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Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards’ Statement on Guttmacher Institute Report on Teenage Pregnancy Rates

“This new study makes it crystal clear that abstinence-only sex education for teenagers does not work, and it should serve as a wake-up call to anyone who still believes that teenagers aren’t sexually active or that abstinence-only programs curb the rate of teen pregnancy. Now more than ever, we must ensure that our teenagers receive medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education that gives them the tools to make responsible decisions about their health.

“It is a tragedy that after a decade of progress in reducing the rate of teenage pregnancy, we are witnessing a substantial increase in the number of teens who are getting pregnant. In addition, we are facing a crisis in the alarming rate of sexually transmitted infections among our young people. It is unacceptable that one out of every two sexually active young people has a sexually transmitted infection by the age of 25.

“Americans must provide our teenagers with the information they need to reduce the increasing rate of teenage pregnancies and allow them to protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections.

“We applaud President Obama and members of Congress who have recognized that abstinence-only programs do not work, and who are investing in medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education for our teenagers. An investment in comprehensive sex education is an investment in reducing unintended and teen pregnancies. It’s that simple.

“Every year, Planned Parenthood physicians and nurses see nearly 700,000 teenagers who come to Planned Parenthood health centers with questions about their sexual activity and health. Moreover, millions of teenagers worldwide seek medically accurate information about sexual health on Planned Parenthood’s website,"

Read the Guttmacher Institute Study HERE.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. We believe that everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child, and that every child should be wanted and loved. Planned Parenthood affiliates operate 850 health centers nationwide, providing medical services and sexuality education for millions of women, men, and teenagers each year. We also work with allies worldwide to ensure that all women and men have the right and the means to meet their sexual and reproductive health care needs.


PPFA Media Relations, 202-973-4882

Published: 01.26.10

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