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For Release: April 27, 2010 
Contact: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
(405) 271-5601

National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, May 5, 2010

Hundreds of thousands of teens nationwide are expected to participate in the ninth annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy on May 5.  The purpose of the National Day is to focus the attention of teens on the importance of avoiding early pregnancy and parenthood through an interactive online quiz, according to public health officials at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH).

On May 5, teens nationwide are asked to go on line at www.StayTeen.org and take a short, scenario-based quiz (available in English and Spanish).  The online quiz challenges young people to think carefully about what they would do in a number of risky sexual situations.

After consistent and steady declines beginning in the early 1990s, birth rates in the United States are on the rise. The teen birth rate has increased 5 percent across the United States. Compared to other states and the District of Columbia, Oklahoma now ranks 6th highest (worst) in the nation for birth rates to teen girls ages 15-19 and females ages 18-19. Oklahoma ranks 7th highest (worst) for younger teens, ages 15-17 (National Vital Statistics, 2006 data).

Results from the 2009 Oklahoma Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicate that 51.1 percent of Oklahoma public high school students 9th – 12th grade have had sexual intercourse. Teen childbearing in the United States cost taxpayers at least $9.1 billion, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2006. In 2004, teen childbearing cost Oklahoma taxpayers a total of $149 million dollars. 

Many teens say they are concerned about pregnancy, but still think, "It can't happen to me." But it does - Oklahoma females 19 and younger gave birth to 7,616 babies in 2007. Of those babies, 6,079 were born to unmarried females. The birth rate for the same age group was 61.3 per 1,000 female population; a 10.8 percent increase since 2005.

In addition to the online quiz, the national campaign is also offering an online game with challenging puzzles testing teens’ knowledge about issues related to teen pregnancy. Those who complete the puzzles will be eligible to win prizes.  The campaign is also launching a public service announcement (PSA) design contest encouraging teens to submit their artwork and ideas about teen pregnancy prevention.

Please join the OSDH by supporting the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy on May 5.  Encourage the teens in your life to take the quiz! Use the quiz as a conversation starter with your children about sex, love, values, and relationships. Tell others about the National Day Quiz! For ideas on how you can help promote the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, please visit http://www.TheNationalCampaign.org/national.  



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