Teens Offered $1 a Day to Learn Pregnancy Prevention

December 25, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The teen pregnancy rate is climbing back up in the US ? After years of decline.That has parents and teachers wondering, what's the best way to teach pregnancy prevention?

"And how do you think they figure out how far along you are?"

These kids are getting a very adult lesson on what's about to happen to their bodies.

"So you get lots of pressure as this baby moves down lower and lower."

For the first time in almost 15 years, teen pregnancy in the US is on the rise.

"I was pregnant the month after I turned 16. That's bad," said Christine Davis,17.

"I was scared because I knew it was going to change my life completely, and it did," said Fernanda Caixeta, 17.

A unique program at University of North Carolina Greensboro is trying turn this trend around using cash to keep kids from making the wrong decisions.

"They can earn $7 each week that they come. That's put into a college fund that they only get when they graduate from high school, have still not had a baby, and then enroll in college," said Hazel Brown, Edd, MC

Girls attend weekly meetings and learn lessons in not only abstinence and contraceptives, but also in leadership and career guidance.

Critics say paying girls sends the wrong message. But directors say the results speak for themselves.

Since 1997, 99% of girls enrolled in the program for six months or more have not gotten pregnant.

"These girls that are in the program are twice more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college, and twice less likely to have a baby," said Brown.

Program organizers say a dollar a day is a small price to pay to keep girls and their futures on track.

The program receives a 75,000 a year grant.

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies says it costs $500,000 in welfare and health care costs to care for a teen mother and her baby.


Load Comments