Health officials raising of awareness of teen pregnancy

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The month of May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month and is dedicated to raising awareness about teen pregnancy and how it can be prevented.

Teen births have declined in all 50 states and among all racial and ethnic groups, but there is still more work that can be done.

Pregnancy and birth are significant contributors to high school dropout rates among girls. Only about half of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by age 22, whereas nearly 90 percent of women who do not give birth during adolescence graduate from high school.

"The most important thing is education. We offer education when they come here to their appointments. The most important most effective method is always going to be abstinence. We promote that 100 percent. However, we do understand that if you are going to engage, please be smart about it. Please be educated about it," says Valerie Scruggs-Proffitt, a registered nurse and public health nurse specialist.

May is a critical time to consider teen pregnancy and how it impacts individuals and the community. It's important to note that the issue of prevention is one to focus on year-round.

The Centers for Disease Control offer tips to parents here.

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