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Statement by Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, on New CDC Report on Drop in Teen Birthrate
“The drop in the teen birthrate after a two-year increase is welcome news, but the fact remains that nearly 750,000 teens become pregnant every year, a number that is still unacceptably high. When it comes to preventing unintended pregnancies and keeping our teens healthy and safe, hiding our heads in the sand is not a sound strategy. Our young people need education and support that comes from comprehensive, medically accurate, age-appropriate sex ed.
“That’s why we must continue to invest in commonsense policies that achieve our shared goal of truly preventing unintended pregnancies and lowering the teen pregnancy and birthrate. Full funding for comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education programs will put our nation on a sustained path of decreased teen birthrates.
“President Obama and members of Congress have taken a major step forward in allocating more than $185 million in evidence-based, medically accurate teen pregnancy prevention programs. Studies show that these types of comprehensive sex education programs are effective in reducing teen pregnancy.
“As we mark STD Awareness Month and the launch of our Get Yourself Tested, or GYT, campaign with MTV, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Kaiser Family Foundation (www.gytnow.org), it is imperative that we take the issue of teen health seriously. An investment in comprehensive sex education is an investment in reducing STDs and unintended and teen pregnancies. It’s that simple.
“Every year, Planned Parenthood physicians, nurses, and educators see nearly 675,000 teenagers who come to our health centers to get help in making informed decisions about their sexual health. Moreover, millions of teenagers worldwide seek medically accurate information on Planned Parenthood’s website, www.plannedparenthood.org.”