the program has successfully cut teen pregnancy by 40 percent in the communities it serves. And for a country that spends at least $9.4 billion a year on costs associated with teen pregnancy, that’s a big deal.
.. In the last 25 years, the national teen birth rate has fallen by 61 percent, but it varies widely by class and race.The teen birth rateamong black and Hispanic teens, for example, was more than twice that of white teens in 2014. Public health experts often talk about teen pregnancy as a shorthand for poverty.
.. “I was talking to them about sexuality and sexual expression and decision making and acquiring services. And they were walking in with earaches, headaches, toothaches, asthma, obesity, mental health problems, family fragmentation, abuse, neglect,”
.. The key insight behind the program is that it’s not enough to give kids the devices that prevent pregnancy; they must also have a stake in the future, a compelling alternative to getting pregnant.
.. while the program has a significant effect on female participants, it had no measurable effect on decreasing the likelihood that a male participant would cause a pregnancy or father a child.
.. The cost per child is $3,200 in the first year for an incoming 6th grade class of 100 students, and Carrera puts the cost at $2,400 to $2,600 per child when the program is at scale in a particular school.
.. “I would say to critics that this is where money is best spent,” Leonard Goldberg, .. told me. .. He cited the money that must be spent at the other end of pregnancy, to fund the foster care system, the prisons and jails and the emergency rooms that spring up when young people have children but no opportunities.