Teen pregnancy rates rise; education initiatives come under fire

Legal news for governmental lawyers. A rise in teen pregnancy sparks a debate on sex education programs.

An increase in the teenage pregnancy rate has caused government officials to reevaluate sex education programs.

West Palm Beach, FL—A new report revealed that teen pregnancy is on the rise, and federal government officials are now reevaluating whether program funds should be allocated to encourage abstinence until marriage or focus on birth control. The teenage pregnancy rate has jumped for the first time in 10 years, which is shedding light on the faltering sex education campaigns, as reported by The Washington Post.

According to federal data, the pregnancy rate among 15-to-19-year-olds grew by 3 percent between 2005 and 2006, which is the first increase since 1990. Teen pregnancy is a hot button for debate, especially when it comes to whether federal funding should focus on abstinence or birth control. While the pregnancy rate is under a scrutinizing debate, several experts claim the increase is due to sex-education programs that strictly focus on abstinence. Others argue that the pregnancy rate increased because of several factors which include poverty increase, influx of Hispanics, complacency about AIDS, and promoting lax use of birth control like condoms. The new shocking report came as Congress is speculated to consider reinstating federal funding to abstinence sex-education programs. A spokesperson for the National Abstinence Education Association stated, “Contributors include an over-sexualized culture, lack of involved and positive role models, and the dominant message that teen sex is expected and without consequences.” The Obama administration is about to begin a $110 million pregnancy prevention initiative, which focuses on programs with proven effectiveness. The initiative also has the possibility of funding other innovative approaches, which would include encouraging abstinence.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for governmental lawyers.