INDIANAPOLIS— On Monday, the Senate approved Senate Resolution 33, authored by Senator Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis), urging for a study on the societal impact of teenage pregnancy education.
Sen. Breaux said the current state of teenage pregnancy education in Indiana is failing to prevent unintended results as more than one in three Hoosier females become pregnant during their teenage years.
“We can no longer ignore the reality that Hoosier teenagers are engaging in sexual activities,” Sen. Breaux said. “And it’s clear the abstinence-only approach isn’t working. Our best course of action is to develop a program or educational approach to address this issue and that process starts with this resolution.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the teen birth rate in Indiana, births per 1,000 females, was at 34.8 percent in 2011, slightly higher than the national average of 31.3 percent. The study also found that 51 percent of Indiana teenagers in grades 9-12 were sexually active in 2011.
The resolution recommends the topic be assigned for study by the Legislative Council, which is a statutory council composed of 16 legislators and is responsible for coordinating and assisting with the many functions of the Indiana General Assembly.
Sen. Breaux said teen pregnancies limit the potential for mothers’ potential for social mobility and ability to become a top contributor to the state’s economy. Less than 2 percent of teenage mothers have earned a college degree by age 30 and 80 percent of all unmarried teenage mothers end up applying for government assistance.
The United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the world, spending more than $7 billion annually on costs associated with teen pregnancy.
The Senate passed the resolution by a voice vote and it now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
Breaux represents Indiana Senate District 34 which includes the near eastside of Indianapolis including portions of Center, Washington, Lawrence and Warren Townships. Breaux also served this interim and this interim on the Select Joint Commission on Medicaid Oversight and the Health Finance Commission. For more information on Breaux’s legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/S34.