U.S. Has Highest Rate of Teen Pregnancies Among the Most Developed Nations
MIAMI—In recognition of the eighth annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is calling for public funding of comprehensive, medically accurate sex education programs to reduce the alarming rate of unintended teen pregnancies in this country.
“Teens deserve honest, accurate, age-appropriate information about how to protect themselves,” said Lillian A. Tamayo, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood of South Florida and the Treasure Coast. “They need sex education that provides information about healthy communication, responsible decision making, as well as abstinence and contraception as ways to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.”
The U.S. teen birthrate increased for the second year in a row, according to data released in March by the National Center for Health Statistics. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reports the U.S. has the highest rates of teen pregnancy among comparable countries. An estimated 750,000 American teens become pregnant each year.
Planned Parenthood affiliate educators nationwide reach more than 1.2 million young people and adults with medically accurate sex education each year. As a trusted health care provider, Planned Parenthood knows firsthand the power of education to help teens make responsible decisions about their health. Every year we provide three million women, men, and teens nationwide with health information and services to prevent unintended pregnancy and protect their health.
Providing teens and young people with the information they need to make responsible decisions is the commonsense solution to reducing unintended teen pregnancy. Numerous studies have analyzed abstinence-only programs and found them to be ineffective.
A study conducted by the University of Washington found that teens who had comprehensive sex education were 50 percent less likely to become pregnant than teens who had no sex education or who were in abstinence-only programs.
A study by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reports that two-thirds of the examined sex education programs that focus on both abstinence and contraception had a positive effect on teen sexual behavior. And a 2008 Guttmacher Institute report found that most abstinence programs did not delay initiation of sexual activity.
President Barack Obama has consistently supported comprehensive and age-appropriate sex education. As a senator, President Obama was an original co-sponsor of the Prevention First Act, which would ensure that all taxpayer-funded federal programs are medically accurate and include information about contraception.
Planned Parenthood is a 2009 national partner of the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, an effort to help teens understand the importance of avoiding unintended pregnancy. For more information, please visit The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
The mission of Planned Parenthood of South Florida and Treasure Coast, Inc. is to provide comprehensive sexual health care through the provision of clinical services, education and advocacy. We do so by understanding and responding to the needs of those seeking our services, and by protecting and respecting the essential privacy rights, dignity and culture of each individual.
May 04, 2009