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Mandy Moore Explains Why Women Need to Know What Their Birth Control Options Are


Before she was making us sob regularly as matriarch Rebecca Pearson on This Is Us, Mandy Moore was a Disney princess in Tangled, a teenage bride in A Walk to Remember and a mean girl in The Princess Diaries. She even had a successful singing career before breaking through as an actress, totally proving that with some intense dedication and hard work, you can maintain a long, fulfilling and ever-changing career.

As women, we often face the difficult choice of how to handle our careers once we want to settle down and have a family. Some of us may want to prioritize our career goals and reach a certain benchmark before even thinking about having kids. Being so dedicated to achieving her own professional goals, Mandy has partnered with pharmaceutical company Merck for a new campaign called Her Life. Her Adventures, which promotes the idea that family planning can help women pursue their long-term goals. Mandy and Dr. Pari Ghodsi, M.D., spoke with Her Campus about the importance of the campaign and why women need to embrace this kind of conversation.

“It is essentially, at its core, an awareness and educational campaign aimed at inspiring women to know what their options are, to set priorities, to have goals in mind, in order to figure out how best to sort of achieve what they want,” Mandy explains. “Part of the campaign is encouraging women to speak with their doctors to know what their birth control options are and to factor in how family planning sort of figures into their overall life and their long-term goals.”

In a 2017 survey conducted by Merck, the majority of over 2,000 adult women were more concerned with attaining financial and relationship stability than starting or growing a family. The survey results highlight how women are more driven than ever before to seek their own adventures without worrying about unexpected pregnancies.

As a certified and active fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Pari knows how important the campaign’s mission is from a medical viewpoint. “Half of U.S. pregnancies are unplanned, and that’s across all age groups,” she points out. “A lot of times it’s because of incorrect or inconsistent birth control use. But often women just don’t know what their options are…There are longer-term options that are all reversible, so women just really need to start talking to their doctors about what will best fit their lifestyle, their adventure.”

The duo also believe in a sense of empowerment in taking control over your future. “We want to sort of illuminate how important this topic is,” Mandy says. “It’s vital for women—it’s empowering to know what your options are! I think there’s a lot of misinformation out there, and that’s why, again, we’re encouraging women…There’s really no “one size fits all” cure or method or product out there; it’s what’s best for you and the goals you have laid out in your life.”

Dr. Pari sees a gap in women’s knowledge of birth control options because of their lack of lengthy conversations with doctors when addressing the decision. “Women aren’t having that conversation and they’re not planning ahead and a lot of times they’re not thinking about it,” she explains. “There’s been a study that shows that women think about their birth control for about 15 minutes before making that decision, and we want women to really start thinking about it more, talking about it more.”

For college students with their entire personal and professional lives ahead of them, figuring out what kind of plan they should rely on can be daunting. After all, your dream SO may stumble into your life and suddenly make the idea of marriage before 25 not scary at all, or you may love the company you just started working at and want to climb as many ladders as you can to reach the top. What can you do to stay cool in these unpredictable circumstances?

“It’s all about making the right plan for you,” Dr. Pari says. “Talk to your doctor about what your plans are! Doctors want to know—they want to help you figure out what is the best decision for your lifestyle and your future goals.”

“I’m 33 years old and I’m fortunate to have a job at the moment that I love,” Mandy says, referring to her This Is Us role. “I get to play this woman on a television show who spans from the ages of 22 to 66…Being able to sort of have an inside lens at the different chapters of this woman’s life, [that’s] relevant to me and where I am in my life and in my career. Birth control is part of my plan right now; it might not always be, and having a family is something I look forward to one day, but I’m pretty focused on the task at hand and my job right now.”

Although today’s women may have a bit more freedom in their life choices than their mothers did, This Is Us’s Rebecca, who's an ambitious singer-songwriter with a family, is an inspiration for women aspiring to be a force of nature, no matter where their lives take them.

“I think she’s a fantastic mother,” Mandy says, “and I’m excited to sort of see where the story takes her along those lines…She manages to sort of juggle it all, having three kids and maintaining a family and being a wife, and she’s got a lot on her plate.”

And what's next for Rebecca? “We’re in the midst now of filming Season 2, so I can’t really give too much away,” Mandy laughs. “But I think there will be some very important answers to questions people have been asking for a while now, probably addressed in the first episode.”

For more information about birth control options, check out Her Life, Her AdventuresFacebook and Instagram accounts. In the words of Mandy, “Education is power.”

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