Sextainability

Raising awareness about the role sexual and reproductive health education (SRHE) can play in issues of sustainability

advocating for the inclusion of SRHE in the Better Planet Project at the University of Guelph

Just off the top of my head, here—

It would be difficult to name all the ways Planned Parenthood has helped me or saved my life.  No, I’ve never had an abortion—because I never had to.  Because I was given excellent education and free birth control.  By Planned Parenthood.

I am 30 years old, a college-educated woman from an upper class family.  And Planned Parenthood is the only doctor’s office I have been in my entire adult life because it was the only one I could afford when I was in high school (free!) and college (cheap!) and it was so awesome back in those days that I never had any reason to go anywhere else. 

Planned Parenthood has walked me through HPV with love and care and respect.  It has walked me through an abnormal pap that turned out to be nothing.  It has given me birth control pills and an IUD.  It has tested every long-term sexual partner I have ever had for STDs, and for an extremely affordable price.  My doctor there has written down the titles of books I might like to read to learn more about my health.  He let me old roommate sit in on a pelvic exam while she was considering becoming a midwife.  He taught us both all about our anatomy, even though we were both college graduates and should have known all that stuff already.  He was patient, funny, and kind.

I have lived in umpteen rental houses and had two million jobs in three states and had six boyfriends and have driven four cars and two bicycles and my life is one big complicated hullabaloo—I don’t think I could put a biography together if I tried.  And yet I have fourteen years of medical history in one place:  in my files at Planned Parenthood.  Because it was just always so darn awesome and respectful and empowering, I just kept going back.  Because taking care of yourself is good and necessary and cool. 

A man who assisted in autopsies in a big urban hospital, starting in the mid-1950s, describes the many deaths from botched abortions that he saw. ‘The deaths stopped overnight in 1973.’ He never saw another in the 18 years before he retired. ‘That,’ he says, ‘ought to tell people something about keeping abortion legal.’

Julianne Moore: I’m Watching

Oscar-nominated actor Julianne Moore, participated in Women Are Watching’s special membership and media event, last week in New York. She agreed to share her thoughts about what’s at stake in 2012.
In the fall of 2000, I remember speaking with Glamour, about how I wouldn’t even consider voting for a candidate who didn’t support reproductive rights — including a woman’s right to choose.
It’s hard to believe that in 2012 birth control is being threatened, and that there are candidates who think the U.S. Supreme Court victory from 1965, giving married couples the right to use birth control, should be overturned.
And there are some candidates supporting “personhood” policies that could make birth control illegal for all women.
We all know that birth control is essential to women’s health. And access to affordable birth control is essential to keeping women healthy.
Let me tell you the story of Courtney E., from Chicago, Ill.
Diagnosed at the age of 17, Courtney suffers from endometriosis — a health disorder that can cause damage to a woman’s reproductive organs. During her college years and in graduate school, she relied on Planned Parenthood to provide her with the low-cost birth control needed to control the damage. Without Planned Parenthood, she wouldn’t have been able to afford the medications that kept her healthy enough to become the mother she is today.
There are many other women out there like Courtney — women who need access to affordable birth control.
So when politicians talk about eliminating Title X, the nation’s family planning program, they are talking about taking away affordable birth control from than five million women and men in this country.
And when they say they want to repeal the Affordable Care Act — they are talking about taking away one of the most significant advances for women’s health in a generation — birth control without co-pays.
So, this year, in this election, I am committing to watching even more vigilantly. And making sure my friends, family, everyone understands what’s at stake. I truly can’t imagine a more important election for us to make our voices heard. I hope you’ll join me.
For more from Julianne Moore make sure to follow her on twitter @_Juliannemoore.
This piece originally appeared on the Women Are Watching blog.

Julianne Moore: I’m Watching


Oscar-nominated actor Julianne Moore, participated in Women Are Watching’s special membership and media event, last week in New York. She agreed to share her thoughts about what’s at stake in 2012.

In the fall of 2000, I remember speaking with Glamour, about how I wouldn’t even consider voting for a candidate who didn’t support reproductive rights — including a woman’s right to choose.

It’s hard to believe that in 2012 birth control is being threatened, and that there are candidates who think the U.S. Supreme Court victory from 1965, giving married couples the right to use birth control, should be overturned.

And there are some candidates supporting “personhood” policies that could make birth control illegal for all women.

We all know that birth control is essential to women’s health. And access to affordable birth control is essential to keeping women healthy.

Let me tell you the story of Courtney E., from Chicago, Ill.

Diagnosed at the age of 17, Courtney suffers from endometriosis — a health disorder that can cause damage to a woman’s reproductive organs. During her college years and in graduate school, she relied on Planned Parenthood to provide her with the low-cost birth control needed to control the damage. Without Planned Parenthood, she wouldn’t have been able to afford the medications that kept her healthy enough to become the mother she is today.

There are many other women out there like Courtney — women who need access to affordable birth control.

So when politicians talk about eliminating Title X, the nation’s family planning program, they are talking about taking away affordable birth control from than five million women and men in this country.

And when they say they want to repeal the Affordable Care Act — they are talking about taking away one of the most significant advances for women’s health in a generation — birth control without co-pays.

So, this year, in this election, I am committing to watching even more vigilantly. And making sure my friends, family, everyone understands what’s at stake. I truly can’t imagine a more important election for us to make our voices heard. I hope you’ll join me.

For more from Julianne Moore make sure to follow her on twitter @_Juliannemoore.

This piece originally appeared on the Women Are Watching blog.

Thailand chose to take an interesting approach to promoting family planning and condom use.


The campaign saturated Thailand with condoms… everywhere! This included distributing contraceptives in floating markets, at traffic stops, at temples, at food stalls next to Coca Cola, at coffee shops and at schools. As Mechai Viravaidya says, condoms can be used as ‘weapons of mass protection!’ The video uses satire about US foreign policy to make a critical argument for the importance of support for family planning and contraceptive education.

To find out more about Machai Virayaidya and his foundation check out:
The population and Community development association
The Village Development Partnership

Concepcion, Deigo and their daughter Delores.

A reporter from PBS news followed a family planning promoter from WINGS (a non-profit organization in Guatemala) for a week to learn about family planning in rural communities. The report describes his experience visiting villages and talking with Guatemalans about the factors that affect family planning in this country.
Read this story here: Reporter’s Notebook: The Family Planning Frontier in Guatemala

Concepcion, Deigo and their daughter Delores.


A reporter from PBS news followed a family planning promoter from WINGS (a non-profit organization in Guatemala) for a week to learn about family planning in rural communities. The report describes his experience visiting villages and talking with Guatemalans about the factors that affect family planning in this country.

Read this story here: Reporter’s Notebook: The Family Planning Frontier in Guatemala

Sustainability as defined by the UN Brundtland Commission is “…meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”
This definition of sustainability incorporates economic, ecological, social, cultural and political factors.
By supporting research and funding for family planning you are helping to support the following changes necessary for sustainable development:
1. Lessened pressure on social services
2. Reduced stigma around contraceptive use
3. Improved family economic status, through increased opportunity for
employment generating activities
4. Increased engagement in community activities and initiatives
5. Improved availability and access to culturally appropriate and nutritious food
6. Reduced pressure on arable land by decreasing demand for food
7. Decreased prevalence of hunger related disease
8. Reduction in maternal mortality, high-risk pregnancies and unsafe abortions
9. Improved sexual health of youth and adults
10. Reduction of incidences of new HIV/AIDS cases
11. Positive self-esteem
12. A 16-29% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions associated with slowing
population growth
13. Better access to education opportunities for youth and adults
14. Lessened pressure on fresh water resources
15. Protection of biodiversity, through decreased demand for undeveloped land
Learn more from the United Nations Population Fund at www.unfpa.org and WINGS Guatemala at http://wingsguate.blogspot.com/2010_12_01_archive.html
Get in contact with passionate individuals like you by checking out the Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/UoGFamPlan

Sustainability as defined by the UN Brundtland Commission is “…meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”

This definition of sustainability incorporates economic, ecological, social, cultural and political factors.

By supporting research and funding for family planning you are helping to support the following changes necessary for sustainable development:

1. Lessened pressure on social services

2. Reduced stigma around contraceptive use

3. Improved family economic status, through increased opportunity for

employment generating activities

4. Increased engagement in community activities and initiatives

5. Improved availability and access to culturally appropriate and nutritious food

6. Reduced pressure on arable land by decreasing demand for food

7. Decreased prevalence of hunger related disease

8. Reduction in maternal mortality, high-risk pregnancies and unsafe abortions

9. Improved sexual health of youth and adults

10. Reduction of incidences of new HIV/AIDS cases

11. Positive self-esteem

12. A 16-29% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions associated with slowing

population growth

13. Better access to education opportunities for youth and adults

14. Lessened pressure on fresh water resources

15. Protection of biodiversity, through decreased demand for undeveloped land

Learn more from the United Nations Population Fund at www.unfpa.org and WINGS Guatemala at http://wingsguate.blogspot.com/2010_12_01_archive.html

Get in contact with passionate individuals like you by checking out the Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/UoGFamPlan