Illinois action blog

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Today marks the eighth annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. In recognition of the day, Planned Parenthood of Illinois called for public funding of comprehensive, medically-accurate sex education programs to reduce the alarming rate of unintended teen pregnancies in the U.S.

“Teens deserve honest, accurate, age-appropriate information about how to protect themselves,” said Steve Trombley, PPIL President & CEO. “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 CDC 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. Approximately 37,000 of these teens are from Illinois.

“The reality is that by their 18th birthday, six in 10 teenage women and more than five in 10 teenage men have had sex,” explained Trombley. “That is why PPIL is constantly working towards providing Illinois teens with the information and services they need to make healthy decisions. Our peer education program in particular has played an integral part in helping us achieve our goal of preventing unintended pregnancy and disease through comprehensive sexual health education.”

In addition to peer education programs (which include 52 peer educators who reach over 15,000 young people and adults with medically accurate sex education each year), PPIL is also working to expand access to comprehensive sexual health education with a broad coalition of organizations as part of the Campaign for Reproductive Health and Access. The campaign seeks passage of legislation that would ensure, among other things, that all Illinois public schools teach medically accurate, age-appropriate, comprehensive sex education.

For more information, visit The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Technorati tags: Planned Parenthood of Illinois, teen pregnancy, sex education

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