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I Used to Be a Pro-Life Republican

I had a favorite line, in high school, when debating people on the subject of abortion. It was "Hey, that thing in your stomach's not gonna come out a toaster, right? It's a baby!"

Oh, I thought I was really, super clever with that one. Because I loved talking about the babies. I talked about the babies at the high school Young Republicans Club--not only was I the president, but also the founder. I talked about the babies at Club 412, the evangelical punk teen hang-out in Fort Worth I frequented with my friends. I talked about the babies in class. I cried about the babies while I strummed my guitar. I wrote songs about the babies, imagining myself as a broken, murderous whore who regretted her abortions.

I didn't have an opinion one way or the other on abortion until I started hanging out with right-wing punk rock kids in high school. Then, somebody -- probably one of the older teenage punk rock boys I would later fend off in the back of a car or behind the chapel at church camp -- ha


Introducing... Find-a-Doc!

(...or a counselor, LGBTQ center, doula, shelter, rape crisis center or other in-person sexual/reproductive health, sexuality and/or crisis care serving teens and young adults!)

As a youth-serving organization which provides most of our services online, we're all too aware the internet has limits. You can't get tested for chlamydia or pregnancy online. You can't get ongoing, one-on-one counseling or therapy where your counselor can hand you a tissue when you need one. The internet can't provide anyone a warm bed or a meal, an IUD, pre-natal care or an abortion. Google can't provide us HIV healthcare or emergency contraception.

As part of what we do, we refer users to offline services, but many of our users are often reluctant to seek out in-person services we or others can't directly vouch for. Years ago, we began to notice that when one of our users told another near them about a service they used and liked, or when one of our staff could vouch for having gone to a service ourselves,


How to get birth control privately when you're a teen & keep condoms from breaking

kassidur asks:

Me and my boyfriend want to get me birth control pills, as we've had the condom break three times on us already, and we're really fearful of pregnancy. I've already seen on this site a question on how to get birth control, but I have more questions than were answered. I'm 16, as is my boyfriend. Neither of us are able to drive yet because we didn't get our permits at the correct time (though we can take a cab to get somewhere), my mom would be highly unsupportive of the fact me and him are having sex (and even more unsupportive of me being pregnant), but we don't want to stop or anything, we just want more ways to protect ourselves against pregnancy. So, I need a way to get birth control without my mom's know. In the question I've read, you guys said that the doctor would ask for my name, address, phone number, and social security number. By giving them any of these things, would my mom be able to know I had seen the doctor? One of my main fears of getting birth control is my mom finding out somehow. Also, I don’t know where my mom keeps my social security card, and I haven’t memorized the number, so how can I find it out? Can I not have to tell the doctor?

Stephen, We Need to Talk

To: Stephen Harper (a.k.a. the Prime Minister of Canada, a.k.a. That Guy With the Questionable Judgment)
From: Me (a.k.a. A Concerned Citizen, a.k.a. Someone Who Thinks You're a Bit of a Twit)

Dear Stephen,

I have to confess, I am not, nor have I ever been, one of your biggest fans. I have never voted for your party, and I've found many of your decisions since becoming Prime Minister (such as sending Canadian troops to Afghanistan and protecting the Alberta oil sands even though they are royally screwing up the environment) disappointing, to say the least. However, when you announced at the end of January that you hoped one focus of the upcoming G8 summit would be improving maternal and child health worldwide - particularly in developing countries - I thought that maybe this was a decision of yours I could get behind.

But then, again, you let me down. Because earlier this week, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon confirmed that your newfound commitment to maternal heal


What's the Typical Use Effectiveness Rate of Abstinence?

Heather Corinna asks:

What's the typical use effectiveness rate for abstinence? All I can find anywhere, even at organizations that teach abstinence, or say it's the only effective method of contraception, is the perfect use rate. How well does it really work for people in real life? Why doesn't anyone have that information on this method when we do for every other method?

Can I get a girl pregnant if...

mcnclguy1210 asks:

Can a girl get pregnant if I ejaculated in the condom then took it off and then stuck my penis back in her but didn't ejaculate in her unprotected. What are the chances?

You should wait for sex, but if you can't....

This is one of a long line of common phrases in sex education and sexuality messaging people, including people I think of us allies, use that I deeply dislike, like "preventing teen pregnancy." Let me explain why, working backwards.

"You should wait for sex, but if you can't..."

That's usually followed by "then you should have sex using safer sex and contraception." Or -- and usually addressing both those things -- "then you should at least be responsible."

In some respect, that's fine. Now, not everyone needs contraception, either because they don't have a partner with a radically different reproductive system than them or they're not having the kinds of sex that can create a pregnancy, so that doesn't always make sense. But for people choosing to have any kind of sex, we're 100% on board with the sentiment that all of us -- no matter our age -- should be engaging in sexual practices supportive of safeguarding everyone's best health, and in alignment with whether we do or don't want


What's the Typical Use Effectiveness Rate of Abstinence?

That question probably either sounds like a really important one or a really stupid one, depending on your view. But I want the answer regardless, and am seriously tired of waiting for it.

As an organization that provides information on all methods of contraception and other aspects of sexual decision-making, we include talking about abstinence (or celibacy, or not having certain kinds of sex, terminology we prefer because they're more clear) as a method. We are supportive of our users who choose to be celibate, in whole or in part, as their method of birth control, just as we're supportive of our users choosing any other method of contraception. We know full well that there is no one best method of contraception for all people and would never suggest that there is.

For every other method, we provide perfect and typical use rates of effectiveness. Those are two pieces of information, combined with additional info on each method, we provide for those making choices about contraception;


UK "Repeat" Abortion Rate for Teens Increases: What Does It Mean and What Can We Do?

Originally written for The Guardian, condensed version can be seen there.

In 2008, over 5,000 UK women under the age of 20 had an abortion that was not their first. As was made clear by the alarmist headlines following the publication of those numbers, this is a big concern for the public.

A woman’s reproductive life often spans 30+ years. Around 1/2 of all pregnancies in the US and UK are unplanned. Contraception isn’t used or used properly. It fails sometimes even in perfect use. Female fertility peaks between the ages of 19 and 24: the reason we tend to see the most abortions (and pregnancies) in that group is because it is the most fertile group having the most sex. (Piccinino, LJ, Mosher, WD. Trends in contraceptive method use in the United States: 1982-1994. 1998. Family Planning Perspectives. Vol. 30(1): 4-10 & 6, Table 1) The UK teen pregnancy rate is the highest in Western Europe: six times higher than the Netherlands, nearly three times higher than France and more than twice


Is birth control safe? Are certain brands best?

Gwenaly asks:

I've been wondering if using birth control is safe? And is there a certain brand of birth control that I can use that will be the best to use?

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.