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iContraception? Smart Birth Control Should Be As Sexy as Your Smartphone

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Written by Kirsten Moore for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the  original post.

Having recently joined the un"I"verse, I am amazed by the breathless anticipation, the speculation and whispered rumors otherwise known as the run-up to the release of the next generation IPhone.

As a reproductive health advocate, I can’t help wonder: What if we were as devoted, as critical, as insistent when it came to contraceptive technologies, as we are when it comes to cell phones?

Each time a new IPhone is released, reviews and comparisons flood the internet. Is it better than the old version? Does it have enough features? It is the right balance of style and function? Will it do everything I want faster and better than the competition? Consumers and want-to-be consumers chat, Tweet and blog about the features they love, the bugs they hate, and the software or hardware changes they would like to see next time around. Apple pays close attention to this chatter, as do their competitors.

What if every year, Americans pored over academic blogs, FDA approval chatter and leaked corporate press releases for clues about what’s next? What if we, as consumers, demanded new and diverse contraceptive technologies to fit the fast-paced and complex lives we lead? And what if public and private funding sources marshaled the resources to answer that demand with truly innovative products and methods? Okay, maybe birth control isn’t as sexy as a smart phone, but shouldn’t it be? Actually, shouldn’t it be sexier?

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