Unwanted Pregnancies Targeted; Campaign Expands Goal

Article excerpt

Byline: Cheryl Wetzstein, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A national campaign that has worked to reduce teenage pregnancy rates is taking on an additional goal: reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies.

Reducing unplanned pregnancies among young adults, in addition to helping teens avoid pregnancy, will give young people more opportunities and control over their lives, said Sarah Brown, chief executive of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, which will now be known simply as the National Campaign.

The nation will benefit, she added, because "more children will grow up in intact, married families; there will be less poverty, lower public costs, a lighter burden on the taxpayer and less need for abortion."

The National Campaign started in 1996 with the goal of reducing the U.S. teen pregnancy rate by one-third.

Last year, the organization celebrated a 36 percent drop in the teen pregnancy rate, plus a 50 percent drop in the teen abortion rate. It also set a new goal of reducing teen pregnancy by one-third in 10 years.

After lengthy discussions, plus financial commitments from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and other funders, the campaign added "unwanted pregnancy" to its prevention goals, Mrs. Brown said yesterday at a press conference.

The National Campaign estimates that one in three pregnancies are "unwanted," said National Campaign President Isabel V. Sawhill, referring to data showing 1. …