I am here to address the problem that most households are faced with; teen pregnancy. Nearly 1 in 5 teen births is a repeat birth. According to the CDC, a teen that already has a child will have two or more pregnancies ending in a live birth before the age of 20. Although teen birth rates have been falling for the last two decades, more than 365,000 teens between the age of 15 and 19 years old gave birth in 2010. Of these births, 66,800 were repeat teen births and 1,200 were fourth or higher births. In order to make positive changes to these numbers, I propose that we should make changes at home and at school. We should educate our children about the importance of having safe sex. We must also educate them on the use of condoms and other birth control methods. Depo-Provera, IUD, the shot, the birth control pill, abstinence, and Plan B are all methods of pregnancy prevention. We must educate our youths on how these methods can be implemented, and where they can find assistance when needed. These methods are already being used by most teens. I would like to ensure that every teen who is sexually active also has the ability to protect themselves; not just from pregnancy, but also from sexually transmitted diseases. About a year ago, law makers allowed Plan B, (the “morning-after pill”) to be available to all teens. Before this law was passed, only teenagers above the age of 18 were able to purchase this type of emergency contraception. The morning-after pill is used within 72 hours of unprotected sex to reduce the chance of pregnancy. However if a female is already pregnant, this pill will have no effect on the pregnancy. I would also like to present the idea of increasing the number of health education classes in schools. By doing this, young adults will be taught the risks that come with having sex, and the methods on how to avoid these risks. There are many different programs that are currently trying to reduce teen pregnancy. Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Resource Center is approaching communities to help reduce pregnancies by implementing evidence based programs in school, clinics, and other community settings. These programs also have available birth control methods for teens who are willing to protect themselves without their privacy being exposed. Another way I believe we should implement safe sex is by allowing teen parents to share their stories and challenges of being a single or join parent. With young adults hearing these stories, they might open their mind about protection and be able to realize the possible outcomes of their actions when they choose to have unprotected sex. By implementing these changes, young teens will have more information based on that facts rather than stories from their friends and other influential media.
CDC – About Teen Pregnancy – Teen Pregnancy – Reproductive Health. http://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/aboutteenpreg.htm
CDC – Teen Pregnancy Prevention – National Organizations. http://m.cdc.gov/en/HealthSafetyTopics/LifeStagesPopulations/TeenPregnancy/TeenPregnancyPrevention/NationalOrgs
TPP Resource Center: Evidence-Based Programs – The Office of Adolescent Health