Teen pregnancies are down 29.5 percent in Anson County, according to a report released last week by the North Carolina Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina.
In 2012, there were 39 pregnancies among 15- to 19-year-olds in Anson County for a rate of 48.4 per 1,000, compared to 57 total pregnancies among teens in 2011, for a rate of 68.7 per 1,000. Anson County was ranked 32nd among North Carolina’s 100 counties in 2012, compared to its 11th-place ranking in 2011.
Though the decline in the teen pregnancy rate is good news, Anson County Partnership for Children executive director Elaine Scarborough said, “I don’t think it’s a reason to celebrate just yet. It is a reason to continue to be diligent in teaching pregnancy prevention.”
Scarborough pointed out that Anson County’s small population can also skew the numbers. “We are not really seeing a huge change, but I do think the Healthy Youth Act is making a difference,” she said.
The Healthy Youth Act was passed in 2009, and redefines what is included in the human sexuality education component of health education instruction in North Carolina’s seventh and eighth grades and high school classrooms. The Healthy Youth Act, also known as H.B. 88, requires sex education in school systems, TIPS coordinator Caroline Hightower said.
Hightower said that the Partnership for Children is continuing its education programs for pregnant teens and parenting teens, although some state funding has recently been cut. “The state legislature cut our primary pregnancy prevention funding, but we still have our secondary pregnancy prevention funding,” she explained. “So I still see it as a big issue in Anson County.”
“We still have a lot of children having children,” Scarborough said.
For the complete report on teen pregnancy in North Carolina, visit http://www.appcnc.org/.