Sunday, May 3, 2009

May: Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

I gave you 3 other events that are celebrated in May, and Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month is another. It deserves its own post, and I think goes hand in hand with Masturbation Month. There is even a Latino Initiative with a list of resources.

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
always has free items for organizations and communities who want to spread the word on the issue (like the banners I found for this site). Here are a few highlights from their website:

If you are a parent, mentor, adult in a young person's life, they also have a Quiz you can take together, or that the young person in your life can take on their own. They offer scenarios for each question and the young people get to choose which way they would respond.

Watch the documentary Too Young which follows young mothers of different races and ethnicity discuss their experiences being a young parent, conversations with their parents that did/not help, and challenges they encounter. You also hear from a young father and the struggles he has with providing for his child.

Look at the Numbers:

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy's DCR Report (Data, Charts, Research), states that:

More than two-thirds of all pregnancies to African American women are unplanned (69%).

More than half of all pregnancies to Latina women are unplanned (54%).

Four in ten pregnancies to non-Hispanic white women are unplanned (40%).

SIDEBAR: "Latina women" is a double positive, and therefore grammatically incorrect. If you are saying LatinA you are already saying woman, it's a gendered term. If you say "Latino women" well then it's ok, but why when you can say "Latina"? This is an error many organizations make, so if you are attempting to reach us and our young Latinas, get the terminology together first. Also, what's the deal with using "Latina women" and then "non-Hispanic" terminology? Consistency would be nice, but I'd prefer "non-Latino" to replace "non-Hispanic" personally.

The Guttmacher Institute, which I have mentioned before, reports on pregnancy rates, birth rates, and abortion rates:

In 2002 (when the most recent data is available) 84% of Latinas who became pregnant gave birth.

In Puerto Rico alone, 60% of teens gave birth.

Of pregnant Latinas, 28.5% terminated their pregnancy

Not in their data, but I did find a CDC round up that shows Native youth have a birth rate of 55% and among Asian American youth the birth rate is 17%. All rates are for youth living in the US.

This is important data, because there is a lot of stereotypes about Latinas and their ideas and practices surrounding the option of abortion. This data challenges those stereotypes and shows that we are more complicated than they thought we were!

If you are looking for more information on the reproductive health of Native youth keep a look out for Native Youth Sexual Health it's coming soon!

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