In our microwave-Twitter world it is easy to forget how far we have come. This morning I was looking through a old notebook and came across some staggering numbers.
In 1993 there were 11,271 pregnancies to females in SC 15-19.
That is nearly 1 out of every 10 female teens 15-19.
This week the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy announced that last year there were 4,759 births to females 15-19.
11,271-4,759=6,512 fewer births to females 15-19. Since 1992 there have been 48,037 fewer teen births!
Since 1992 SC has witnessed a 54% reduction in the teen birth rate.
The progress SC has made has saved SC taxpayers an estimated $172 million in 2010 alone compared to the costs that would have incurred had the rates not fallen.
But there is still work to do! There were still 4,759 teen births last year—4,759 too many. That is why we cannot let up on the progress we have made. Yet much of it is at risk as Congress seeks to make devastating cuts to programs that have led to much of this success. Those cuts would eliminate $5 Million dollars that come to SC annually. Citizens who care about our children, citizens who care about fiscal responsibility need to add their voices to say that we need these programs to continue.
So we need to take time out of our celebrating to contact our representatives to say that we are only half way there! We want to continue the progress that we are making in SC and around the country. For the sake of the budget. For the sake of the children. For the sake of our nation!
For more information, see the SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and the National Campaign to Reduce Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies