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Let's Talk Babies!

It seems that stories about teen pregnancy are in the news all the time nowadays. Recent data seems to suggest that the teen birth rate is on the rise here in the United States after many years of declining rates. The good news is that over the last decade we have seen teen pregnancy rates fall by about 30%. However, the current rate of teen pregnancy in the in United States is 42 births per 1000 teen girls, which is up slightly from the last few years. Some of the states with the highest teen pregnancy rates include Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico and Washington DC, with a total of 22 states having teen pregnancy rates higher than the national average. The United States remains at the top of the list of industrialized countries for highest teen pregnancy rates.

I’m sure many of you have heard the story in the news lately about the “pregnancy pact” made by a group of girls in a Glouchester, Mass. high school. Reportedly, 17 girls made a pact to become pregnant and raise their babies together. We really can’t be surprised that so many teen girls see pregnancy as “cool” and “easy” when it has been glamorized by high profile teens like Jamie-Lynn Spears flaunting their own teen pregnancies all over every magazine cover.

A new NBC series, The Baby Borrowers, profiles a group of teen couples who claim to be ready for “adult” life and parenthood. The show is supposed to be showing these kids just how hard it is to be an adult, raise a family and be responsible for yourself and others. It remains to be seen if this show has the desired effect or if it will just continue the trend of glorifying teen pregnancy and parenthood.

The only way to end this trend of increased teen pregnancy rates and the glamorization of teen pregnancy is through education and a change in the media coverage of high profile, pregnant teens. Kids need to be taught about safe sex, and the consequences of practicing unsafe sex. The media needs to “just say no” to covering famous pregnant teens. Maybe if teens get the message that being pregnant and being a parent isn’t as easy as it is portrayed on television or in the movies then maybe we will see that teen pregnancy rate drop again.

For more information on teen pregnancy trends, what needs to be done to prevent teen pregnancy, and much more visit The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

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