Did you know a teen pregnancy prevention program in South Carolina helped lower pregnancy rates?
In 1982, the Denmark-Olar Teen Life Center in South Carolina initiated a highly effective teen pregnancy prevention program in Bamberg County. The program provided young people with age-appropriate information about sex and contraception and offered participants personal counseling sessions. The program was recently credited with helping the county reduce its teen pregnancy rate by two-thirds. In contrast, nearby Allendale County has a pregnancy rate that is 2.6 times higher than Bamberg County.
The United States has one of the highest teen-pregnancy rates in the industrialized world. Programs, such as the one in Bamberg County, are critical in helping teens prevent pregnancy. Former-President Bush's solution to the teen pregnancy issue was "abstinence-only" programs, which censor information about birth control and condoms. However, "abstinence-only" programs have failed to have a positive effect on teen pregnancy. As the Bamberg County experience demonstrates, common-sense programs that provide young people with accurate information and decision-making skills help prevent teen pregnancy and protect the health and well-being of young people.
Betsy McKay, Winning the Battle on Teen Pregnancy, Wall St. J., July 22, 2006, at A1.