Educators, health officials try to tackle teen pregnancy
By Kristen Johnson, Multimedia Journalist/ Weekend Anchor - bio | email
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
In the U.S., teen pregnancy rates have fallen to historic lows. However, they're still the highest in the industrialized world.
Among the six largest counties in Iowa, Woodbury ranks number one in teen pregnancies. Compared to the entire state, it's fifth overall.
Woodbury County's teen pregnancy rate is 53 births per every 1,000 women aged 15 to 19. That means for every 1,000 teenage girls, 53 will get pregnant. The state rate is 33.
There was a meeting of the minds Tuesday night, to tackle this tough topic. School nurses, counselors, the health department, and the Siouxland Coalition to End Teenage Pregnancy all came to the table.
Sponsored by Eyes Open Iowa, a non-profit agency that receives state funding for pregnancy prevention programs, the goal here is education.
"People think that sexuality education is teaching kids to have sex, when what it's teaching kids is how to make wise decisions when it comes to sex. The CAPP grantees focus on abstinence first, but because statistics show us that teenagers do have sex, we also include information on pregnancy prevention," said Jackie Christerson, a Sioux City board member for Eyes Open Iowa.
Statewide, 55,000 teens were served by the agency last year. To join the conversation click on the link: www.eyesopeniowa.org
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