Letter to the Editor: The Times Union


Blue Carreker, 518-434-5678 x13 or 518 256-0015,

Published: 09.09.13| Updated: 09.09.13

Dear Editor,

The AP story in the Friday, September 6 2013 edition, “Birth rate numbers offer hope” included the fact that in 2012, [U.S]. “birth rates for teen moms … hit yet another historic low.”

This continued progress is positive news for teens, parents and communities. However, it is important to note that the U.S. still has the highest teen birth rate of any developed country and there continue to be significant disparities in rates among racial and ethnic groups.

Too many teens and families continue to face enormous health, education and economic challenges and such challenges are multiplied when a teen becomes a parent. Yet, sex remains a difficult and often neglected topic of parent-child communication and schools struggling to meet state standards are often willing to cut back on health instruction. Most schools still shy away from housing clinics that might provide on-site contraceptive information or supplies and some still rely on ineffective abstinence-only programs and curricula.

It is so important that parents, schools and health organizations work together to ensure that all young people get the information and access to services they need to prevent both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Planned Parenthood works every day to prevent teen pregnancy. Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood provides sex education programs in schools and communities in Albany, Columbia and Rensselaer counties, offers weekly teen clinics on Thursday afternoons at our health centers in Albany and Troy, and offers parental resources on our web site at and through our education department. We just launched a new program that enables teens to ask questions and get medically accurate, age-appropriate answers via text. Call 1-518-4345678 x137 or email for more information.

Chelly Hegan, UHPP President/CEO

518 4345678 x143


Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood is a non-profit organization serving Albany, Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer counties. Each year, more than 13,000 patients make over 20,000 visits to UHPP health centers in Albany, Hudson and Troy. UHPP provides a wide range of reproductive health services including annual GYN exams including PAP tests, breast exams and self exam instruction, colposcopy, cryosurgery and LEEP, birth control information and supplies, Emergency Contraception, pregnancy testing and options counseling, first trimester abortion (medication and surgical), adoption and prenatal referrals, and more. UHPP provides educational programs to more than 5,000 participants at more than 500 programs each year and advocates for women's health.

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