We’re showing success in reducing our teen age pregnancies. It’s one of our winnable battles because babies born to teen moms are more likely to have bad birth outcomes; teen moms are likely to drop out of school and live in poverty. Since 2002, our teen pregnancy rate has declined almost 40%. We continue to work with our partners across the state to provide evidence-based and evidence-informed programs to make sure our teens hear information in a way that makes a difference to them. Television shows like “16 and Pregnant” on MTV may also be playing a role by bringing the reality of the challenges expectant and parenting teens face into our homes and encourage serious discussions among youth and parents.
The strides we’ve made reducing teen childbearing saved taxpayers an estimated $287 million in 2010 alone compared to the costs they would have incurred had the rates not fallen. Many thanks to our partners and the team in our Bureau of Women and Children’s Health for doing a great job.