Pills are totally safe if your girlfriend is responsible and take every pill on time. I also think is more effective than condoms, it works chemically, not mechanically as condoms, so it won't brake, it don't split when you take it out.
And if your girfriend has any side effects, there are many different types, so she had to go to her OB
and get new pills. My girlfrien did it and we had no troubles.
If you and your girlfriend trust each other, don't cheat each other and positively know both of you are clear from VDs, take the pill, always better than the condom barrier! specially if you are circumcised (which could be the case since you're American), because, although not totally probed, it seems circumcision reduces man's sensibility and hence you don't need more barriers. If you are not sure or you have some "adventures" sometimes, keep using the rubber
Direct sex it's much better than condoms!
in order: 721,146,732,763,722,343,733,320,772,319,752,321,88,83,744,332,100,738, 333, 318, 77W, 78, 773, 380, 73G, 788, 789, 346