(Washington, DC) – According to the most recent data* available, the teen pregnancy rate in Washington, DC is now 59.1 pregnancies per 1,000 girls 15 to 19 years old. DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy reports that while the 2009 rate shows a welcome 3.7 percent decline from 2008, the rate also means that 1,032 babies were born to teens in the same age group.
“Any reduction in the teen pregnancy rate is good news, but DC still has a long way to go,” says Brenda Rhodes Miller, executive director of DC Campaign. “What message are we sending when the capital of the greatest nation in the history of the world has double-digit teen pregnancy numbers?”
Teen pregnancy has a tremendous impact on everyone in the city, including taxpayers. Hundreds of millions of government dollars are spent annually to support families started by teens. “Huge expenditures on the back-end should be matched by strategic investments on the front end to prevent teen pregnancy and put a dent in the startling rates of poverty, crime, poor health, child abuse and neglect and school failure that have long plagued Washington, DC. Reducing teen pregnancy can lead to more stable families, stronger communities, a better prepared work force and healthier children,” Miller says.
Credit for the decline in teen pregnancies goes to adolescents themselves with the support of parents, many local teen pregnancy prevention advocates, community based organizations, schools, and churches.
Founded in 1999, DC Campaign is a private, non-profit 501 (c) (3) whose mission is to improve the lives and well being of adolescents in Washington, DC by cutting the teen pregnancy rate in half by 2015.