“I come from a family that doesn’t talk about any body part that doesn’t show,” acknowledges Christie Vilsack, the former first lady of Iowa.
In her new job as executive director of the Iowa Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy, Vilsack is traveling the state discussing what her family never did: sex and birth control.
Iowa happens to rank 43rd in providing funding for family planning. Vilsack’s program “intends to build support for state and federal funding for birth control services and improve access by shedding light on the high social and economic costs paid by young mothers and their communities,” reports the Fort Madison Daily Democrat.
Vilsack highlighted five areas of emphasis to accomplish the five-year goal:
* Research to keep track of the program and measures results.
* Equip hairdressers with information to share with clients about taking responsibility and control over their lives.
* Get the word out by means of Latino soap operas broadcast over the radio.
* Use Internet features like Facebook and MySpace to reach women from 18 to 30 who talk to each other online.
* Advocacy, which involves talking to legislators about getting behind the endeavor.
Meanwhile, presidential candidate John McCain “seems to be having increasing difficulty with the issue of birth control,” notes Marjorie Childress at RH Reality Check.
Childress reports that three people wearing t-shirts with the logo of the pro-choice organization NARAL were ejected from a recent McCain town hall event in Albuquerque, despite having been given tickets by a campaign volunteer. And she nicely sums up the story around McCain’s awkward silence and response to a question about insurance coverage for birth control (which he opposed).
Planned Parenthood Action Fund has launched a national, 30-second ad campaign featuring a video clip of McCain’s fumble, prompting Bill O’Reilly to respond with his usual level of intellect and sensitivity: