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San Diego Launches New Effort To Curb Teen Pregnancy

Audio

Aired 10/14/10

San Diego will soon launch a new effort designed to reduce pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers. The county has one of California's highest teen pregnancy rates.

San Diego will soon launch a new effort designed to reduce pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers. The county has one of California's highest teen pregnancy rates.

There are 36 communities in San Diego County that have teen pregnancy rates higher than the state average. These include Barrio Logan, and parts of Vista and Oceanside.

The new project will target kids in these hot spots, especially those who've been in trouble with the law or at school.

The non-profit San Diego Youth Services will lead the effort. Executive Director Walter Philips said teenagers need to learn about healthy behaviors.

"They're being exposed to sex at a much earlier age," said Philips, "because of that, being exposed to sexually transmitted diseases at a much earlier age, and so it's incumbent on us to begin to educate them, to begin to provide preventive measures."

A five-year, $6 million federal grant will provide the funding. The goal is to reach out to some 10,000 San Diego County teenagers.

California's teen birth rate has declined dramatically over the last 20 years. Even so, in 2008, more than 51,000 babies were born to teen mothers in the state.

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