Youth, Get Involved!
There are many things that you can do to help protect yourself, your friends, your sisters and others from unplanned pregnancy. Get into action!
1. Educate yourself about all birth control methods. Research shows that 85 out of 100 sexually active women who are not using any method of birth control will get pregnant in a year or less. Abstinence (not having sex) is the only 100 percent certain way to prevent pregnancy, HIV and other STDs. Like other methods of birth control, abstinence only works when used consistently and correctly. Some methods can greatly lower the risk of pregnancy. The pill, ring, patch and shot can be 92 to 99 percent effective against pregnancy when used consistently and correctly by couples who are sexually active. Fewer than 8 women out of 100 using one of these methods of birth control will get pregnant over a year’s time. Condoms also work very well at preventing HIV and work very well at helping reduce the risk of many other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
2. Protect yourself. If you are thinking about becoming sexually active, or if you already are having sex, it is important to use a regular birth control method each and every time. Always remember...
- two birth control methods are better than one (for example the patch and the condom) and,
- one method is better than none!
3. Learn the facts about emergency birth control pills. These pills, also called emergency contraceptive pills, ‘morning after’ pills, or Plan B®, are something women can use after unprotected sex, sexual assault, or when a contraceptive method fails in order to prevent pregnancy.
4. Get emergency birth control pills before you need them:
- If you are under age 18, get a prescription for Plan B® NOW. [In South Carolina, you can wait up to two years before you fill a prescription; but having it on hand, in case of need, is great protection.] If your regular health care provider won’t write one, visit www.NOT-2-LATE.com to find a nearby health care source that will treat you respectfully and provide the prescription you need.
- If you are over age 18, get Plan B ® from a local drug store or family planning clinic. Having trouble? Visit www.NOT-2-LATE.com to find a pharmacy that stocks Plan B®.
5. Conduct a survey to test your friends’ knowledge of emergency birth control pills. Click here for survey. (PDF Format)
6. Conduct a survey to learn about the availability of emergency birth control pills at drug stores in your community. Click here for survey. (PDF Format)
7. Educate your friends and family. Send an e-mail to the people you care about and tell them about emergency birth control pills.
8. Educate others in your community. Present information on emergency birth control pills to peer education groups, public health officials, college leaders, community clubs, professional associations, and community-based organizations. Click here for media talking points.
9. Share your story explaining why you believe emergency birth control pills should be more easily available to all young women in the state. Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. It may be posted on www.morningafterinfo.org, the Web site of the South Carolina Emergency Contraception Initiative. Or, write a letter to the editor of your local or state newspaper.
10. Get involved by volunteering with the South Carolina Emergency Contraception Initiative. Click here to send an email to email@example.com.