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How to (Un)pack for a Real Discussion About Abortion

The murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller on May 31st has resulted in a lot of conversation about abortion. It’s a topic frequently hushed, or spoken about more around its politics than the actual procedure, the experience itself and the real women who have abortions. So this increased discussion is certainly something potentially positive happening because of something horribly tragic. More discussion around anything which is or may be treated as unspeakable is always a good thing.

However, often in these conversations and news stories, language is used that's confusing or inaccurate, and some statements are made about abortion or women who choose abortion which are false, unrepresentative or misleading. And any of this can come from either “side” of abortion debates or discussions, due to political aims or motivations, ideological ideas or agendas or just out of plain old ignorance. Just like a whole lot of people don't know the finer points of open-heart surgery, a lot of p

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You're Not Superman, You Know

It's amazing how well my generation - those in their late teens and early 20's - can distance themselves from topics that have everything to do with us. For example, driving fatalities and alcohol abuse. It's staggering the number of teens who die from car accidents related to substance abuse, as well as those who spend their high school and college years with a beer bottle in hand.

It's even scarier to look at how many teenagers don't know BASIC FACTS about sex and sexuality. This is something I've known for a long time as a Scarleteen staff member, but it doesn't change reality.

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Preventing Teen Pregnancy: Three Words Most Likely to Make My Blood Boil

I hate, hate, hate that phrase. Nearly everywhere I go or look as a young adult sexuality educator anymore, I run into it incessantly.

Let me be clear: I don't hate doing all that we can, to help people of every age to avoid pregnancies or parenting they do not want or do not feel ready for. I'm so glad to do that, and it's a big part of my job at Scarleteen and elsewhere when I work as a sexuality and contraception educator and activist.

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What can I do to help him stop being so scared of pregnancy?

woah asks:

I have been with my boyfriend for almost 5 years now and we have even talked about getting married. We recently moved in together and to be honest we are as happy as two little beavers. Except for one thing, we haven’t had sex in over 2 years. It really isn’t a problem, we do other things (oral etc.) but we both would really like to go back to having sex. The problem with that is that my boyfriend is afraid I will get pregnant. Every time that we do anything sexually I have to take sometimes up to an hour with him reassuring him that I cant get pregnant from what we just did.

Periods and flushing?

stina54 asks:

Hi, I'm 14-years old and I have a few questions.
1) OK so I first got my period about a year and a half ago, but they come really randomly. When is it probably going to develop a pattern?
2) So last night I had an itch, so I scratched my vagina. A few minutes later I realized that about a half hour earlier, when I went to the bathroom, I flushed the toilet AFTER I washed my hands. Earlier that day, there was a teenage guy over my house that probably did use that bathroom. I also live with my teenage brother and he always uses that bathroom. Is it possible that I could have gotten an STD or even pregnant? I'm really scared and I'm freaking out right now.

Spotlight on Scarleteen: Be Prepared, not Scared!

Soup’s on!

Head chef at Scarleteen Heather Corinna has cooked up yet another tasty new article for you: Chicken Soup for the Pregnancy Symptom Freakout's Soul.

  • The Soup de jour: If you want to just dig in right away, please click here.
  • Hors d'oeuvres If you’d prefer more to hear a partial list of ingredients before ordering, please read below.
The Recipe for Distress:

Who: You (or your girlfriend or your best friend or your sister or that random woman over there...)

What: Are concerned / worried / scared / convinced and freaked out that you might be pregnant.

Where: The fear can strike anywhere: In the school cafeteria, on the bus ride home, at a friend’s sleepover, during softball practice, etc.

When: Anytime after having some sort of sexual activity.

Why: You used some form of reliable birth control properly but you just have a hunch you could/should/would be pregnant.

How: You notice one or more of these symptoms: A missed, lighter, or shorter menstrual period than usual; brea

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Chicken Soup for the Pregnancy Symptom Freakout's Soul

What are the early symptoms of pregnancy and when do they start to happen? Why are symptoms not the smartest way to tell if you're pregnant, and how CAN you tell if you are? If you're losing your mind during a pregnancy scare, and finding symptoms everywhere you look, here's some on-target information and a dose of comfort to help you separate the real deal from the hype.

So Much More Than Just One Night

I was very excited that he was finally coming home, I just never realized it would end up like this.

The luck (or not) of the draw

lisasucks asks:

I'm 19 and my boyfriend is 28. We've been having sex for a year now and we have not been very careful at all. We never use condoms! It's weird though cause I have not gotten pregnant. He usually doesn't ejaculate in me LOL but still. . . . I always joke and tell him he's sterile but now I'm really thinking he is. Since I haven't gotten pregnant does this mean there is something wrong with my boyfriend or me? Or does it just mean I'm lucky?

She's Under 18: How Can She Get an Abortion?

Anonymous asks:

My girlfriend is 17, and I am 19. We had unprotected sex a few days after she finished her period. I know its foolish to not use protection, however we both decided we didn't want anything in between us. I made certain that I didn't ejaculate inside her. She might be pregnant, but right now I'm really just looking at all the options. The state we live in, Virginia, requires one parent to be notified of a decision to get an abortion. However, in Washington D.C. there are no rules saying a minor has to contact or notify her parents or anything. I've read that it is illegal to transport or drive the minor across state lines to get an abortion. Is that true? If yes, could she drive the car and I be a passenger? Or follow her in my car? If she is pregnant, I know she wouldn't want to get her abortion alone... so what is the current laws on this? I have the money to pay for it!

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.