23 Hoosier teenagers get pregnant every day
(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, 23 Hoosier teenagers get pregnant every day, equivalent to one classroom, and the declines haven’t been as dramatic in Indiana.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) is 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.
“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.”
In Indiana, recent statistics show:
- The infant mortality rate for Hoosier mothers ages 19 and younger is higher than the national average.
- In 2014, Medicaid covered 3,888 births to mothers between the ages of 13 and 19 at a cost of $7.7 million.
- 64 percent of births from unintended pregnancies are publicly funded. Each publicly funded birth cost Indiana taxpayers $10,460 for maternity care and infant care through the first year.
- Teen childbearing in Indiana cost taxpayers at least $227 million in 2010. The majority of the costs are associated with negative consequences for the children of teen mothers, including health care costs, foster care, incarceration, and lost tax revenue.
- 60 percent of teens who become mothers before age 18 are high school dropouts.
“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 of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) provides high-quality health care to more than 55,000 men and women each year at our health centers across two states. Our centers are staffed by skilled clinicians and highly trained health care professionals. 93% of our nonprofit’s services are preventive in nature and include Pap tests, breast and testicular cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, and annual wellness exams. Through the Sara and Albert Reuben Partners in Health Education initiative, PPINK also provides sexuality and reproductive health education programs, equipping people to make responsible decisions so that families thrive in Indiana and Kentucky.
PPINK’s doors are open to all who need care and we provide our services in a confidential, compassionate and non-judgmental manner. We accept Medicaid and insurance.