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Teen pregnancy hits the campaign trail

Boston, MA - News that the 17-year-old daughter of Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant will be used in every conceivable argument about teens and sex in America, much like the Gloucester teen pregnancy pact story. The Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy (Alliance) hopes instead that the underlying question of "WHY?" in both stories, and the complex and lengthy list of answers, will not be ignored.

"The announcement of one young woman's high-profile pregnancy only highlights the complex individual, family, community, and societal factors that impact young people in their efforts to make healthy decisions about relationships, sex and parenting," says Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Alliance. "Until we understand and accept sexual development as a normal part of adolescent development, until we acknowledge the connection between teen pregnancy and opportunity, until we stop blaming parents, and start embracing the role every one of us can play in supporting young people, we will continue to struggle and confront the challenges early pregnancy and parenthood present to our country."

"The story also highlights that adults do not decide for teens when they have sex or when they become parents. We can ensure that young people understand our values and expectations, and that they have the information and support they need to be intentional about sexual choices," adds Quinn The Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy is a non-partisan coalition working to promote responsible public policies that impact adolescent sexual health, teen parents, and teen pregnancy prevention and that recognize the needs and capabilities of young people to make responsible decisions about relationships, sex, parenting, and life.