Kentucky among top 10 states with high teen pregnancy rates
(Indianapolis, Ind.) Teen pregnancy in the United States is at an all-time low, dropping by half since its peak in 1990. Despite this decline, Kentucky is in the top 10 for states with high teen pregnancy rates, ranking eighth, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
“Unintended teen pregnancies have a far reaching impact on our families and society,” said PPINK President and CEO Betty Cockrum. “The children of teenage mothers are more likely to have lower school achievement and drop out of high school, have more health problems, be incarcerated at some time during adolescence, be a teen parent, and face unemployment as a young adult.”
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) has been highlighting the costs of teen pregnancy—both to young people and to taxpayers—during the entire month of May, which is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month.
In Kentucky, recent statistics show:
• There were nearly 5,300 births to Kentucky teens in 2013. 17 percent were repeat births.
• In 2013, 44 percent of students in grades 9-12 reported having sexual intercourse. Nearly 21 percent of Kentucky 12th graders identified as having four or more sexual partners.
• 67 percent of births from unintended pregnancies are publicly funded at an estimated cost of $14,887 per birth through the first year of life.
• Teen childbearing cost Commonwealth taxpayers at least $158 million in 2010. The majority of these costs are associated with negative consequences for the children of teen mothers, including health care costs, foster care, incarceration, and lost tax revenue.
“We can take significant steps to prevent teen pregnancy by well-designed and well-implemented sex education programs that include an abstinence-plus curriculum,” Cockrum continued. “At PPINK, our educators work in schools and communities every day to provide sex education that is accurate and nonjudgmental, as well as provide tools and resources to help parents and people who work with youth talk about sex education with the teenagers in their lives. PPINK also offers a full range of birth control options, to help young people take full responsibility for their reproductive health.”
PPINK also offers resources and tools for teens, including peer education programs in Indianapolis and Louisville, as well as online resources such as StayTeen.org, which offers a quiz challenging teens to think carefully about what they might do "in the moment" through a series of interactive scenarios.
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 approximately 700 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.
May 18, 2015