New York, NY — This National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month (May), Planned Parenthood Federation of America is encouraging teens to choose their futures by thinking about where they want to be after high school — whether it’s going to college or a trade school, getting a job, owning a home, having a family, moving to a big city or a small town, or something else altogether. Teens can make a real difference in their own futures by thinking about their goals and making plans to achieve them.
In the U.S., teen pregnancy and birth rates have reached a historic low, and more young people are delaying sexual activity and using birth control when they do have sex. Around the world, young people are taking their health into their own hands, actively seeking out the education and health services that help them choose their future and live healthier lives.
“All young people deserve sex education and health care, including information about and access to birth control. They also need support from their families, schools, and communities to set goals and decide for themselves whether or when they want to become parents,” said Dr. Leslie Kantor, vice president of education at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Young people who decide to parent deserve support and respect as well as the information and resources they need to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy.”
Planned Parenthood supports young people who decide to parent and believes that pregnant and parenting teens deserve the resources and information they need to make the best decisions for themselves and their family. This includes accessible child care to help young parents reach their educational and career goals. We advocate for programs and policies that support pregnant and parenting teens.
“High-quality sex education and access to family planning services are critical to helping teens stay safe and healthy, here in the U.S. and all over the world,” Dr. Kantor added. “Access to quality health care, resources, and education is a fundamental right for all people and shouldn’t depend on who you are or where you live. There are still significant disparities around making sure that all young people have the information and resources they need to prevent unintended pregnancy.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that in most U.S. states, fewer than half of high schools and just one in five middle schools teach all the essential sex education topics recommended, and a new study from researchers at the Guttmacher Institute found that the percentage of teens who received sex education dropped significantly between 2006 and 2013, particularly for those living in nonmetropolitan areas.
“As the nation’s largest provider of sex education, Planned Parenthood is committed to helping teens stay safe and healthy,” Dr. Kantor added. “Planned Parenthood is proud to provide sex education and health services that help teens plan their future and prevent both unintended pregnancies and STDs. We work every day to educate teens about sexual health, communication skills, and relationships so they can make healthy decisions.”
Planned Parenthood works in schools and communities across the country to provide outstanding sex education programs. In 2014, Planned Parenthood provided education and outreach to 1.5 million people of all ages across the country. The same year, Planned Parenthood Global, the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, partnered with organizations in Africa and Latin America to reach more than one million people with sexual and reproductive health information and services, including over 68,000 people served through our youth peer providers.
Planned Parenthood also offers nine interactive mobile tools designed to help young people stay healthy and better plan for their futures. The tools bring together age-appropriate sex education with what teens like to do online, and have already been used by over 300,000 young people.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
May 04, 2016