One of our strategic priorities is to ensure that policies and advocates support adolescent and young adult sexual and reproductive health. Ultimately, we work toward our mission by ensuring that communities, people, and policies are working together to provide every young person with the information, access to healthcare, and family and community support they need to attain positive sexual health outcomes. Public policy - whether it's generated in Congress, at the North Carolina General Assembly, or as an administrative policy in a youth-serving organization - plays a major role in a young person's ability to access critical information and services.
Our legislative advocacy focuses on three major issues:
- Education: Ensuring that schools and communities are equipped to provide effective, age-appropriate, medically accurate sex education that is comprehensive and follows public health best practices.
- Access to high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare: Making sure that young people and their families have access to high-quality adolescent-friendly reproductive health services. This includes ensuring that coverage is affordable and available, encouraging the promotion of public health best practices, ensuring that North Carolina's confidentiality and minor's consent laws align with public health and medical recommendations.
- Strengthening support programs for high-risk youth: Many youth face disproportionate sexual health risks, including young parents, LGBT youth, and youth in foster care and juvenile detention centers. Protecting North Carolina's state-funded Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program and Adolescent Parenting Program, which reduce unplanned pregnancies in vulnerable groups of youth.
In addition, we weigh in on any current legislative item that could directly impact young people's ability to be and stay sexually healthy.
If you have questions about a particular policy issue, please contact Elizabeth Finley.