions from a national survey of abortion providers, and estimates of miscarriages calculated from the NSFG surveys. Population denominators came from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The public opinion polling was conducted by telephone by Social Science Research Solutions (SSRS), an independent research company. The survey is weighted to provide a nationally representative estimate of the unmarried populations ages 18-29. Telephone interviews (both landline and cell phone) were conducted by SSRS with 1,025 respondents from August 17-September 25, 2011.
Tags: Bedsider, birth control, National Center for Health Statistics, PSA, Sex Education, The Ad Council, The Guttmacher Institute, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, unplanned pregnancy