It’s always nice to report on the successes when covering a sensitive topic like teen pregnancy and parenting.
The reality, though, is that teen parents and parents-to-be face a variety of serious challenges. A 2010 study by the nonprofit Child Trends found that only 51 percent of women who give birth at 19 or younger attain a high school diploma by the time they turn 22. The diploma-attainment rate for women who do not have children by age 19 is 89 percent.
In any given year, as many as 140 of Stockton Unified’s 37,000 students are raising children of their own, according to district officials. Statewide, the Public Health Institute reports that nearly 52,000 teens — almost 4 percent of all female teens ages 15 to 19 — gave birth in California in 2008 and many more became pregnant.
Yesterday, an updated “California Pregnant and Parenting Youth Guide” arrived in the mail. The guide was produced by the National Parntership for Women & Families and Planned Parenthood of Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley with support from the WebMD Health Foundation and The California Endowment.