Raise Awareness and Build Public Will for Addressing Both Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
What Can Policymakers Do?
Use the bully pulpit to generate attention. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson proclaimed May 2007 as “Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month” in support of Challenge 2010 (PDF), a joint effort by the state department of health and the New Mexico Teen Pregnancy Coalition to reduce the teen birth rate in New Mexico by 15 percent from 2006 to 2010.
Use data to make the case for reducing teen and unplanned pregnancies. Highlight the costs and benefits associated with teen and unplanned pregnancy and effective prevention. A prevention effort in Iowa published a benefit-cost analysis (PDF) on unintended pregnancy and family planning services.
Support policies that reflect the distinctions between teen pregnancies and unplanned pregnancies among adults in terms of causes, consequences, and effective responses. The West Virginia Perinatal Partnership focuses attention on both teen and unplanned pregnancies. The partnership issued a White Paper on teen pregnancy in 2008, and has since launched an initiative specific to unplanned pregnancies.
Link teen and unplanned pregnancies to other high priority issues, such as infant mortality, high school drop out, college completion, child welfare, youth development, poverty, or early childhood development. The Indiana Perinatal Network included reducing unplanned pregnancy (PDF) as an area of focus to improve outcomes for infants and families.