Teen Pregnancy Prevention Day Efforts Taking Place in Mid-Michigan
Thousands of teens in mid-Michigan will be taking an online quiz, and it's not for math class. Organizations around the state will encourage teens ages 12 to 19 to visit Stayteen.org for the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
"That quiz is going to challenge them to think about what they'd do in the moment. through a bunch of interactive scenarios," said Amber Arb, a Planned Parenthood Community Outreach Educator.
There were 842 less teen births in Michigan in 2011 than in 2010, according to the Kids Count report, but rates in some mid-Michigan cities are not showing as much improvement.
"Specifically the cities of Lansing and Jackson were doing worse than the state of Michigan, so twice as many young people under the age of 19 are becoming pregnant in our community," said Arb.
Different organizations have different approaches to combating teen pregnancy, but almost all agree that education is the place to start because teens are often led to believe false information.
"You hear through the rumor mill, and you hear these stories and this can happen and that can happen they really need to know the truth and what's real and what's not really real," said Nancy Kujawa, the Executive Director of Pregnancy Services
According to the CDC, the teen pregnancy rate has dropped 42% since 1990. But some areas are still at a high risk because teens lack access to information. Organizations around the state will be working throughout the month of may to educate teens in these areas.
"A lot of teens think it can never happen to me. I'm never going to get pregnant. I can do it this one time. But it's very easy for a teen to get pregnant," said Kujawa.
Michigan is currently receiving a federal grant as part of the "Take Pride in Prevention" campaign. The funds go towards health departments and agencies that work to prevent teen pregnancy. They will be holding events throughout the month.