Remove the Stigma in Teen Pregnancy Prevention Campaigns
At the start of National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) calls on lawmakers to address education and health care obstacles for teens and create a holistic approach to Latina sexual health. Today, NLIRH released “Removing Stigma: Towards a Complete Understanding of Young Latinas’ Sexual Health,” an up-to-date research analysis of young Latinas sexual health and the impact of current policies including health care reform.
“Traditional teen pregnancy prevention campaigns that rely on stigma and shame simply don’t work. Latinas and their families need health resources that recognize their unique experiences,” states Silvia Henriquez, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.
Latina teens have the same level of sexual activity as white teens, yet have a much higher teen birth rate. Many programs continue to rely on stigma and myth rather than a holistic approach that appreciate Latina teen realities.
Lack of health insurance, limited sexuality education in schools, and differential health care rights for immigrants and non- immigrants all contribute to young Latinas’ inability to access information and medical care to protect their health and futures. Of critical concern, Latina women have the second highest mortality rate from cervical cancer after black women.
Henriquez continues, “It’s time for politicians to get to the tough work of breaking down remaining structural barriers to health care and re-focus their efforts on giving young women the knowledge, access and power to plan their families in the ways that work best for them.”
The report is available for download here.