It's not about abortion; it's about teen pregnancy prevention
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C., May 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While Americans debate abortion and approaches to sex education, a half million teens become mothers and fathers every year, giving the U.S. the highest rate of teen parenthood in the industrialized world.
A new and unique online community, ChildFreeYouth.org, presents stories from now mature adults who are profoundly aware of the price that early parenting exacted from their families. The website features a video (1min39sec) and the opportunity to sign a simple pledge to work together toward preventing teen pregnancy.
"As a nation, we've got to stop the endless debate about abortion and abstinence and get down to business," said Carol Hammerstein, founder and editor of ChildFreeYouth.org. "We can't afford to waste time arguing, not while a half million children are born every year to parents who aren't finished growing up yet."
May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy is asking teens to take a quiz that will raise their awareness of the risks of sexual activity. ChildFreeYouth.org is asking former teen parents, advocates, activists and all adults to come together to support efforts like these and to discuss healthy and effective strategies for reducing teen pregnancy.
"Our teens must believe that a better life awaits them if they delay parenting for just a few years," said Hammerstein. "How do we make sure they know that? How do we help every young American through the 'hungry years' of adolescence without their getting caught in some catastrophe?"
"Those of us who were teen parents are profoundly aware of the costs to our families," said Hammerstein. "By middle age, we see what they missed - not just in terms of financial support, but in other resources, in our focus, in family stability - because we were simply too young," said Hammerstein. "Often the consequences are still playing out in their lives. We love our children. We wish we'd waited."