A reduction in teen pregnancy and subsequent reduction in teen births correlates to myriad improvements in personal (e.g., high school completion, experience of abuse and neglect, etc); social (e.g., number of children in single parent families, life-long poverty, incarceration rates, etc); and economic (e.g., Medicaid costs, decreased tax revenue, etc) outcomes. In 2005, over 73,000 teen girls in Texas age 15-19 became pregnant, a number significantly higher than any other state. Given the severity of the issue the formation of a statewide organization in Texas devoted to addressing the prevention of teen pregnancy is long overdue. The challenge of reducing teen pregnancy is daunting yet there is momentum and a cadre of committed individuals who have formally put together an organization to provide guidance, oversight and a statewide voice of leadership - all things needed to be successful reducing teen pregnancy in Texas. This commentary provides reactions to proposed strategies and to-date lessons learned.
Mr. Alton has been involved in adolescent reproductive health in a variety of capacities and settings for over a decade. Currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, his leadership and management have resulted in significant growth in the scope and reach of the organization. Recognized as a state and national leader on the issue of adolescent sexual health, his involvement at the national level includes membership on the Board of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Mr. Alton is a Certified Health Education Specialist who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion from Coastal Carolina University and a Master of Science in Public Health from the USC Arnold School of Public Health – where he was named a distinguished alumnus in 2011. He is also a member of the distinguished Liberty Fellowship, part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Alton, Forrest L.
"The Challenge of Preventing Teen Pregnancy in Texas,"
Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk: Vol. 2
, Article 13.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/childrenatrisk/vol2/iss2/13