We work to prevent pregnancy in all teenagers, including those who are 18 and 19 years old.
We recognize that 18 and 19 year olds are adults, and that many communities are more accepting of their pregnancies than they are of pregnancies in younger teens.
While there are many great young parents, teen pregnancy and childbearing have widely documented negative outcomes, including:
- Lower rates of high school and college graduation
- Less economic stability and greater reliance on public assistance
- Poorer outcomes for the children of teen parents, including lower educational attainment and higher rates of incarceration
The studies that measured these negative outcomes most often compare teenagers, including 18 and 19 years olds, to parents in their early 20s. In other words, the same poor outcomes people tend to associate with being 16 and pregnant are also true of someone who is 19 and pregnant.
In addition, nearly 70% of North Carolina teen pregnancies happen in 18 and 19 year olds. If we want to address teen pregnancy rates, we must address the needs of older teens.