Teens Giving Birth More Frequently - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Teens Giving Birth More Frequently

Myrna Raffkind, Teen Pregnancy Coalition Myrna Raffkind, Teen Pregnancy Coalition
Candy Gibbs, Care Net Crisis Pregnancy Center Candy Gibbs, Care Net Crisis Pregnancy Center

Teen pregnancy problems are being compounded in the Panhandle. That's because more teens are getting pregnant a second time. Texas leads the nation when it comes to teenagers giving birth the second time around.  

Teen preganancy cost taxpayers 9.1 million dollars nationwide. In Potter County, teen preganacy rates are one of the highest in the nation. A year ago Potter county officials said they did not see a lot of repeat pregnancies, but that has changed according to local organizations. Myrna Raffkind with the Teen Pregnancy Coalition says repeat pregnancies have become a problem. "There's a problem with repeat pregnancy. A lot of teens once they become pregnant they drop out of school. Have no meaning go back to living with their boyfriend and become pregnant again," Raffkind said.

Some local groups say repeat teen pregnancies are a hard cycle to break. Candy Gibbs with the Care Net Crisis Preganacy Center says there a few reasion why teen girls give birth multiple times. "There's a level of hopelessness in that I've already had a child. I've already been sexually active, so I don't have a lot to lose," Gibbs explains.  Raffkind agrees, "The cycle repeats it's self.. The longer it goes on the bigger the problem is going to be".

That's why local organizers are calling on the community to break the teen pregnancy trend. "We want to create an atmosphere of community awareness. We want everybody to realize that they can and do make a difference," Raffkind requested.

It's a difference that can change the outlook for teens, their children and their future. Gibbs said everyone needs to look at the intrinsic cause of teen pregnancy, "It's about... What motivates me? what are my goals? what do I see ahead for myself. If we can address those issues it will get us further down the road."

Pregnancy centers and local advocates say the key to getting the high number of teen pregnancies down in Amarillo, is a proactive approach with parent involvement and communication.

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