Field of Work: Reducing teen pregnancy
Problem Synopsis: During his State of the Union address in January 1995, President Bill Clinton identified teen pregnancy as "our most serious social problem." The White House then convened a series of meetings to discuss the merits and possible activities of a nonpartisan, private sector-led campaign to reduce teen pregnancy. Participating advocates cited several reasons to create the campaign:
- More than 40 percent of young women in the United States became pregnant before they reached age 20—the highest rate in the fully developed world. Some 85 percent of those pregnancies were unintended.
- Teen pregnancy and childbearing carry high levels of risk for both mothers and babies:
- Teen mothers have a maternal death rate 2.5 times higher than mothers aged 20–24.
- Teen mothers are also more likely to live in poverty and depend on public assistance, and are much less likely to finish high school and attend college.
- Their children are at greater risk of low birthweight and infant mortality, and suffer from higher rates of abuse and neglect and more health and developmental problems.
Synopsis of the Work: From 1997 to 2008, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy worked to reduce the rate of teen pregnancy and early parenting in the United States by one-third in 10 years.