The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice called upon Congress to support initiatives to lower the rates of teen sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and teen pregnancy. The two groups plan to launch a series of teen-focused health fairs in communities around the country.
According to Dr. Trent MacKay of the National Institutes of Health, “[e]very year, 11% of girls aged 15 to 19 experience a pregnancy, and they account for 13% of all pregnancies in the United States.” MacKay also noted that a survey done by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that “by age 10, children are eager to talk with their parents about sexuality and want more information about it.”
According to another Kaiser study, 60% of teens have never talked with their doctors about STDs and 70% of those involved in the study had never been tested for them.
The health fairs proposed by the two organizations would provide information to entire communities to help stop the spread of STDs and teen pregnancy. Reverend Carlton Veazey of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice stated that developing “proactive strategies to effectively address teen pregnancy, STDs, HIV and AIDS transmission requires full participation and involvement from all members of our communities, private and public, parents and guardians, clergy and laity.”