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Teen Pregnancy in South Carolina

Teen pregnancy is one of the nation’s major social problems, and remains a very serious problem in South Carolina. Some experts speculate that over the past few years, media attention to celebrity teen moms have glamorized teen pregnancy. Others say funding cuts to teen programs are part of the problem.

According to many teen pregnancy experts, young people can avoid teen pregnancy by having honest and caring conversations with their parents; better quality sex and relationship education, and seeing the consequences of teen pregnancy realistically portrayed in the media.

Research shows that about 75 percent of the decrease in teen pregnancies over the last two decades occurred as a result of increased contraceptive use. The remaining 25 percent has been attributed to more young people choosing to remain abstinent. 

Researchers and providers also acknowledge the synergistic effect of a number of factors, such as: emphasis on abstinence education; the popularity and availability of long-lasting methods of contraception, and awareness of the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

Programs to reduce teen pregnancy have made a real difference in encouraging teens to remain abstinent or use contraception when they have sex.  South Carolina DHEC continues to encourage communities to follow certain strategies to increase the chances that programs they select, or design, on their own will actually reduce sexual risk taking or pregnancy. 

Those strategies are: 1) incorporate or draw on fidelity and other programs demonstrated to be effective with similar populations; and 2) use logic models to select or design new programs.

At the same time, reasonable, informed and concerned individuals in each community must collaborate to promote important messages and actions to teens.

In addressing teenage pregnancy, South Carolina DHEC will continue to work with community partners to develop appropriate evaluation measures for the interventions that are being undertaken. We will continue to:

  • Provide voluntary, confidential family planning services that provide education, counseling and a broad range of acceptable and effective family planning methods to teenagers;
  • Develop data-driven strategies that target high-risk populations;
  • Work in collaboration with other public and private agencies, or organizations and community groups, to reach teenagers with effective interventions before a first or subsequent pregnancy.

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