For Immediate Release
Kristi Pankratz, 785-296-5795
May 5 is the ninth annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. The purpose of the day is to focus the attention of teens on the importance of avoiding too-early pregnancy and parenthood through an interactive online quiz.
Today, teens nationwide will be asked to go to www.StayTeen.org and take a short, scenario-based quiz (available in English and Spanish). The online quiz challenges young people to think carefully about what they would do in a number of risky sexual situations.
“We hope this day will make teens think carefully about sex and its potential outcomes, which include pregnancy,” said Roderick Bremby, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).
After consistent and steady declines beginning in the early 1990s, the nation's teen pregnancy rate rose three percent in 2006, according to recent data from the Guttmacher Institute. From 2004-2008, Kansas saw a five percent increase in teen pregnancies in females ages 15-17. There were 25.8 pregnancies per 1,000 teens (15-17) in 2004 and 27.1 per 1,000 in 2008.
Teen pregnancy trends vary by race. The most recent 2008 Kansas data shows there were 18.4 pregnancies per 1,000 white, non-Hispanic teens; 47.6 pregnancies per 1,000 black non-Hispanic teens and 69.8 pregnancies per 1,000 Hispanic teens.
"Preventing teen pregnancy is a priority for our state because when children are born unintentionally to teenage mothers we all lose out: The mothers often lose their chance to complete their education and reach their full potential, while their children are at a high risk for social disadvantage throughout their lives,” said Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, State Health Officer and Director of Health for KDHE. “All this creates huge costs for taxpayers, costs that could be prevented if today we can use proven ways to help teens avoid childbearing, including frank and open education about sex, with an emphasis on abstinence, and access to a full range of contraceptive services."
For further information on the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, please visit www.TheNationalCampaign.org.