Sunday, May 2, 2010

They're Actually Going to Be Talking About Fertility Awareness on TV

It's a very, very rare day when Fertility Awareness is discussed on national television. The last instance I can think of was in 2002, when Toni Weschler was on "The Today Show." But on Friday, May 7th, viewers will (I believe) be treated to a discussion of Fertility Awareness running approximately 8 minutes. It will take place during the premiere of a PBS show called "Need To Know." The subject of the show (or at least a chunk of it) will be the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill.

A while back I was contacted by a producer for the show who was looking for footage, and people to interview. I hooked her up with an interviewee, who as far as I know will be on the show, but alas they apparently decided not to use footage of me teaching. Oh well. I'm still extremely interested to see what they are going to say, not just about FA but about the history & consequences of the Pill.

The debut of "Need to Know" will doubtless be watched by a huge audience, as it is replacing the extremely popular, long-running "Bill Moyers Journal," and there are concerns that PBS is going soft, and less controversial, with the new show (and with the cancellation of "Now," which followed the "Journal"). There's been a fair amount of media buzz about the format and the choice of Jon Meacham as one of the hosts. So FA stands to get some major exposure with this broadcast. I only hope that the treatment is well-informed. It seems like every piece about FA contains gross inaccuracies or conflates FA with Natural Family Planning, which is typically steeped in Catholic values and should not be confused with secular Fertility Awareness. My sense from the producer was that she had a pretty good understanding of FA, and planned positive coverage, but often the best intentions are undercut (literally) by ignorant editing. Stay tuned.

You can see "Need to Know" on Friday, May 7th, at 8:30PM EST (check local PBS listings if you're not in NY area). The good news for people like me who don't have television is that it will also be available all week, after airing, on their website:

If you watch the show, I hope you'll post your thoughts here.

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