If you’re reading this, you are probably aware of the effect pregnancy has on teens. However, as National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month comes to a close, it’s important we reflect on what we can do year-round to continue the conversation on pregnancy prevention among young adults. This matter affects each and every one of us, regardless of whether we are teen parents, parents of teen parents, or concerned members of the community. In Arkansas alone, the public cost of teen childbearing is roughly $129 million per year. That’s a lot of money. And it’s completely preventable. Unplanned pregnancy among young adults accounts for many high school and college dropouts, which goes on to affect the lifestyle and well-being of both parent and child later in life. Teen pregnancy is a vicious cycle, as children of teen parents are more likely to be a teen parent themselves.
Below are a few ideas of how you can help stop this pregnancy epidemic:
- Learn the facts. There are a lot of myths about pregnancy and birth control floating around out there. Figure out what’s true and what’s false. Research the different birth control methods and assess which one is right for you. Google is there for a reason.
- Talk to your kids. Research shows that teens actually listen to their parents when it comes to sex and reproductive health. In fact, parents over peers, partners, and pop culture are their biggest influence on that topic. You have the power to help keep your child from becoming a parent themselves before they’re ready. Use it.
- Know where to go. Birth control is readily available at local health centers across the state. The Arkansas Department of Health provides a list of local health centers with their hours and contact information on their website. And that is just a fraction of the resources available.
- Get involved. Public college and university campuses are required by law to provide information on pregnancy prevention to their students. See what’s being done and encourage the development of programs to support teens and contraception use.
- Like, share, tweet. If all else fails, simply raise awareness using a resource you most likely already have: social media. In this day and age, a major part of the day is spent on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat… the list goes on. Social media can be easily used to get the word out. Especially to teens.
If you would like to contribute to the cause, please visit youractionplanar.com or contact us at [email protected].