Pelosi Statement on the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy:
"Our most essential duty as elected officials is to protect and provide for our nation's children. On the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, we are reminded of the challenges they face as they reach adolescence, and we recommit to providing them with the tools to help them succeed.
"The United States still has the highest rate of teen pregnancies and births in the industrialized world: more than 800,000 teenage girls become pregnant each year. Reducing teen pregnancy will increase educational and economic opportunities, reduce child poverty, and reduce the number of abortions. But to do this, we need to place science above politics and proceed with what we know works: comprehensive, medically accurate sex education, promoting responsible fatherhood, and providing a safe environment for discussion of these issues with a parent or trusted adult. We all should encourage teenagers to practice abstinence, but they do not always do so. In these cases, access to contraception and confidential reproductive health services can significantly reduce teen pregnancy.
"I am proud to be a cosponsor of several pieces of bipartisan legislation that address these challenges with proven solutions: the Prevention First Act increases access to reproductive health care and provides resources for teen pregnancy prevention; the Responsible Funding to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Act funds initiatives that implement scientifically evaluated and medically accurate sex education programs; and the Responsible Education About Life Act, funds education about both abstinence and contraception. I challenge my colleagues and the Bush Administration to recognize that empowering young people to make the best choices and prevent teen pregnancy comes not just through abstinence, but through education and access to contraception."