Denver — On the heels of a new study showing a rise in teenage pregnancy rates, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is urging policymakers to make comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education a priority in local communities, and parents to demand it. The Guttmacher Institute study shows that teen pregnancy rates rose three percent in 2006 — the first rise in more than a decade.
“This new study makes crystal clear what Planned Parenthood has known for years — abstinence-only sex education for teenagers does not work,” said Vicki Cowart, PPRM’s president and CEO. “This study should serve as a wake-up call to anyone who still believes that abstinence-only programs curb the rate of teen pregnancy. Now more than ever, we must ensure that our teenagers receive medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education that gives them the tools to make responsible decisions about their health.”
Unfortunately, after a decade of progress in reducing the rate of teenage pregnancy, we are witnessing a substantial increase in the number of teens who are getting pregnant. In addition, we are facing a crisis in the alarming rate of sexually transmitted infections among our young people. It is unacceptable that one out of every two sexually active young people has a sexually transmitted infection by the age of 25.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains applauds President Obama and members of Congress who have recognized that abstinence-only programs do not work, and who are investing in medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education for our teenagers. We urge local elected officials to do the same. An investment in comprehensive sex education is an investment in reducing unintended and teen pregnancies.
Nationwide, every year, Planned Parenthood physicians and nurses see nearly 700,000 teenagers who come to Planned Parenthood health centers with questions about their sexual activity and health. Moreover, millions of teenagers worldwide seek medically accurate information about sexual health on Planned Parenthood’s web site www.plannedparenthood.org.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains has been committed to providing affordable, high quality reproductive health care and teaching comprehensive, medically accurate and age-appropriate sex education. It is the organization’s goal to ensure that every individual has the information, services and freedom to make healthy, responsible decisions about sex and their sexuality. More than 123,000 women, men and young adults annually visit our 29 health centers throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada and Wyoming. For more information about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, call 1.800.230.PLAN or visit pprm.org for the health center nearest you.
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January 26, 2010