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“That Baby’s Dead, Honey” (9/16) covers a tragedy: the loss of a child due to neglect. Another tragedy that the article did not cover is the high rate of teen pregnancy in D.C. Though the teen-pregnancy rate has been declining, Washington still has one of the highest in the nation; according to the D.C. Department of Health, State Center for Health Statistics Administration, the most current (2002) teen-pregnancy rate is 101.8 per 1,000 girls aged 15 to 19.
The article addresses multiple places and systems that failed the teen mother and, ultimately, her son. As a city and community, we have failed as well. Research states that teen pregnancy is less likely when boys and girls, regardless of income or race, (a) connect to the families, schools, and neighborhoods in positive, meaningful ways; (b) have safe places to spend time with adult supervision and interesting things to do; (c) get comprehensive, teen-friendly health care; (d) make a clear plan to prevent teen pregnancy; and (e) experience success in school from an early age.
When we look at this tragedy, Kimberly Price did not have the support she needed. As a city, we need to make sure every teen has the resources and skills to prevent teen pregnancy in the first place.
D.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy