May 2, 2012 will be the eleventh annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Teens nationwide are encouraged to visit StayTeen.org to participate in several online activities—including the National Day Quiz—which are intended to encourage thought on the high stakes of sexual activity.
In support of this resolve, the Mayor of Macon County and the Mayor of Lafayette signed their support of a proclamation last Thursday, declaring May to be National Month to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
Brenda Harper, Valley Ridge Mental Health Center Director, and Melissa Ross, Health Educator for the Upper Cumberland Region Department of Health, both made statements about the intent of the proclamation: to get local churches, parents, and businesses involved in the personal fight against teen pregnancy. All those pictured signed the proclamation as well.
More than 700,000 teens become pregnant each year in the U.S. The U.S. teen pregnancy rate has declined 42% from its peak in 190 and is now at a nearly 40-year low. Despite this improvement, nearly three in ten teenagers in the United States become pregnant.
Teen childbearing costs U.S. taxpayers $10.9 billion each year, most of which is due to costs associated with negative consequences for the children of teen mothers, including increased costs for health care, foster care, incarceration, and lost tax revenue.
Children of teen parents are more likely to be born prematurely and at low birth weight, and are two times more likely to suffer abuse and neglect than would occur if their mothers had delayed childbearing.
The proclamation invited leaders and residents to “intensify our efforts to reduce the high rates of teen pregnancies and births and by raising awareness of this critical issue, promoting parent-child communication, and supporting programs that reduce teen pregnancy.”