National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy! Planned Parenthood is partnering with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy to help young people delay becoming parents until they are ready.
The good news
The number of teenage pregnancies is at its lowest in almost 40 years, and the rate of teens giving birth is also at its lowest since officials started keeping track of teenage pregnancy statistics.
Illinois is right in the middle for teen birth rate, at 27 out of 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.
There are also new online tools where people can learn about sexual health and avoiding pregnancy.
Some great resources are:
• Planned Parenthood - with special info for teens including Q&A and a chat function
• Bedsider - with information on birth control and where to get it
• My Method - to help you choose the birth control that’s right for you
• Scarleteen - free and fabulous sex ed online
• Stay Teen - info on sex, relationships and teen pregnancy
The bad news
Teenage pregnancy rates are down, but three out of 10 girls will still get pregnant before turning 20. For Latina teens, that number is higher; 40 percent of Latina girls will become pregnant before they are 20 years old.
Having a child is a key reason many girls drop out of high school. In Chicago, only about 70 percent of high school students finish.
What we’re doing
A recent poll from the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health at New York University found that reducing teen pregnancy was a major priority for Latinos. Planned Parenthood is hosting a Twitter town hall meeting on May 7 with Latina magazine, to discuss the issues with experts, community leaders and celebrities.
Studies also show that age-appropriate comprehensive sex education which includes information about abstinence reduces onset of sexual activity and increases the use of protection when sexual activity does occur. This spring Planned Parenthood of Illinois has been supporting HB 2675, or the Accurate Sexual Health Education bill, in the Illinois General Assembly. HB2675 provides for medically accurate, age-appropriate and complete information about sexually transmitted infections as well as pregnancy in Illinois public schools.
What you can do
Parents have a big influence on teens’ sexual decisions. Talk to your kids this week about waiting to have sex, and how to stay healthy and protected when they do.
Teens - this day is about you, so own it! Update your Facebook status about the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, and tweet about it with hashtag #ND13. Tell your friends to learn more, and enter to win a $25 iTunes gift card.
This post was created by Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL). PPIL provides comprehensive reproductive healthcare services and education to more than 60,000 Illinoisans each year. Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of PPIL.
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