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Abortions, Pregnancy Up Among Teens

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Here's what moms can do about it ... right now.

Pregnant teenage girl

The teen pregnancy rate in the U.S. is up for the first time in more than a decade, reversing a long slide, according to a report by the Guttmacher Institute. The overall pregnancy rate rose 3% -- with a 4% rise in births and a 1% rise in the rate of abortions.

In 2006, 7% of all teenage girls got pregnant.

Gulp. That's a scary statistic ... and an eye-opening one, too.

What can we moms do about this ... right now? Here are six great tips from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy:

• There's no such thing as "The Talk." It's an 18-year conversation about love, values, relationships, and sex.

• Your teens are listening to you, even if they don't act like it. If you don't tell them exactly what your values and expectations are when it comes to relationships, sex, and pregnancy, how will they know?

• If your teen asks you questions about sex or birth control, don't assume they're already sexually active.

• Talking with your teen about sex and contraception will not encourage them to have sex. Studies show that teaching teens about contraception delays sex and promotes safe sex when they start.

• Don't let "Mom, I'm pregnant" be the first time you talk with your teen about sex. Start early, and keep the conversation going.

• You don't need to be a biology textbook. Your teens want to hear from you about values and relationships and how to tell the difference between love and sex.

Even though these discussions can be awkward and uncomfortable, these could be some of the most meaningful conversations we ever have with our daughters, and they can have a life-changing impact.

Do you talk to your kids about sex and teen pregnancy? Share your tips with other moms by commenting below. We're in this together.

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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous January 26, 2010, 3:20 PM

We also need to have these conversations with our sons!

Cheyan January 26, 2010, 4:10 PM

You beat me to it anon! I was thinking the same thing that we need to teach our sons the same morals and values as our daughters! They need to know that if they get a girl pregnant that they are going to be held responsible!

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