Originally created 07/04/97

Offers ideas to reduce teen pregnancies

When I think of Melissa Drexler, it makes me sad (article, June 10). I wonder how we can prevent young girls from feeling so desperate? Preventing teen pregnancy requires on-going effort and here are some ideas:

First, talk with teens about the life they hope to create for themselves. Help them understand how life will be altered by an unplanned pregnancy.

Reach out to teens and let them know there are adults who care and are willing to listen. Help them have the self-confidence to say "No," or to say, "We need to use protection because I'm not ready to be a parent right now."

Advocate for responsible sex education in schools. Teens need access to honest, accurate, and age-appropriate information about preventing pregnancy, including skills to delay sexual activity and information about contraception.

Remember that 86 percent of teen-age pregnancies are unintended. Don't let that teen be yours.

Elizabeth Johnson, Augusta

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