WBEZ | teen pregnancy http://www.wbez.org/tags/teen-pregnancy Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Plan B push for young teenage girls http://www.wbez.org/news/plan-b-push-young-teenage-girls-104029 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/morning after pill.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The so-called morning after pill may soon be a lot easier for young teenage girls to get their hands on. Currently, only those who are 17 and older can buy emergency contraceptives over-the-counter.<br /><br />The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging doctors to offer contraceptives, like Plan B, &nbsp;to all adolescents---regardless of age. The Chicago-based AAP said teen pregnancies have significantly decreased over the past two decades. But the U.S. still has the highest birth rate in adolescents compared to all other developed countries.<br /><br />&ldquo;We think the reason that it hasn&rsquo;t affected the rate of teen pregnancy is because kids don&rsquo;t know about it, teenagers don&rsquo;t know about emergency contraception,&rdquo; said professor of pediatrics and adolescent medicine at Seattle Children&rsquo;s Hospital at the University of Washington, Cora Breuner.<br /><br />&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t actually know if that would reduce teen pregnancy because there&rsquo;s no data showing that advanced prescription will reduce it,&rdquo; Breuner said. &ldquo;But we do know that when you do prescribe it, teenagers will use it, as oppose to many of the drugs that we write prescriptions for and people don&rsquo;t fill, this one, they do.&rdquo;<br /><br />Melissa Gilliam, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and pediatrics at the University of Chicago, said teenage pregnancy is a complex issue that will require many steps to solve. In one week, Gilliam said she treated three 12-year-old girls who were all sexually active. &nbsp;<br /><br />&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know that we&rsquo;ll actually see big changes due to this, however, it represents a very important step in the right direction, which is acknowledging adolescent behavior,&rdquo; Gilliam said. &ldquo;And instead of saying, &#39;Oh we don&rsquo;t want to talk about this because we wish it didn&rsquo;t exist,&#39; to actually try and have very realistic and practical approaches to preventing teen pregnancy.&rdquo;<br /><br />The AAP is pushing for emergency contraceptives to be available over-the-counter to adolescents of all ages and for pediatricians to offer advanced prescriptions and education to their patients.<br /><br />The recommendation was published in a policy paper today.</p></p> Mon, 26 Nov 2012 17:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/plan-b-push-young-teenage-girls-104029 American teen births at a historic low, but still higher than the developed world http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/american-teen-births-historic-low-still-higher-developed-world-101212 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP080418016731.jpg" title="Pamphlets line the door to the health clinic at King Middle School in Portland, Maine, where prescription contraceptives are made available to female students. (AP/Cheryl Senter)" /></div><p>Teen moms are everywhere, at least on television. MTV&rsquo;s reality shows like&nbsp;<em>Teen Mom</em> and <em>16 And Pregnant</em> play up the drama of adolescent parenting to the amusement of the American masses. The numbers paint a different picture: Teen birth rates have dropped by 40 percent in the United States.</p><p>While that&rsquo;s a major decline by any measure, American girls are still three times more likely to give birth than teens in other developed countries.&nbsp;Depending on where you fall on the political spectrum, you might attribute the difference to access to contraception or abstinence-only education.</p><p><a href="http://new.wellesley.edu/economics/faculty/levinep" target="_blank">Phillip Levine</a>, an economist at Wellesley College, suggests a different reason: America&#39;s growing divide between rich and poor. &quot;If you grow up in a location where income inequality is high, and there&#39;s less mobility in that area, then maybe it&#39;s not as costly to you to have a birth at a young age,&quot; Levine said.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F54193386&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The U.S. has greater income inequality than places like Switzerland and the Netherlands, where teen birth rates are less than one percent. In a recent study, Levine and his coauthor found that poorer American women from states with high income inequality were also more likely to give birth during their teen years than their counterparts in states with lower wealth gaps.</p><p><a href="http://www.amyschalet.com/" target="_blank">Amy Schalet</a>, a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst who grew up in the Netherlands, compares American and Dutch attitudes about teen sexuality as one way of understanding the differences between teen births.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F54194514&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>In her <em>Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, And the Culture of Sex</em>, she contrasts American parents, who tend to worry about &quot;raging hormones,&quot; with the Dutch, who talk more openly about sex and love. It&#39;s not uncommon, for example, for&nbsp; Dutch parents to encourage their teenage children in committed relationships to spend the night with their partners.</p><p>While abstinence-only educational policies has gained popularity in the United States, Schalet says the Dutch have underscored personal readiness want want young people &quot;to behave respectfully towards each other and take each other into consideration.&quot;</p><p>In the 1960s, to address rising teen-pregnancy rates, the Netherlands made a concerted effort to emphasize openness and normalize sexuality. Addressing physical desire, one sex-ed textbook reads, &quot;Your whole body is full of places that want to be caressed, rubbed, licked and bitten softly.&quot;</p><p>The emphasis on openness extended beyond the classroom, and into health-care and public policy. &quot;The Dutch organization of family pysicians advocated strongly in favor of making the pill available to unmarried women, including teens,&quot; she said. &quot;The Dutch government included the pill in the general insurance; there were a variety of things that were done to reduce what we call the barriers to use of contraception.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>While teen births rose in the United States up until the 1990s, in the Netherlands rates dropped precipitously beginning in the 1970s and are currently among the lowest in the world.</p></p> Thu, 26 Jul 2012 11:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/american-teen-births-historic-low-still-higher-developed-world-101212 Gang mediators take on domestic violence http://www.wbez.org/story/advocate/gang-mediators-take-domestic-violence <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Kerr_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A Chicago-based group called CeaseFire works in the city&rsquo;s toughest neighborhoods. It trains former gang members to mediate conflicts that could turn violent. Those conflicts might be over turf or money, a pecking order or a personality clash. Now CeaseFire is addressing another source of gang tension: wives and girlfriends. But some advocates for battered women worry that mixing gang intervention with domestic-violence work could backfire.</p><p>MITCHELL (at the scene): I&rsquo;m at the offices of a Humboldt Park group called the Alliance of Local Service Organizations. It runs a CeaseFire chapter and they&rsquo;re letting me listen in to a debriefing about a shooting this month.<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Could there be retaliation to this incident?<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: There could have been, very likely, but since we talked them down and...<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Because somebody went around on a graffiti rampage, right?<br />MITCHELL (at the scene): I&rsquo;ve agreed not to identify the CeaseFire workers or anyone involved in the conflict.<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: The victim was in a relationship?<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: He&rsquo;s in a relationship. He was having another relationship outside the relationship....<br /><br />MITCHELL (in the bureau): Here&rsquo;s the gist of the story&mdash;all of it alleged. A gang member got a teenager pregnant and started slapping her around. This didn&rsquo;t sit well with her family. And, the thing is, her family&rsquo;s in a different gang. So someone in that mob tracked down the man and shot him.<br /><br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Did the victim die?<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: No.<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Did the victim know the perp?<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: Yes.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Violence involving gangs and girlfriends is nothing new in Chicago. But it&rsquo;s only lately that CeaseFire&rsquo;s Humboldt Park chapter responds this way:<br /><br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: OK, so a domestic-violence advocate has been notified and is working with the related parties around safety planning. We don&rsquo;t know if that has taken place, right?<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: No.<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Because we gave her the card but...<br />CEASEFIRE WORKER B: It&rsquo;s on her if she wants to go get the help. We can&rsquo;t force her to do anything.<br />KERR: And there are other services that we&rsquo;ve connected with as well so...<br /><br />MITCHELL: This last guy is Norman Kerr. He&rsquo;s a social worker who oversees the CeaseFire chapter. Kerr speaks with me after the meeting.<br /><br />KERR: A year ago, we didn&rsquo;t really concern ourselves with needs of the victim in a domestic-violence case. If there was a young lady who was victimized by her boyfriend, that really wasn&rsquo;t something that we addressed.<br /><br />MITCHELL: So Kerr and some former gang members he supervises got some training from the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women&rsquo;s Network. And the CeaseFire chapter has developed an approach to what it calls &ldquo;intimate-partner violence.&rdquo;<br /><br />KERR: If we know someone is victimized, we want to make sure that they&rsquo;re getting the help that they need. And, at the same time, we&rsquo;re sitting here talking about how we can educate the young guys that they shouldn&rsquo;t be perpetrating domestic violence.<br /><br />SHAW: That&rsquo;s a dream come true.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Barbara Shaw heads a state agency called the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority.<br /><br />SHAW: Men sometimes feel that they have a right to hit their girlfriends or hit their wives&mdash;that they&rsquo;re supposed to maintain control. And having other men, particularly men who have a macho image themselves, telling them that this is not OK and not manly increases the validity and strength of the message.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Shaw says gang interventionists with roots in the neighborhood have much more access to perpetrators than victim advocates do. That&rsquo;s actually the idea behind expanding the program. Starting next month, the Humboldt Park chapter will train CeaseFire street workers citywide about intimate-partner violence.&nbsp; But some battered-women&rsquo;s advocates warn that CeaseFire could be putting those workers in greater danger.<br /><br />ABARCA: The offender may try to send other people after him or may teach him a lesson for getting into his business.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Rosa Abarca heads the domestic-violence program at Mujeres Latinas en Acción. That&rsquo;s a women&rsquo;s center in Chicago&rsquo;s Pilsen neighborhood. Abarca says a perp. might mistake what a CeaseFire worker&rsquo;s up to.<br /><br />ABARCA: He may feel like this is a boyfriend that&rsquo;s trying to help her out. And that can escalate the abuse for her because he&rsquo;s probably thinking that, &quot;She&rsquo;s being unfaithful. I need to control her more.&quot;<br /><br />MITCHELL: And Abarca points out some victims may not be ready for help.<br /><br />AMBI: Debriefing.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Back in Humboldt Park, the CeaseFire workers are still talking about the shooting.<br /><br />CEASEFIRE WORKER A: Let me ask you this: What happens if she does end up getting slapped again tomorrow?<br /><br />MITCHELL: I ask the group&rsquo;s leader, Norman Kerr, whether Abarca has got a point.&nbsp; Maybe a CeaseFire worker could make a domestic dispute worse. Maybe he could spark more violence.<br /><br />KERR: We&rsquo;re not trying to work directly with female victims. We&rsquo;re making referrals. We&rsquo;re making sure that the female victims in those situations are getting some services.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Kerr wants his crew to be careful. But since so many gang disputes involve girlfriends and wives, he says, CeaseFire has no choice but to get involved.</p><p><em>Music Button: Calibro 35, &quot;Appuntamento Al Contessa&quot;, from the CD Rare, (Nublu) </em></p></p> Mon, 24 Jan 2011 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/advocate/gang-mediators-take-domestic-violence