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Brown By Issues Sarah S. Brown is director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan initiative she helped created in to improve the wellbeing of children, youth, and families by reducing teen pregnancy.
As she explains in the following interview, the campaign played a critical role in a remarkably successful effort that reduced by one-third the number of pregnancies and births among teenage girls. This experience can serve as a model and an inspiration for other public health programs.
Before cofounding the campaign, she served as senior study director at the Institute of Medicine, where she directed a range of maternal and child health projects, including The Best Intentions: Unintended Pregnancy and the Well-Being of Children and Families, a widely cited study of the probable causes, effects, and possible remedies of unintended pregnancy.
She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Irvin M. Why was the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy organized, and what made you think this progress was possible? The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy was organized in by a diverse group of individuals who had concluded that the problem of teen pregnancy was not receiving the intense national focus that it deserved; that too few Americans understood the central role that teen pregnancy plays in child poverty, out-of-wedlock childbearing, and welfare dependence; and that there was merit in raising the profile of this problem and in pushing hard for solutions.
The board also set a numerical goal for the nation and the National Campaign: Most observers considered this goal—to put it charitably—overly ambitious. Our reading was a bit different. Taking a longer view, we saw that rates of teen pregnancy and birth had been declining slowly but steadily more or less for over two decades, with the exception of this lates blip.
Consequently, we believed that teen pregnancy rates could again start heading in the right direction, provided that the issue received the national attention it deserved. What strategy has the National Campaign used?
Both behaviors contributed to earlier declines in teen pregnancy, and more of both are needed in going forward to sustain the decline. In all of our work, we engage a range of sectors—teens, parents, state and community leaders, entertainment media executives, educators, faith leaders, policy-makers, the press, other national nonprofit groups, and more.
In addition, we approach teen pregnancy in a nonideological big-tent way and work hard to reduce the conflicts that often impede action on this tough problem.
All activities are based on high-quality research, an emphasis on using partnerships as a way to increase the reach and power of our efforts, and a commitment to evaluating our work. And, as a small group trying to influence a vast country, we rely heavily on technology—the Internet, in particular—to reach millions of teens and their parents.
What does this mean in practice? The first strategy—building a grassroots movement— involves working with people in states and communities. The National Campaign provides research and data that they can use in their programs or coalitions, and we also offer direct technical assistance through site visits, regional conferences, and access to our Resource Bureau, which includes contacts and experts in all 50 states.
Our Web site www. For example, data on teen pregnancies and births are provided on the Web site for every county in the United States; many of our manuals about what to do at the local level to reduce teen pregnancy can be downloaded free of charge; and extensive bibliographical material is also posted.
Recent data show that percent of firstborn black babies to women 15 to 19 were conceived out-of-wedlock in –81, compared with percent of first born white babies to women 15 to 19, and percent of black mothers and percent of white mothers were . Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing Teen Births In , there were births for every 1, adolescent females ages , or , babies born to females in this age group. 1 Births to teens ages account for percent of all births in In addition, in order to capture the complexity of issues surrounding out of wedlock childbearing, this volume contains a series of supplemental papers by experts from various social science disciplines.
The second strategy focuses on influencing cultural values and messages. Where have you encountered resistance? Because teen pregnancy is closely connected to aspects of our lives that we hold most dear—our understanding of family and children; the meaning of love, marriage, and commitment; the role of self-expression and self-fulfillment; and, for many people, their religious beliefs—we fully expected that there would be disagreements over how best to reduce teen pregnancy.
However, I think we have been surprised at the depth of disagreements and how these disagreements can often stymie action.Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing Teen Births In , there were births for every 1, adolescent females ages , or , babies born to females in this age group.
1 Births to teens ages account for percent of all births in These figures are consistent with other reports: according to the National Center for Health Statistics, 39 percent of white and 90 percent of black teenage births in were out-of-wedlock.
According to Lerman () 65 percent of all 18–year-old males who were fathers in had married after the birth of their first child.  The United Republic of Tanzania is a unitary republic comprising Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar.
There are two central governments-the Union Government and the Zanzibar Revolutionary. I'm a 42 year old single male who recently left a 5 year relationship for various reasons, but mainly because I wanted kids and she did not.
I thought that since I was an attractive, fit, well-educated, financially and emotionally secure guy that I would have no problem finding a woman in her mid 30s to settle down with and start a family.
Archives and past articles from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and vetconnexx.com / Our History. Our History. we brought a two-generation focus to the issue of teen pregnancy and childbearing, emphasizing its impact on both teen parents and their children.
Among our accomplishments: From to , we produced the congressionally-mandated Report to Congress on Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing.