Chittenden Community Action Team
The Chittenden Community Action Team celebrates a mosaic of volunteers who share one common goal: supporting Planned Parenthood. The team does work year round to promote and protect access to Planned Parenthood’s essential health services and education for all people in Chittenden County.
The team met in early February 2018 to discuss the urgent issues impacting people’s right to make voluntary decisions about their health. Team members discussed a myriad of issues that they have either personally experienced or witnessed in their lifetime: limited education about consent; sexual assault and domestic violence; STDs/STIs; and a lack of resources and/or access to health care amongst marginalized communities.
When asked, “What can we do about it?” members understood there is not one solution to all of these issues. But, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s Equity in Pregnancy Intention Campaign provided a concrete path to promote evidenced-based, medically accurate, and inclusive sex education. The team created the campaign as a real step towards preparing ALL young people for a lifetime of positive relationships and making good decisions about their health.
Equity in Pregnancy Intention Campaign (EPIC)
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England began the Equity in Pregnancy Intention Campaign (EPIC) in 2016 as an effort to reduce unintended pregnancies statewide and thereby improve population health and build pathways to opportunity for all Vermonters. EPIC seeks to help the Vermont Department of Health’s Healthy Vermonters 2020 goal of increasing the proportion of pregnancies that are planned to 65%.
Though many unintended pregnancies are welcome, and result in happy, healthy mothers & babies, unplanned pregnancies can be costly, both in health and social terms. Some of the multiple risks associated with unintended pregnancy can include delayed prenatal care, maternal depression, and low birth weight. Women--particularly young, low income, less educated, or who have chronic health issues or substance use disorders--are disproportionately impacted by unintended pregnancy, which contributes to gender inequality.
Preventing unintended pregnancy can result in better health outcomes for parents and children as well as provide people the opportunity to finish school and/or find work, thereby helping Vermont to improve overall population health and break generational cycles of poverty. EPIC has launched a multi-faceted approach to this issue, including expanding access to high quality sexual and reproductive care and education, and supporting progressive policymaking initiatives that protect and improve sexual and reproductive health equity.
The Get Real VT campaign is directly supporting EPIC’s aims through implementation of Get Real sex education, a curriculum which engages parents and teachers, while empowering young people to make healthy decisions about sex.
Have questions or want to know how you can get involved? Email us at [email protected].