As a policymaker, you play a key role in South Carolina. Achieving reductions in teen pregnancy rates requires a sustained commitment and investment in our young people. In order to accomplish this goal, consider the following public policy actions:
Invest in teen pregnancy prevention efforts that are comprehensive and research-proven.
- South Carolina’s taxpayers spent a total of $4.5 billion on teen births between 1991 and 2010.1
- 9 in 10 voters in South Carolina believe sex education in public schools should contain information that emphasizes abstinence and teaches about contraception.2
- 83% of South Carolinians support comprehensive sex education.2 Making sure all school districts comply with the state Comprehensive Health Education Act will empower young people to make smarter sexual health decisions.
Include teen pregnancy prevention as a strategy to improve academic success and health of our state.
- Nearly 1/3 of teen girls who have dropped out of high school cite early pregnancy or parenthood as a key reason.3
- Encouraging teens to delay childbearing decreases the chances of low birth weight babies and infant mortality.
- Teen pregnancy is linked to many social disparities in our state such as poverty, child well-being, and unemployment
Recognize organizations in your community that provide opportunities for young people to receive support from their parents and caring adults.
- Adults and teens both agree it would be easier to postpone sexual activity and pregnancy if they were able to talk openly with their parents.4
- Invest in systems that protect youth at elevated risks, such as the Department of Juvenile Justice and Foster Care.
- Support organizations in your community that provide opportunities for adults to mentor young people.
- The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. (2014). Counting It Up. Retrieved from https://thenationalcampaign.org/sites/default/files/resource-primary-download/fact-sheet-south-carolina.pdf
- Oldendick, R. (2013). Summary of findings for the South Carolina State Survey. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Institute for Public Service and Policy Research.
- Shuger, L. (2012). Teen Pregnancy and High School Dropout: What Communities Are Doing to Address These Issues. Washington, DC: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and America’s Promise Alliance.
- The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. (2013). Survey Says: Parent Power. Retrieved from https://thenationalcampaign.org/sites/default/files/resource-primary-download/ss_october2013.pdf