Does it sometimes seem like everyone your age is having sex? Do you know anyone at your school who is pregnant or has a baby? Though teen pregnancy has been on the decline over the past decade, the United States still has the highest teen pregnancy rate of any western industrialized country.
So what does this mean for you? It means that, if you’re a girl in this country, you have a 34% chance of becoming pregnant by the time you’re 20. And it’s not just girls who are facing the consequences. The effects of teen parenthood also follow the young fathers and children throughout their lives.
You hear about teen pregnancy in movies, in the news, at school, and from your parents. You know it’s not a good idea to have a baby when you’re still a kid yourself, so why are so many teens still getting pregnant every year? And what can you do about it?
District Health Department #10 was one of four agencies in the state to receive funding from the Michigan Department of Community Health to implement the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative. The goal of the TPPI for DHD#10 is to reduce the rate of teen pregnancy in Wexford and Oceana Counties. DHD#10 will provide comprehensive evidence-based pregnancy prevention programs to youth age10-18 years of age that target factors that lead to the delayed initiation of sex as well as promoting and encouraging abstinence as the safest choice.
DHD#10 along with the other 3 agencies in the state will be using the “Safer Choices” curriculum as the evidence-based pregnancy prevention programs. The major concepts of the program are that abstaining from sexual activity or refusing unprotected sexual intercourse are the only responsible alternatives for teenagers, and that correct information, effective communication, and refusal skills are essential for teens to be able to reduce their risk.