Teen pregnancy prevention at college level

Mississippi colleges could soon be tasked with teaching some life lessons. A bill signed into law by the governor this year targets pregnancy prevention at a college level.

Kell Smith with the Community College Board says a committee has already started brainstorming ideas.

"Hopefully increase resources for health clinics on our community colleges and universities," said Smith. "Maybe including some of this information into the curriculum. And increase counseling for students. We feel like if we can get some resources for those three areas, that's a good starting point."

If you're wondering whether college is too late to get out the message, look at the numbers.
In 2012, 18 to 19 year olds accounted for nearly 70 percent of the teen pregnancies in Mississippi. Higher education leaders are also looking to cut down on women having to stop short of a degree.

"When a child is in the equation, it adds the juggling aspect of it," explained Smith. "And it makes it so much more difficult for some folks to be able to move themselves through a post-secondary institution."

That leaves the women with more limited options for employment. The committee wants to promote better choices.

"That'll benefit the individual, it'll benefit our state because these folks will be able to have high paying jobs and will be able to pay taxes into our state's economy," described Smith.

The committee's report is due to the legislature by November 3rd.

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