Advocates discuss reducing teen pregnancy rates

05/05/09 Mitch E. Perry
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Teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. decreased for 14 straight years until a year ago, and today advocates discussed the situation on a national conference call.

The call was sponsored by RH Reality Check, an online publication that addresses reproductive and sexual health and rights in the U.S. and around the world.

Bill Albert, the chief program officer of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, gave a number of reasons why he believes teen pregnancy has now increased, beginning with more sex and less contraception. And he said there appears to be less concern about contracting HIV among young people.

Albert also called prevention fatigue as another problem.

Forrest Alton, executive director of the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, expressed frustration at not being able to capture the mass media’s attention when it come to the issue of teen pregnancy.

Alston said the challenge for providers is to determine what worked in reducing teen pregnancy, and to seize upon that. He also called for an investment in innovation.

Shelby Knox, 22, is a comprehensive sex education activist. She’s become a known figure nationally for fighting against abstinance only sex education in Texas public schools.

Knox says she has been speaking with Congressional leaders for several years now to federally finance comprehensive sex education, with no success.

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