This week the East Coast experienced a rare occurrence…yes, the infamous EARTHQUAKE! Local and national broadcasters up and down the coast as well as parts of the Mid-West were on it, reporting every detail and displaying absolute amazement at how far-reaching the effects of this natural event were. The public reaction to the earthquake’s even slight impact across such a wide area made me think about our work in prevention, especially teen pregnancy prevention.
Not that I would ever equate the danger of a possible natural disaster to a teen pregnancy. However, the public’s shock regarding impact IS something that seems curiously similar! On several occasions, as I do outreach across the state, I have heard adults of all backgrounds and titles suggest that teen pregnancy is only relevant for some of us… those who work with high schools or are parents of teens, etc. I often hear phrases like:
· Whew! I am glad I have passed that stage (a parent of a young adult); I’m not there yet (a parent of a young child) or I don’t have to worry about that because I have boys!
Yes in 2011, with all of the proven social implications of unintended pregnancy, HIV, and STDs, we still have some neighbors and friends who think they are exempt from the ripple effects of teen pregnancy and disease (much like we in South Carolina and other parts of the US think we are exempt from earthquakes!). Of course there are many parents, teachers, and health care professionals who ARE well aware of the connections between teen pregnancy and our economic, social, and public health plight in this country.
We just need to continue to highlight those connections and to speak up when we hear anyone suggest that we don't have to be overly concerned about the health and well-being of young people…ALL YOUNG PEOPLE! Click here to look at our Making the Connection series.