Sisterhood Blog

'Plan A': NCJW's Campaign for Contraception

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen

  • Print
  • Share Share

When my neighbor told me that “Plan B” was the name he had picked for the sports bar he was opening, I just about choked. Until I told him, he had no idea that it’s the name of the morning-after pill; he went with the name anyway.

So I thought it very clever when I saw that the National Council of Jewish Women is calling its new campaign for contraception access “Plan A.” After all, if we have a Plan A, we won’t need to get to Plan B, right? “Plan A” is an outgrowth of NCJW’s activism on women’s reproductive health and a response to the U.S. Senate’s passage, last October, of a bill that allocates $50 million of new tax money to abstinence-only education programs.

Part of Plan A is the NCJW’s fact sheet on comprehensive sexuality education, which cites the public record when it states:

According to a report commissioned by Congress and released in April 2007, abstinence-only programs, specifically those funded by Title V Section 510(b) of the Social Security Act, do not have statistically significant impacts on the rate of sexual abstinence, the number of sexual partners, or the age at which sexually experienced youth first engaged in sexual intercourse.

I’ve long found it ironic that many of the same folks who oppose true sex ed and condom distribution in public high schools, and who work to prevent funding for contraception in congressional bills funding overseas development, are the ones working to undercut abortion rights in this country.

NCJW’s Plan A has several components addressing four prongs of the program: advocating for comprehensive sexuality education in public schools; making sure emergency contraception is available; making sure that young women are aware of their access to contraception and fighting the refusal of pharmacists — in at least 19 states, according to the NCJW documents — to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception.

According to this NCJW document, 46% of American women ages 15 to 19 years old have had sex at least once, and sexually active teens who don’t use contraception have a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within one year.

You can check out this Web site, “No More Money,” — a site sponsored by the Sexuality Education and Information Council of the United States — for more information about the history, funding and impact of abstinence-only sex education.

In this era of constant, focused efforts on federal and state levels to undermine the laws that protect a woman’s right to choose an abortion, as well as to fund and promote ineffective “abstinence only” education to teenagers, the tools for grass-roots activism that NCJW is putting in our hands are invaluable.

Now it’s up to us to use them.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Plan A, National Council of Jewish Women, NCJW, Morning-After Pill, Emergency Contraception, Contraception, Plan B

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.