Why the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program is important for Massachusetts.

Despite national and statewide declines in teen birth rates, we continue to see high rates of teen pregnancies and birth rates in several communities throughout Massachusetts including Lawrence, Lynn, and Haverhill.

Here at the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy we are grateful to be the recipients of the Office of Adolescent Health’s federal funding from the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPP), which funds our Partners in Lawrence Youth (PLY) Program.

Partners in Lawrence Youth is a collaborative, community-based program that uses a holistic approach to prevent teen age pregnancy and promote sexual and reproductive health among Lawrence Youth

Partners in Lawrence Youth Program (PLY):

  • Works to reduce sexually transmitted disease rates
  • Works to address racial, economic, and health disparities that contribute to teenage pregnancy, and impact the wellness of youth and young families
  • Promotes healthy youth development that engages LGBTQ youth and young people of all genders

To date, Partners for Lawrence Youth (PLY) has provided trainings to hundreds of students through our Making Proud Choices sexual health curriculum that provides medically accurate and age appropriate education in schools and afterschool programs.

We have consistently received feedback that our efforts have connected more youth to health clinics that are culturally and linguistically competent, and where they are able to receive STI testing and treatment, as well as accurate, non-stigmatized information on all aspects of their reproductive healthcare.


I’ve read that teenage pregnancies rates are declining. Why this program, and why Lawrence?

Although we have seen a national and statewide decline due to safe access to contraception, we continue to see high rates of teen pregnancies and birth rates in several communities throughout Massachusetts. Lawrence has the fourth-highest rate in Massachusetts at 32.4 births per 1,000 teenage girls. So while the Alliance seeks to prevent teen pregnancy across the Commonwealth, we have strategically focused our efforts on those communities with the highest rates. The Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program is characterized by high quality implementation, evaluation, innovation, and learning from results. Our interventions are holistic, focusing on high need communities marked by high poverty rates, low educational attainment, high unemployment, and economic disparities, all which contribute to high teen birth rates. In short, the Partners in Lawrence Youth (PLY) Program funded by the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program focus in areas where there is the greatest need and potential for significant impact.


TPP has bipartisan support

The Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program has been recognized for creating evidenced-based programs and policy making, and has received bipartisan support. New polling shows broad bipartisan support for these programs — 85% of adults, including 75% of Republicans and 89% of Democrats favor maintaining funding for the TPP Program.

New polling shows broad bipartisan support for these programs — 85% of adults, including 75% of Republicans and 89% of Democrats favor maintaining funding for the TPP Program.

A modest investment for significant taxpayer savings:

According to a 2014 study, teen childbearing costs our state $154 million in 2010. The teen birth rate in Massachusetts declined 54% between 1991 and 2010. The progress Massachusetts has made in reducing teen childbearing saved taxpayers an estimated $268 million in 2010 alone compared to the costs they would have incurred had the rates not fallen. The TPP Program represents a modest, but highly strategic investment by the federal government to address the nation’s high rates of teen pregnancy among the most high need communities.

The TPP Program represents a modest, but highly strategic investment by the federal government to address the nation’s high rates of teen pregnancy among the most high need communities.

If you are interested in learning more about our work in Lawrence and throughout Massachusetts, please contact ncastillo@massteenpregnancy.org

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