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Teen Pregnancy: Legislature Looks at Curbing College Pregnancies

JACKSON, Miss.–Whether you’re a politician or you or someone in your family has experienced it, many Mississippians would agree that there are too many teen pregnancies in the state. Now state government is focusing on 18 and 19-year-olds, one of the age groups with the highest incidences of teen pregnancies.

Tuesday the Mississippi Senate passed a bill that would require community colleges and universities to develop a plan to address teen pregnancies for those who attend their classes.

Nationally, about one in ten community college dropouts are because of an unplanned pregnancy.

This info is from the website NCSL.org, the National Conference of State Legislatures:

With almost 70 percent of 18- and 19-year-olds attending either high school or college, unplanned pregnancies can disrupt or derail educational achievement. Sixty-one percent of women who have children after enrolling in college fail to complete their degree, a rate which is 65 percent higher than that for students who did not have children. In addition, surveys indicate that close to half of all community college students have been pregnant or gotten someone pregnant at some point. 

Research shows that children born in that situation are more likely to live in poverty and the moms are more likely to need government assistance.

Other states have developed plans in their college systems. This is a link to info on what South Carolina is doing: http://www.teenpregnancysc.org/getinvolved/supportyourcommunity/collegesanduniversities.aspx

“Since I became governor, I have made it a priority to confront and combat teen pregnancy in this state,” said Gov. Bryant. “We are already making progress and have seen Mississippi’s teen pregnancy rate decline by 10.3 percent. However, we must do more, and I appreciate the Senate for advancing this measure to target intervention efforts to older teens.”

The bill (SB2563) must now get the full approval of the legislature.

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