National Day To Prevent Teen Pregnancy

The simple message behind the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is: sex has consequences. May 4, 2011 has been set aside to help remind teens of this, and to help them learn how to make healthy and safe choices when it comes to their reproductive health.

The latest news on teen pregnancy has been good – the U.S. teen birth rate has continued to decline and as of 2009 is at a record low. Even with this good news, still, 3 out of 10 girls find themselves pregnancy before they turn 20. It’s proof that we need to continue to build on the progress already made and help more teens postpone starting their families until they are in a better position: older, finished with school and in stable relationships.

So what can you do to help prevent teen pregnancy? The first step is to talk to your teens, or the teens in your life, about why they should take the risk of pregnancy seriously. Talking with a trusted adult about waiting to have sex, and practicing safe sex when they do become sexually active, can make a big difference in a teen’s decisions. Let them know you are available to help and to answer questions.

You can also help them take charge of their reproductive health by helping them access reliable information online that’s directed towards teens. Often teens may be embarrassed to ask some questions about reproductive health, but an online resource allows them to get the information they need anonymously. Safeteens.org has a large library of articles that are the perfect complement to  the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy’s message. We hope 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.