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Know More. Say More – “The “Communities of Color Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Act of 2011,” HR 2678/S 1437”

Check this piece of legislation out! ->Know More. Say More. – Blog Archive » Legislation Aims To Decrease Teen Pregnancy and Dating Violence Among Young People of Color.

Recognizing the need for a broader approach to address teen pregnancy in communities of color, including the role coercion and violence plays in unintended pregnancy, legislators today introduced a bill to help young people of color get information and skills they need to build healthy relationships.

In 2009 the teen birth rate for Latinas, African Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives was more than double the teen birth rate of non-Hispanic Caucasians. However, disparities in contraceptive use are closely connected to social and economic inequities in communities of color; for example, a Latina girl is three times more likely to be without health insurance than her white counterpart.

“Myths — rather than realities — have too often guided the public discourse about Latinas and pregnancy,” said Maria Elena Perez, Interim Executive Director at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. “Young women of color in general, and particularly immigrant young women, have less access to the health care and information they need to be able to make the reproductive choices that are right for them.”

i wonder if they mean myths like those fueled by these billboards:


which demonize communities without taking into account the socioeconomic implications and systemic barriers they face.  This act also recognizes the ways in which intimate partner violence is linked to unintended pregnancies:

“Dating violence is a growing crisis among our teens,” said Esta Soler, Founder and President of Futures Without Violence, formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund. “Teens in abusive relationships are at significantly higher risk for unintended pregnancy, poor pregnancy outcomes, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. These can be reduced if we teach young people how to create and build healthy relationships.”

What the act would do:

  • fund teenage pregnancy prevention program interventions with a focus on supporting community-based organizations that are well-positioned to serve youth in ethnic and racial groups with the highest teen pregnancy rates;
  • fund multimedia public education and awareness about teen pregnancy and related social and emotional issues, such as violence prevention;
  • study factors that contribute to disproportionately high rates of teenage and unintended pregnancy in communities of color, and the role that violence and abuse play in the decisions young people make about relationships, sex, pregnancy, and childbearing
We’ll do our best to keep ya’ll posted on this bill!
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