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Statement on Rising Teen Birthrate by Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America

“With nearly 750,000 teens getting pregnant every year, the United States is facing a teen pregnancy health care crisis. When something is broken, our country works to fix it. We must work together to fix this crisis and reduce unintended pregnancies.

“Today's news from the CDC that the teen birthrate is on the rise for the second straight year clearly demonstrate that abstinence-only programs are failing our teens. We agree with President Obama that our nation must leave behind the divisive politics of the last eight years and move forward with commonsense policies that achieve our shared goal of truly preventing unintended pregnancies. That’s why we believe that the time has come for everyone who cares about teenagers to start focusing on real policies that will help reduce the teen pregnancy rate. This begins with honest communication between young people and parents, comprehensive and accurate sex education, and access to affordable contraception.

“Congress should put the right foot forward and immediately stop funding for 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 $1.5 billion has been wasted on abstinence-only programs, when studies show they don’t reduce the number of teen pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections.

“As a nation, we must invest in policies and programs that will help prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections among teenagers.”

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Contacts

Tait Sye or Brannon Jordan, 202-973-4882

Published: 03.19.09

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