(Tulsa, OK) Hundreds of thousands of teens nationwide are expected to participate in the eleventh annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. The purpose of the National Day is to focus the attention of teens on the importance of avoiding too-early pregnancy and parenthood. The Tulsa Health Department is encouraging local teens to take part in the national observance by visiting the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy’s teen website, www.stayteen.org, and take a short, scenario-based “quiz” that asks young people what they would do in a number of sexual situations.
Oklahoma is ranked 5th in the nation for the highest teen birth rates for 15-19 year olds. There were 401 live births among females ages 10-17 that occurred in Tulsa County in 2008 (the most recent data available), of which 94.5% were to unwed mothers. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, births in Oklahoma cost taxpayers at least $190 million each year.
“Data demonstrates that children born to a teen mother are at an increased risk of poor health outcomes and an uncertain future. It is our hope that by raising awareness of the unhealthy consequences of teen pregnancies and unplanned young adult pregnancies, we can reduce the number of teen parents in our community.” stated Pam Rask, Division Manager of Health Promotion and Outreach at the Tulsa Health Department.
Organized by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the National Day has widespread support. More than 200 national organizations and media outlets serve as official National Day partners by promoting the online quiz. The message of the National Day is straightforward: Sex has consequences. The online quiz (available in English and Spanish) delivers this message directly to teens and challenges them to think carefully about what they might do “in the moment.”
Several workshops have also been planned to engage parents and teens in conversation about sex and sexuality. The Tulsa Health Department’s Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), in collaboration with Margaret Hudson, Oklahoma Health Equity Initiative, and the Tulsa Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition, will host two Teen Pregnancy Prevention Workshops for parents and teens on Sunday, April 29th at Greater Grace Temple and on Thursday, May 3rd at Charles Page High School. Each workshop will allow parents and teens to gather both separately and together for candid discussion about sexual health, “the talk,” and preventing teen pregnancy.
The Tulsa Health Department’s Personal Responsibility Education Program specializes in empowering young adults to make proud and responsible decisions, as well as educating them about the dangers and risks associated with sexual activity. The goal of the program is to prevent teen births and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. PREP works with schools in Tulsa County, especially those that have the highest teen birth rates, in an effort to influence change and increase education.
Teen Pregnancy Prevention Workshop Information:
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Greater Grace Temple- North
1010 East 56th Street North, Tulsa, OK
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Charles Page High School
500 North Adams Road, Sand Springs, OK 74063
For more information, please contact Kaitlin Snider at (918) 595-4496.