State Health Department Launches New 'It's Up To Me' Teen Pregnancy Prevention Campaign

California Sees Continuing Decline in Teen Birth Rate



Apr 10, 2001, 01:00 ET from California Department of Health Services

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- California's latest campaign
 to reduce teen pregnancy by encouraging personal responsibility and positive
 and sensible choices by men and women was announced today by State Health
 Director Diana M. Bonta, R.N., Dr.P.H., who also announced a significant
 decline in teen births in the state since 1991.
     "Teen pregnancy crosses all ethnic, cultural and socio-economic lines and
 causes emotional, health and financial pressures for teen parents, their
 families and society as a whole," said Bonta.
     Overall, California has experienced a 31 percent reduction in the rate of
 births to teens 15 through 19 years of age since 1991.  In 1999, the state
 observed a significant decrease in births to teens 15 through 19 years of age
 among every major ethnic population, and in 40 of California's 58 counties.
 In 1999, births to teens 15 through 19 years of age declined to a rate of
 50.2 per thousand, 5.6 percent lower than in 1998 and nearly twice the
 decrease rate of the entire nation.  This means that nearly 1,600 fewer teens
 gave birth in California in 1999 than in 1998.
     "While we are pleased with the reduction in births to teenagers, we cannot
 become complacent," said Bonta.  "There were 57,614 births to teenage mothers
 in our state last year, which illustrates the challenge before us.  The new
 'It's Up To Me' campaign will help continue California's downward trend in
 births to teens."
     In addition to teen pregnancy prevention, the "It's Up To Me" campaign
 focuses on male responsibility in preventing unplanned pregnancies, provides
 information about clinical services available through the California
 Department of Health Services' (CDHS) Family PACT (Planning, Access, Care and
 Treatment) program, and advocates family involvement to help prevent teen
 pregnancy.
     Included in the new campaign are two English and two Spanish mall kiosk
 posters and three English radio ads that promote being sexually responsible
 and making positive choices, and encourage young people to postpone parenthood
 until they are financially and emotionally ready.  Also featured are three
 English and three Spanish billboards that focus on the role of men in
 preventing pregnancies and the importance of responsible fathers.
     The ads began appearing in malls and on billboards and airing on radio
 statewide on April 9.  They include new toll-free information and referral
 numbers (1-888-50-UP-TO-ME and 1-888-UNA-VIDA for Spanish-speaking audiences)
 for the campaign.
     During the last seven years CDHS has introduced a number of innovative
 strategies aimed at preventing teen pregnancy.  The "It's Up to Me" campaign
 consists of four components to promote awareness of teen pregnancy prevention:
 
     -- The teen responsibility component promotes abstinence and encourages
        responsible behavior for sexually active teens.  It is designed to
        encourage discussion among teens about preventing teen pregnancy and to
        initiate positive action.  Teens will be educated about the
        responsibility of parenthood and the long-term financial and emotional
        consequences of becoming a teen parent.
 
     -- The male responsibility component advises young men about their role in
        preventing pregnancy, the importance of making informed choices, being
        responsible for their actions and recognizing what it means to be a
        responsible father.
 
     -- Family planning and clinical services provided through the Family PACT
        program are targeted to low-income women and men who are at risk for
        unplanned pregnancy.  This component promotes improved reproductive
        health by increasing family planning education, raising awareness about
        Family PACT's no-cost services and referring individuals to local
        clinics.
 
     -- An adult involvement component provides parents and other adults with
        educational tools to communicate with teens about sex education and
        risky behaviors.
 
     The "It's Up to Me" campaign works with more than 600 community-based
 organizations statewide that are funded by the state, including Community
 Challenge Grant programs, the Male Involvement Program, Information and
 Education programs and California Mentor Initiative programs.  These
 organizations are instrumental in serving California communities with the
 highest teen pregnancy rates, providing direct outreach and medical services
 to targeted groups.
 
 

SOURCE California Department of Health Services
    SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- California's latest campaign
 to reduce teen pregnancy by encouraging personal responsibility and positive
 and sensible choices by men and women was announced today by State Health
 Director Diana M. Bonta, R.N., Dr.P.H., who also announced a significant
 decline in teen births in the state since 1991.
     "Teen pregnancy crosses all ethnic, cultural and socio-economic lines and
 causes emotional, health and financial pressures for teen parents, their
 families and society as a whole," said Bonta.
     Overall, California has experienced a 31 percent reduction in the rate of
 births to teens 15 through 19 years of age since 1991.  In 1999, the state
 observed a significant decrease in births to teens 15 through 19 years of age
 among every major ethnic population, and in 40 of California's 58 counties.
 In 1999, births to teens 15 through 19 years of age declined to a rate of
 50.2 per thousand, 5.6 percent lower than in 1998 and nearly twice the
 decrease rate of the entire nation.  This means that nearly 1,600 fewer teens
 gave birth in California in 1999 than in 1998.
     "While we are pleased with the reduction in births to teenagers, we cannot
 become complacent," said Bonta.  "There were 57,614 births to teenage mothers
 in our state last year, which illustrates the challenge before us.  The new
 'It's Up To Me' campaign will help continue California's downward trend in
 births to teens."
     In addition to teen pregnancy prevention, the "It's Up To Me" campaign
 focuses on male responsibility in preventing unplanned pregnancies, provides
 information about clinical services available through the California
 Department of Health Services' (CDHS) Family PACT (Planning, Access, Care and
 Treatment) program, and advocates family involvement to help prevent teen
 pregnancy.
     Included in the new campaign are two English and two Spanish mall kiosk
 posters and three English radio ads that promote being sexually responsible
 and making positive choices, and encourage young people to postpone parenthood
 until they are financially and emotionally ready.  Also featured are three
 English and three Spanish billboards that focus on the role of men in
 preventing pregnancies and the importance of responsible fathers.
     The ads began appearing in malls and on billboards and airing on radio
 statewide on April 9.  They include new toll-free information and referral
 numbers (1-888-50-UP-TO-ME and 1-888-UNA-VIDA for Spanish-speaking audiences)
 for the campaign.
     During the last seven years CDHS has introduced a number of innovative
 strategies aimed at preventing teen pregnancy.  The "It's Up to Me" campaign
 consists of four components to promote awareness of teen pregnancy prevention:
 
     -- The teen responsibility component promotes abstinence and encourages
        responsible behavior for sexually active teens.  It is designed to
        encourage discussion among teens about preventing teen pregnancy and to
        initiate positive action.  Teens will be educated about the
        responsibility of parenthood and the long-term financial and emotional
        consequences of becoming a teen parent.
 
     -- The male responsibility component advises young men about their role in
        preventing pregnancy, the importance of making informed choices, being
        responsible for their actions and recognizing what it means to be a
        responsible father.
 
     -- Family planning and clinical services provided through the Family PACT
        program are targeted to low-income women and men who are at risk for
        unplanned pregnancy.  This component promotes improved reproductive
        health by increasing family planning education, raising awareness about
        Family PACT's no-cost services and referring individuals to local
        clinics.
 
     -- An adult involvement component provides parents and other adults with
        educational tools to communicate with teens about sex education and
        risky behaviors.
 
     The "It's Up to Me" campaign works with more than 600 community-based
 organizations statewide that are funded by the state, including Community
 Challenge Grant programs, the Male Involvement Program, Information and
 Education programs and California Mentor Initiative programs.  These
 organizations are instrumental in serving California communities with the
 highest teen pregnancy rates, providing direct outreach and medical services
 to targeted groups.
 
 SOURCE  California Department of Health Services