Hempstead, NY—Planned Parenthood of Nassau County calls upon all Americans to recognize the urgency of reducing the nation’s teen unintended pregnancy rate. Teen unintended pregnancy and birthrates have declined sharply since the early 1990s, but a new report from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy shows that teen childbearing cost Unites States taxpayers $10.9 billion in 2008.
“This report is a wake-up call,” said JoAnn D. Smith, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Nassau County. “We know what works to keep young people from becoming pregnant. Sex education works. Hundreds of studies have demonstrated that sex education is effective when it provides the information, interpersonal skills and motivation that young people need to delay sex and use contraception and condoms when they do have sex.”
The National Campaign report links teen pregnancy to other negative consequences that increase financial costs to taxpayers. According to the report, if those giving birth during their teen years instead had their children during adulthood, U.S. taxpayers would save about $1,600 per person annually. Prior studies have found that over 80 percent of teen pregnancies are unintended.
Teen childbearing cost New York taxpayers at least $377 million in 2008, according to the National Campaign’s findings.
“It’s clear that we need to make a bigger investment in prevention,” said Sarah Miller, Vice President of Public Affairs and Education, Planned Parenthood of Nassau County. “At a time when policymakers and other are intensely focused on cost-saving measures, funding proven efforts to reduce teen pregnancy is important, timely, and should be a high priority.”
Ms. Smith pointed to the educational programs undertaken by Planned Parenthood of Nassau County as an example. “Our educators are in the schools of some of Nassau’s most at-risk communities, such as Hempstead, Roosevelt and Westbury, providing evidence-based sexuality education that has been proven effective. These are the kinds of prevention efforts in which our public officials should be investing.”