March 22nd, 2010
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As you know, the new Health Care Bill passed last night. Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere exploded with emotion, good and bad. Words were slung back and forth and feelings were hurt. Now that everyone has had a night to sleep on it, my mind wandered to my readers here at the unplanned pregnancy blog. How does this affect you? How does this affect your child yet to be born?

It’s hard to tell. Those opposed to the bill are already screaming for an appeal. It’s also hard to tell how quickly these things will be put into play (though some sections call for 180 days after being passed) and whether they will see the light of day while you are pregnant and making decisions. As an example, if you have only two weeks of pregnancy left, it’s possible you’re not going to see any immediate benefit for yourself.

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The semi-good-news is that the bill specifically addressed your peers, not necessarily you in section 2526 with a healthy teen initiative to prevent teen pregnancy. Here’s a bit of what it says:

Amounts received by a State under this section shall be used to conduct or support evidence-based education programs (directly or through grants or contracts to public or private nonprofit entities, including schools and community-based and faith-based organizations) to reduce teen pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.

It later goes on to define the evidence-based education programs, which I found helpful.

DEFINITION.—In this section, the term ‘evidence-based’ means based on a model that has been found, in methodologically sound research—

  • (1) to delay initiation of sex;
  • (2) to decrease number of partners;
  • (3) to reduce teen pregnancy;
  • (4) to reduce sexually transmitted infection rates; or
  • (5) to improve rates of contraceptive use

I can really kind of get behind a program that aims at those things. Really, delaying initiation and then promoting the fact that more is definitely not better when it comes to numbers of partners sounds good to me. A reduction in teen pregnancy is also vitally important. I’m sure we’re going to hear some grumbling about improving rates of contraception use but, really, those rates need improved in even our older generations.

Of course, I’m thinking that this falls short for our teens who will be entering college shortly. As we know, the average age of a mother who chooses to place her baby for adoption is in her early 20′s. We’ve already neglected legions upon legions of women in their early 20′s. I’d love to see a college-aged initiative that encouraged students to make wise choices on these same exact things. I’m never quite pleased enough, am I?

I don’t know what the future holds for you, specifically, my reader. I do know that you are here because you wanted to know the answers. I hope that as we learn more, I am able to share more with you. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask and I’ll find out some answers from someone who can help. In the meantime, if you want to discuss how a program like the one discussed above might have helped you, I’m all ears!

You can read the entire bill here.

2 Responses to “The Health Care Bill & Teen Pregnancy”

  1. Mandy W says:

    Great investigating! I have been lagging with actually reading the bill and how it may/will effect me. Thanks!

  2. Teenage pregnancy is one of the serious problems of teenagers nowadays. It makes them troubled and gloomy. Parents can choose specialized counseling programs for the teens in crisis. Professional counselors recommend motivational training, individual and group counseling and twelve step programs for dealing with stress and depression in struggling youth.
    http://www.troubledteens.net/Problems-in-Teens/Teens-in-Crisis.html

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