TeenNow is celebrating National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month (NTPPM). 

by Pam Kitagawa

Since 1995, when NTPPM was born, the nation has made significant progress in reducing the unintended pregnancy rates and supporting teen mothers, fathers and their families.  The statistics show that this is especially true for California, which has had the largest drop in teen pregnancy rates in the nation. But the work isn’t finished. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, nearly 3 in 10 girls in the US get pregnant by the time they are 20.

A new Fact Sheet, American Teens Sexual and Reproductive Health, released by the Guttmacher Institute this month indicates that there is a rise of teens using contraception. However young women 14 years of age or younger are less likely than their older counterparts to have used any method at first sex and take longer to use contraception. Additionally, Guttmacher has also released another report this month, US Teenage Pregnancies, Births and Abortions, 2010: National and State Trends by Age, Race and Ethnicity. You can get these and other reports and fact sheets at www.guttmacher.org.  This data and more indicate that we still have a great deal of work to do.

The National Teen Pregnancy Prevention month began in 1995, when Barbara Huberman, then the Director of Education and Outreach at Advocates for Youth, recognized a need for inclusive, coordinated action to reduce unintended teen pregnancy nationwide. The National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month was born. This month gives us all an opportunity to reflect on our accomplishments and look ahead to the work that still needs to be done.

TeenNow California supports ensuring access to comprehensive sexuality education for students is paramount to providing young people with the knowledge, tools, and social support they need to make informed decisions.

That’s why this May we’re asking for your help in asking Members of Congress to support the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act (REHYA), a bill that lays out a comprehensive and inclusive vision for sex education in the United States, including California.

REHYA would make sex education awesome. Awesome sex education connects with young people’s lives and experiences. It doesn’t ignore or stigmatize lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, or young people who have already had sex. Most of all, it empowers young people to make healthy decisions. We all deserve that kind of sex education; now let’s go make it happen!

Contact your Members of Congress today to either thank him or her,  or ask them to support the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act.  You can also sign the petition at Amplify (a project of Advocates for Youth.

Let us know in the comment what you have been doing for NTPPM!

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