As a business leader, you play a key role in South Carolina. Achieving reductions in teen pregnancy rates requires a sustained commitment and investment in young people. Consider the following actions—
Recognize the affect teen pregnancy has on lost economic growth, increased federal spending, and increased poverty—all of which affect the quality of the workforce.
- Teen pregnancy is the leading cause of high school drop out.
- Teen mothers are less likely to finish high school and more likely to live in poverty/rely on public assistance, resulting in SC taxpayers $166 million in 2010 alone.
- SC has the 16th highest birth rate in the nation among 15-19 year old females.
Sponsor a workplace program, as part of a wellness initiative, to assist parents in addressing teen pregnancy prevention issues within their families.
- Research shows teens who are close with their parents are more likely to consider family values when it comes to sexual decision making, delaying sex, and using birth control if they do have sex.
- Your employees aren’t just employees. They are moms, dads, grandparents and guardians. Provide parents in your business with resources to help them talk to their children about healthy relationships.
Become involved with community activities to help improve the lives of young people.
- Join a coalition or form partnerships with other businesses and non-profit agencies that can help young people see the connection between academics and future work opportunities.
- Champion community organizations that are advancing this issue by providing financial/in-kind support.
- Every school district in SC is required to have a comprehensive health education advisory committee made up of two representatives from the community who are not school employees; consider getting involved.
Understand the latest research and advocate for effective teen pregnancy prevention programs in your community’s schools.
- Research shows education that includes information on both abstinence and contraception does reduce teen pregnancy, HIV, STDs and risky behavior. Teaching teens about birth control does not lead teens to have sex.
- The SC Comprehensive Health Education Act covers many health topics and allows schools to teach about both abstinence and contraception.