REPORT: Putting Teens At Risk: A Report on Abstinence-Only Programs in North Carolina

ARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Foundation

Young people need and deserve complete, accurate, and culturally and age-appropriate
information about their reproductive health, including abstinence, pregnancy prevention,
and sexually transmitted disease (STD) and HIV/AIDS prevention. Sexuality education
in public schools is one way to impart important information and skills for students to
delay sexual intercourse and to use safer sexual methods when they do not choose to
abstain. In North Carolina, this is particularly crucial due to the following alarming
statistics:

• NC has the ninth highest teen pregnancy rate in the US.
• In FY 2001-2002, teen pregnancy cost NC over one billion dollars.
• As of 2000, NC had the highest birth rate in the nation for Latinas ages 15-19.
• NC has the 7th highest rate of gonorrhea infection and the 18th highest rate of
chlamydia infection in the US.
• Nearly half of all new STDs, including HIV occur in youth between 15-24 years of
age.

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