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Today, American teenage pregnancy rates are four times higher than in France, five times higher than in Germany and nine times higher than in the Netherlands. PPLM believes these numbers are the result of a culture which too often discourages honest, informed conversations and that sends contradictory, confusing messages to young men and women who desperately want and need to learn how to navigate their sex-saturated environment confidently and comfortably. PPLM believes that with its new curriculum materials, teens can and will learn to protect themselves from unhealthy choices. PPLM established CARE for Youth (Coalition Advocating for Responsible Education for Youth) a broad, statewide coalition of organizations and individuals in 2005 to advocate for comprehensive health education in the public schools.
In 2008, as PPLM celebrates its 80th anniversary, it seeks to reduce the tragic consequences of this countryís high unintended pregnancy ratesófor individuals, couples and for communities. PPLM is committed, as it has been since those first meetings on Joy Street, to redefine, reframe and normalize the sexual health conversation. The ultimate goal, now as then, is to change the conversations in order to change risky behavior and save lives. Young people have learned to wear automobile seat belts, identify "designated drivers" and pay more attention to the dangers of smoking. With the right, age-appropriate information, they can learn to stay sexually healthy too. Pam Nourse, PPLMís former Public Affairs Director sees the moral imperative big picture. "PPLM is about ensuring that people are able to live out their hopes and dreams and provide for their families," she says.
PPLM is unquestionably the sexual health expert now. President/CEO, Dianne Luby believes strongly that itís time to make the conversation about sexual health both normal and national, part of every conversation about overall health and well-being across the country. PPLM offers information about abstinence, self-protection, planning families and spacing pregnancies, along with the finest reproductive and sexual health services, to people of all ages, every day, across the state. Elizabeth Munro, long time supporter and PPLM volunteer leader has played a key role helping to broaden the publicís focus away from abortion to education, prevention and unintended pregnancy. "Sexual health affects every aspect of life, and if we donít address it, we will deal with the consequences of sexual ill health," she warns. She concurs that issues as private and personal as sexual and reproductive health belong to individuals, not legislators and not judges. PPLM works now, as it has since the very beginning, to assure every personís access to sexual health services and every personís right to make personal decisions about her or his own health.