Mississippi: Saying No to Sex
August 31, 2007
On Sunday, Sept. 9, some Jackson area churches are participating in "White Ribbon Sunday," an event to promote abstinence organized by the Rankin County-based Communities Working to Unite Youth. CWUY is calling on churches to distribute white ribbons to congregants as a symbol of purity and to discuss the health benefits of abstinence. Mississippi's abstinence-only sex education program is in part responsible for reducing the number of teen pregnancies from the mid-1990s, said Don Taylor, Executive Director of the Department of Human Services. There were 75 pregnancies per 1,000 Mississippi teens ages 15-19 in 2003, down from 117 per 1,000 in 1990. In 2004, there were 62 pregnancies per 1,000 teens, according to an Annie E. Casey Foundation report. Mississippi ranks third-highest in the nation for teen pregnancy, behind Arizona and Nevada. The US teen pregnancy rate in 2004 was 41 per 1,000 teens. "There are 12-year-old girls becoming pregnant in our state who aren't really quite sure how it happened," said Craig Thompson, Director of the state Health Department's STD/HIV bureau.
08.25.2007; Jean Gordon
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.