Teen Pregnancy Prevention Meeting

Teen Pregnancy Prevention: Exploring State Policy Options



  • Megan Foreman                     NCSL, Policy Specialist

Meeting Description - September 8 - 10, 2011

 NCSL’s “Teen Pregnancy Prevention: Exploring State Policy Options” collaborative meeting brought teams of state policymakers and agency officials together in Denver, Colorado to learn about the social and economic impact of teen pregnancy and state policy options for prevention.  

In the United States, the number of births to teen mothers reached a record low in 2009; yet teen pregnancy, birth and abortion rates for teens between the ages of 15 and 19 remain the highest in the industrialized world.  Teen pregnancy is closely related to numerous key social and economic issues, impacting educational attainment, poverty and lifetime income of teen mothers and their children. In 2008, high rates of teen pregnancy cost taxpayers nearly $11 billion; state costs ranged from $16 million in North Dakota to $1.2 billion in Texas, depending on the size of the state, teen pregnancy rates and participation in publicly funded programs.

The meeting agenda included thought-provoking sessions and opportunities for participants to meet with members of their state team to discuss current initiatives and challenges, and to develop goals and an action plan for moving forward with teen pregnancy prevention.

This meeting was funded by a grant from The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

 Meeting Materials

Session Information 

  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention Policy 101: Setting the StagePowerPoint (PDF)
    The nation has made significant progress in teen pregnancy prevention; births to teens are at a 30-year low. Why, then, does this issue keep coming up? Why should policymakers care? Ron Haskins presents the basics around where the U.S. has been and where it is going; the public sector costs associated with teen childbearing; and how an emerging evidence base might inform policy.  
    Speaker:  Ron Haskins, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.  

  • A Cause and a Consequence: The Relationship Between Teen Pregnancy and Dropout Prevention
    Thirty percent of teens who drop out of high school cite pregnancy and parenting as key reasons. The children of teen parents are more likely to dropout than their peers born to older parents. This lack of educational attainment can cycle for generations. This presentation highlights successful initiatives—from those found in individual schools to state policies—to help young people stay in school. 
    Speakers: Daniel Fuller, Vice President, Legislative Relations, Communities in Schools, Virginia – PowerPoint (PDF)
    Sunny Deye, Program Principal, Education Program, NCSL, Colorado - PowerPoint (PDF)

  • State-Federal Partnerships: Providing Access to Health Services for TeensPowerPoint (PDF)
    This session focuses on what the research says about the clinical side of teen pregnancy prevention and policy options available to provide services. Presenters explore financing options such as the relationship between Medicaid, Family Planning Waivers, and Title X, and delve into topics specific to teens, including confidential services, sexual health education in schools and specific programs available for young women in the foster care system.
    Speakers: Rachel Benson Gold, Director, Policy Analysis, Guttmacher Institute, Washington, D.C.
    Elizabeth Nash, Public Policy Associate, Guttmacher Institute, Washington, D.C.

  • School-Based Health Centers: Access to Health Care and Health Education for Underserved TeensPowerPoint (PDF)
    This presentation explores the role of school-based health centers in providing access to health care for underserved teens through one locally-based program, run through the Denver Health and Hospital Authority. Presenters also discuss the evaluation data behind these programs, how they came to be, their successes in reaching young people and saving state dollars.
    Speakers: Steve Federico, MD, Medical Director, School-Based Health/Pediatrics, Denver Health and Hospital Authority, Colorado
    Kari Kuka, Supervisor, Health Education Program, Denver Health and Hospital Authority, Colorado 

  • Federal Funding and Evaluating Successful Programs
    Federal funding streams for states to focus on teen pregnancy prevention are available; a required component of these programs is a rigorous evaluation. But what does that mean? This presentation identifies federal grant programs and how states can take advantage of them.
    Speakers: Andrea Kane, Senior Director, Policy and Partnerships, National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, Washington, D.C. – PowerPoint (PDF)
    Susan Philliber, Ph.D., Senior Partner, Philliber Research Associates, New York – PowerPoint (PDF) 

  • Stories from the States: Approaches to Teen Pregnancy Prevention That Work 
    States and cities have taken a variety of “big tent” approaches to teen pregnancy prevention; these presentations explore some successful ones, from utilizing a framework of positive youth development for all relevant programs, to building and sustaining public/private partnerships, to educating young people on the costs of parenting.  
    Speakers: Bevan K. Baker, Commissioner of Health, City of Milwaukee Health Department, Wisconsin – PowerPoint (PDF)
    Cynthia Osborne, Ph.D., Associate Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas, Austin – PowerPoint (PDF) 


 NCSL Resources

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