PPFA Statement on Teen Birth Rate Rise
President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Today’s news underscores what Planned Parenthood and those who work tirelessly to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies already know too well: the United States is facing a teen pregnancy health care crisis, and the national policy of abstinence-only programs just isn’t working.
The United States still holds the dubious distinction of having the highest teen pregnancy rate among the most developed nations. It is time for everyone who cares about teenagers to start focusing on the commonsense solutions that will help solve this problem. As the mother of two teenagers, I know this starts with honest communication between young people and parents, open and accurate sex education, and access to affordable birth control.
Congress should put the right foot forward and immediately stop funding for dangerous abstinence-only programs that deny young people information about how to prevent pregnancy, protect their health and make responsible decisions. In the last decade, more than $1 billion has been wasted on abstinence-only programs, when studies show they don’t reduce the number of teen pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections.
It’s time to put money toward real solutions that will help prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections among teenagers.
May 13, 2014