Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 136: National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Today, on this National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, teens nationwide will be asked to visit to participate in a number of online activities – including the popular National Day Quiz – that deliver teen pregnancy prevention messages and challenge them to think carefully about what they might do “in the moment.” The message of the National Day is straightforward: Sex has consequences. Organized by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the National Day has widespread support from more than 200 national organizations and media outlets who serve as official National Day partners.

The extraordinary declines in teen pregnancy and childbearing over the past two decades have proven to cynics that progress can be made on tough issues. In fact, few social problems have improved quite as dramatically over the past 20 years as teen pregnancy.

The latest news on the teen pregnancy front has been positive. The U.S. teen birth rate declined 6% in 2009 – the most recent year for which data is available – and is now at a record low. Despite this progress, it is still the case that 3 in 10 girls get pregnant by age 20. This suggests that we all need to continue helping teens postpone their families until they are older, through school, and in stable, committed relationships.

It is hoped that, in some modest way, the National Day will help teens think carefully about sex, relationships, contraception, the possibility of pregnancy, and the lifelong challenges of being a parent.

HiTOPS is located in Mercer County, New Jersey, and their mission is to promote adolescent health and well-being.  What started in 1987 as a grassroots response to the tremendous need for accessible, trust-engendering adolescent prevention education and healthcare has grown into a multi-faceted and internationally recognized organization that serves as a model for other youth-serving programs.

HiTOPS helps adolescents clarify their values and make responsible decisions regarding their health and actions, and gives parents, teachers and caregivers of adolescents the tools they need to best support and guide the young people they nurture. Their vision is a world where youth have the resources they need to lead healthy, responsible lives.

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