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'Put pregnancy on pause,' event urges Spartanburg teenagers

Friday, October 14, 2011

Spartanburg Herald Journal - For 57.3 seconds, teens and college students paused in place as screens ticked off the time. The seconds represented the number of infants, 573, born in 2009 to teens ages 15 through 19, in Spartanburg County.

That was just one statistic revealed at an event called PAUSE for a PURPOSE.

The event, a collaborative effort of the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, City of Spartanburg Youth and local teenagers, was held Thursday at The Showroom.

The message: “put pregnancy on pause.”

The goal: educate young people and connect them to community resources to prevent a problem that cost Spartanburg County taxpayers an estimated $14.2 million in 2008. Another goal was to “empower young people to make choices — good choices that will help to prevent pregnancies, so that they can accomplish their life goals and dreams,” said Dana Becker, Spartanburg community specialist for the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

The campaign conducted surveys earlier this year in Spartanburg County to gauge attitudes and knowledge about teen pregnancy.

Trained youth did a random door-to-door survey of about 400 young people in Spartanburg County. The University of South Carolina's Institute for Public Service and Policy Research surveyed about 500 adults in Spartanburg through a random telephone survey.

Becker thinks the data would surprise more adults than teens.

“The teens walk down the halls of our high schools every day and pass pregnant girls in the hall all the time. They see it every day. It's the parents that don't realize how much it's happening,” she said.