RICHMOND (WRIC) - The teen pregnancy rate is at a ten year low and that includes a triple-digit drop between 2011 and 2012.
In 2003, there were more than 1,000 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 that were pregnant. In 2012 that number dropped below 500.
It's a downward trend the Richmond City Health District is proud of. That descending red line means a lot to them.
"This represents the lowest teen pregnancy rate in Richmond in decades," says Dr. Donald Stern, Director, Richmond City Health District.
The number of teen pregnancies in Richmond dropped to 497 in 2012 - a 40 percent drop in the last year and that drop outpaces both state and national rates.
"Youth are making wiser and healthier choices, both to delay sexual debut and in looking forward to other futures rather than being pregnant and trying to raise a child," Stern says.
Sex education helped this happen.
Health education specialist Gale Grant says the specialists try to convince kids that having a baby in your teens isn't a good idea.
"We break that down for them and help them understand really what does it mean to be a teen parent before they're a teen parent," she says.
And education isn't just for young women, it's for potential fathers, too.
"It takes two, you know?" Stern says. "We've recognized that fact and are trying to develop programming around young men to help them understand their responsibilities, and take greater responsibility for their sexual behavior and the children that they conceive."
Both Stern and Grant believe greater parent involvement can drop those numbers down even further.
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