Teen Pregnancy Prevention In North Carolina.
NC's teen pregnancy rate has dropped 67% since 1991, declining faster than the national teen pregnancy rate.1 NC has the 20th highest pregnancy rate in the US, according to the most recent nationwide comparison. 2 Significant disparities exist based on age and race/ethnicity. Seventy-three percent of teen pregnancies happen to a teen who is 18 or 19 years old. Preg-nancy rates for African-American and Hispanic teens are 40% higher and 64% higher than those for white teens, respectively. 1 Declines in teen pregnancy saved North Carolina taxpayers $389 million in 2010 alone.3 Ripple Effects for North Carolina.
Too few North Carolina adolescents have access to medically accurate information, support systems, and health services needed to make and act upon
responsible decisions about relationships and their sexual health. The lack of information, support, and guidance can lead to adolescent pregnancies, as
well as HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and unhealthy relationships. The unplanned nature of teen pregnancies, coupled with limited support systems
and stigma, affect young parents' educational and health outcomes, earning potential, and preparedness to raise the next generation of North Carolinians.
In all, teen childbearing costs NC taxpayers approximately $389 million each year.3
How the North Carolina General Assembly Can Help.
Public Policy Measures
Budget and Funding Issues
Preserve North Carolina's Healthy Youth Act — GS 115C-
Safeguard current funding for:
Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program so the highest-risk 83% (81% Republican, 79% Independent, 90% Democrat) of teens have access to effective prevention programs North Carolina public school parents favor the school-based Adolescent Parenting Program so parenting teens can gradu- sex education provided under the Healthy Youth Act. 4 ate, start careers, develop parenting skills, and avoid subse-quent pregnancies Preserve Minor's Consent to Health Care Services
Prevention of Out-of-Wedlock* Births, which saves approxi-mately $9.5 million in Medicaid expenses each year 83% (76% Republican, 79% Independent, 93% Democrat) of Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina North Carolina parents say North Carolina's current minor's (APPCNC) to provide training and technical support to the consent law is important or very important.4 state's public health community Addresses a key concern of young patients – privacy – and helps doctors start a dialogue about sensitive topics, includ- Preserve current federal TANF Block Grant funding appropri-
ing sexual health, relationships/abuse, mental health, and ated for the prevention of out-of-wedlock births and restore
Increases access to early prenatal care, testing and treat- Preserve TANF funding of $1,675,000 that is paired with state ment of communicable diseases, and contraceptive care for funds to help fund local pregnancy prevention projects. sexually active patients Restore the $450,000 of TANF funding that was cut in 2012, Allows victims of abuse or incest to seek care without need- resulting in the loss of at least 9 local teen pregnancy preven-tion projects targeted toward the highest-risk youth. The 2012 ing the abuser's permission funding cut helped reduce the number of local projects from 54 to 45. Ensure TANF Block Grant is allocated equitably according to
federal goals for use of funds
Although prevention of out-of-wedlock births is one of the four federal goals for use of the TANF block grant, less than 1% of the total block grant is used for teen pregnancy prevention. More than 80% of teen births in NC are to unmarried parents.
* "Out-of-wedlock births" is the term used in the federal TANF funding lan- guage, and prevention of out-of-wedlock births is one of the four TANF Current North Carolina Statutes Affecting Teen Pregnancy
GS 115C-81(e1) - Healthy Youth Act
Enacted in 2009, the Healthy Youth Act (SL 2009-213H), requires schools to teach medically accurate information on abstinence,
contraception, STD/HIV transmission and prevention, and healthy relationships. The law further mandates that materials be age-
appropriate, peer-reviewed, objective, and accepted by experts in the field of sexual health education. The Healthy Youth Act provides
increased control to Local Education Agencies and parents. 83% (81% Republican, 79% Independent, 90% Democrat) of North Caro-
lina public school parents favor the school-based sex education provided under the Healthy Youth Act.4
GS 90-21.5 - Minor's Consent Sufficient for Certain Medical Health Services
(a) Minors may give effective consent for the prevention, treatment, or diagnosis of STDs/HIV, pregnancy, substance abuse, and
emotional disturbance. This law, enacted in 1971, is especially important to prevent the spread of STDs, to ensure pregnant minors
seek responsible prenatal care, and in cases of abuse or incest. Under this section, minors may not consent to abortion, sterilization,
or admission to a 24-hour facility. Minors may seek emergency care as authorized in GS 122C-223.
(b) Any emancipated minor may consent to medical treatment, dental treatment, or health services for himself or his child.
Funding for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs and Out-Of-Wedlock Birth Prevention
Annually, the North Carolina General Assembly appropriates federal and state funds to targeted teen pregnancy prevention efforts:
Adolescent Parenting Program (APP) - The Adolescent Parenting Program works with first-time pregnant and parenting teens to ensure they graduate high school, become economically independent, avoid subsequent pregnancy, and learn parenting skills to prevent them from becoming abusive or neglectful parents – commonly referred to as a secondary prevention program. Teen Pregnancy Prevention • Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program (APPP) - The Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program, a primary prevention pro- gram, works with teens to prevent first-time pregnancies using proven, science-based programs and practices. Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC) - APPCNC is the only statewide pregnancy prevention nonprofit that works to develop, sustain, and support pregnancy prevention initiatives in local communities. In addition, APPCNC provides training, technical support, and professional development support to health care professionals, community leaders, churches, and educators working to prevent teen pregnancy. Funding for the Women's Health Services Fund
This fund provides the most effective contraceptives to low-income women and teens ineligible for Medicaid. The fund provides
IUDs, Depo Provera injections, and hormonal implants that are effective for up to 10 years for a one-time cost of $40-$700 each. The
Women's Health Services Fund prevents unplanned pregnancies among women who would qualify for Medicaid by becoming preg-
nant. If these women experienced a pregnancy, their prenatal care, labor and delivery costs, and pediatric care during the year after
the baby's birth would cost the state more than $13,000. 100% goes to local health departments.
References and Additional Resources North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics
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