May marks the National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. And in the state of South Dakota this is an important month because teen pregnancy rates remain too high despite the fact that they have dropped nationally. In 2008 the pregnancy rate (number of pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15-19) of teens was 53. While this has dropped over the years, and in data from another source the rate was as low as 35 in 2010, this doesn’t mean South Dakota shouldn’t be cautious.
What can we do to continue to make sure that the teen pregnancy rate in South Dakota declines?
Make sure that teens in South Dakota have access to sex education and birth control first and foremost. Communication is also vital. Parents and schools need to have these conversations about sex with teens.