- The USA, Contraception and Gen Z
- The contraception brands taking to TikTok
- What is the impact and what can we learn?
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Since the overturn of the Roe Vs Wade case, Gen Z has been looking to other preventative methods to protect themselves against pregnancy as US states begin to ban or limit access to abortion. There’s been an increase in birth control usage amongst Gen Z following the Supreme Court ruling, with a recent Voxburner survey revealing that, of those Gen Zers who are sexually active, 37% use or have used the contraceptive pill. Additionally, contraceptive brands such as Julie, Get Stix and Favor are taking to social media to promote their brands and protest against government moves impacting reproductive rights. But what are these brands doing, how is this impacting young people and what can you learn from this?
The USA, Contraception and Gen Z
The Roe Vs Wade case was a landmark decision that granted people the right to have an abortion. This changed women’s rights, giving them the right to an absolute abortion within the first three months of pregnancy (with some government intervention in the second trimester). However, in 2022, Roe was overturned in the Dobbs vs Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which the Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t cover the right to abortion. This gave individual states full power to regulate abortion, ban abortion, and introduce restrictions or bans as it was not preempted by federal law. In June 2022, abortion became illegal in eleven states.
The contraception brands taking to TikTok
Julie is a new healthcare brand that’s been promoting its morning-after pill on various social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, showcasing a mix of educational, aesthetic, and comedic content. This more female-focused healthcare company has rebranded to more effectively target Gen Zers through its bright content and its strong values of giving women a choice.
Julie is a Walmart-exclusive contraceptive pill and is available without the need for identification and prescription, and there’s no age restriction for purchasing this product. The product contains a QR code with instructions for using the product which is also available to users on Julie’s website, making it as easy and accessible to young people as possible – something that is so important during this difficult time that thousands are facing. It helps to protect privacy, maintain anonymity and provide better experiences for Gen Z. One of the Co-Founders of Julie, Amanda Morrison, stated, “In putting out the information and the education about what EC actually does, we’re actually allowing more women to participate.”
Get Stix Inc
Get Stix Inc. is a healthcare company that allows for a convenient, judgment-free way of purchasing women’s healthcare products, such as pregnancy tests, by allowing consumers to buy these products all online and be shipped directly to their door.
The brand is also the creator of Restart, which is a Get Stix morning-after pill that’s also available over the counter and on their website. Get Stix, like Julie, advertises its products on social media platforms to more effectively target Gen Z consumers by creating a mix between educational videos and comedic content, helping to destigmatize the issue and break down any taboos or shame that exist amongst young generations. Stix has also created a blog on its website to inform and educate on any questions they may have regarding women’s health.
Kara Riehl, PR co-ordinator at Get Stix Inc, told Voxburner: “Before we started Stix, [co-founder] Cynthia had an awkward encounter when she was buying a pregnancy test and ran into her boyfriend’s mom. At that time, I had recently had a UTI and felt like I didn’t have enough education about what I should do or what products were right for my situation. In order to help others avoid these situations and make sure no one feels alone in their respective health journeys, we created Stix.
Post Roe v Wade, Stix is heeding the call to support women by offering free emergency contraception (no questions asked) and partnering with organizations like Abortion Access Front to create awareness and raise necessary funds. As of October 2022, we’ve donated over 10 thousand free doses of our Restart morning-after pill to anyone who needs it, no questions asked.”
Favor Inc. is a health company that offers skincare, menstrual care, and other sexual wellness services, all delivered to your door. Favor offers birth control in the form of the pill (the most common form of contraception), as well the ring. People who want birth control can access it by creating an account on Favor, answering a few health questions, and working with an evaluation from their medical team. Favor advertises its company on social media and creates amusing content for Gen Z and Millenials that helps to change the narrative around contraceptives.
In response to Roe versus Wade being overturned, CEO Sarah Abboud at Favor stated, “When we began planning for a world without Roe, we asked ourselves how we can best support those most impacted, and as a digital birth control provider who serves patients in all 50 states, the answer was always birth control. While birth control and emergency contraception will never obviate the need for abortion, we have a responsibility to all women and people who menstruate to ensure they can access both whenever they need it. We are as dedicated as ever to do our part to support their basic health care needs.”
What is the impact and what can we learn?
- Sexual health is slowly becoming more openly talked about on digital platforms, meaning health and safety information will have more exposure amongst Gen Zers and, eventually, even younger generations
- Sexual health education is not always sufficient in schools, and as a result there is a lot of stigma around these issues that need to be tackled (you can read more about this in our Sex, Pleasure and the Internet guide). Brands taking these conversations to social spaces are championing these conversations and helping to empower young people
- By targeting Gen Z via their favorite forms of communication – memes and humor – brands such as Get Six and Julie are effectively reaching and attracting the Gen Z demographic
By taking this important conversation to young people’s favorite platforms and making it accessible, certain brands are really encouraging a positive change in narrative… and we can all learn something from that in attracting the Gen Z demographic. Through these companies, we’ll undoubtedly see a change of narrative in the healthcare industry.
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