Teen Pregnancy in South Georgia Higher Than Rest of State

-- Valdosta, Ga. -- May 9, 2012 --

We are in the middle of National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. This is an especially important month for Georgia. More than 44 Teenagers give birth every day in the state.

Percy Chastang is a Youth Development Coordinator for South Health District. He says "this area, Valdosta and the surrounding counties, being slightly above the state average. The state average was 31.3, which represents 31 youths ages 15 to 17 per 1000 becoming pregnant. In our region the number is near 40."

Teenage pregnancy in Georgia costs taxpayers about $465 million dollars annually. That's according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

In the last decade the birth rate in Georgia for girls ages 15 to 19 has steadily declined throughout the state. But that doesn't mean the problem is going away.

Percy Chastang goes on to say "the one hard truth is that there has been, and there will always be, a significant portion of young people deciding to have sex before marriage. And they need to be educated and informed and protected."

Katie Jackson is a high school student at Lowndes High School. She says "my mom is like I want grand kids but not now. Wait till you're out of college. And I'm like that is definitely my plan."


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by DD on May 11, 2012 at 06:26 AM
    40 my shiny, white behind. There's at least that many in Thomasville and Cairo combined.
  • by Local Girl on May 10, 2012 at 07:41 PM
    I will never forget the conversation I overheard a few years ago, between two teenage girls working in a fast food restaurant in Waycross, GA. They both declared that they wished they were pregnant, and then went on to discuss how many babies they were going to have based on the amount of welfare money they would get monthly for each baby. One girl was opting for 3 and the other for 5 babies. They see these babies as dollar signs. Something seriously needs to change.
  • by Bubba III on May 10, 2012 at 08:47 AM
    Situation normal in Dixie...barefoot and pregnant.
  • by LeRoy Location: Southside on May 10, 2012 at 04:05 AM
    If you hit people in the pocket book you get a quicker reaction. It may sound cruel, but let them pay for their own, regardless of the circumstances. If parents and grandparents had to pay hopital bills and doctor bills the "education" about sex before marriage would take on greater meaning. But as long as someone knows they will be taken care of, they will continue to do whatever feels good to them and then walk away from their responsibility. This includes tagging the young males whenever they make any income to pay for the babies they made, including confiscatting cars etc. that they get by "cash" means.
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