The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy is proud to work with Lifetime to help viewers discuss the themes raised in the film, and to help them personalize teen pregnancy, understand the real consequences, and see how very preventable it really is. So often, teen pregnancy ‘just happens’ – but if teens think about it ahead of time, and see it as something that really could happen to them (not just to someone else), then they are better able to do have a plan ahead of time and do whatever it takes to prevent pregnancy in the first place. “The Pregnancy Project” raises important questions about stereotyping teen mothers, and shows that teen pregnancy is something that can happen to anyone. The National Campaign and Lifetime are hoping to spark discussions in classrooms and family rooms across the country to help families use the film as a way to explore their own views and values.
GET THE FACTS: TEEN PREGNANCY AND PARENTHOOD IN THE U.S.
• 3 in 10 girls in the U.S. will get pregnant at least once by age 20; about 1 in 6 will be a teen mom.
• 1 in 10 babies born in the U.S. is born to a teen mother.
• In the U.S., 52% of Latinas will get pregnant at least once as teenagers. Latinas have the highest teen pregnancy and birth rates of any group in the U.S.
• Girls in foster care are more than twice as likely to get pregnant as girls not in foster care, and nearly 3 times more likely to be teen moms.
• Almost half of teen girls in foster care who get pregnant once have had a second pregnancy by age 19. This compares to fewer than one-third of teen girls outside the foster care system.
• Over the past two decades, the U.S. teen pregnancy rate has declined 40% and the teen birth rate has declined 44%.
• Still, the U.S. has the highest teen pregnancy and birth rates of any comparable Western nation.
• Most teen moms who have babies before they turn 18 do not graduate from high school. Less than 2% graduate from college by age 30.
• Teen motherhood is one of the top reasons girls drop out of high school, and most teen moms will never graduate.
• 8 out of 10 fathers don’t marry the teen mothers of their babies.
• Teen parenthood is hard on teens and harder on their children: babies born to teens are more likely to be premature, have health problems, suffer abuse and neglect, and grow up poor.
• Children of teen mothers are more likely to become teen parents themselves.
• Teen pregnancy and parenthood cost U.S. taxpayers nearly $11 billion each year.
• Just under half of high school-age teens have had sex.
• 2 out of 3 teens who have had sex by age 18 say they wish they had waited longer.
• More than half of teens have never thought about how a pregnancy would affect their lives.
• Teens who have sex without protection on a regular basis have an 85% chance of pregnancy within a year.
MESSAGES FOR TEENS TO HELP THEM AVOID PREGNANCY:
• Once there’s a pregnancy, all roads ahead are hard. Teen pregnancy is 100% preventable – either don’t have sex at all, or use protection carefully and correctly every single time.
• Have a plan: think about what you would do in the heat of the moment – before you’re in it. If you’re going to say “no” to sex, figure out how you say it so you stick to it without hurting feelings; if your plan is to say “yes,” then decide now what kind of contraception you will use, and what you will do to make sure you use it carefully and correctly. Where will you get it? If the thought of buying condoms is too embarrassing, then you’re not ready to have sex.
• You can always say “no” to sex, even if you’ve said “yes” before. There are lots of good reasons to wait – protecting your health, and protecting your feelings, too.
• Guys: having sex doesn’t make you a man. Being OK with waiting for sex – and taking responsibility for protection – do.
• Girls: sex won’t make him yours, and a baby won’t make him stay with you. Unplanned pregnancy is more likely to unravel your relationship than it is to keep it together.
• Teen pregnancy can happen to anyone – you can get pregnant the first time you have sex, and every time you have sex without protection. And guys: the 750,000 girls who got pregnant last year didn’t do it alone. Don’t wait for her to insist on protection – really caring about someone means making sure you’re comfortable waiting for sex; and making sure you’re protected if you do have sex.
• Carrying protection doesn’t mean you’re pushy or easy – it means you’re smart and responsible.
For more facts and resources as well as tips for parents vist www.thenationalcampaign.org.