DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In Dallas a baby is born to a teen mom every three hours.
City leaders reported Wednesday, in Dallas County hospitals spend about $100,000,000 a year on teen births, only about half of all teen moms earn a high school diploma and just 2 percent receive a college degree by 30. Often times, they live in poverty.
A local nonprofit is not only bringing attention to this, but also partnering with Dallas city leaders to do something about it.
North Texas Alliance to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy in Teens – or Ntarupt – believes teen pregnancy can be prevented through awareness. They’ve partnered with the Dallas mayor and mayor pro-tem to launch their “Talk About It Dallas” campaign. They’ve created a website that will offer tips on how to start a conversation, information on birth control and a lot of other resources for reducing teen pregnancies. They also plan to promote the campaign on social media.
“This bold new initiative has a goal to reduce teen birth rate by 50 percent in the most afflicted areas by 2022,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said.
“We need to make sure that were responding with facts and information that will help them succeed in living a healthy, productive life,” Ntarupt Director of Programs Veronica Whitehead said.
Young mother Marianna Munoz believes campaigns like this are important.
“Take every opportunity to be safe that you can because once the deal is done – it’s done there’s nothing you can do about it,” she said.
At 17, Munoz found out she was pregnant. She hid it for five months, worried about what her teachers, peers and parents who promoted abstinence would think.
“I was like is my life over? Am I going to graduate?” Munoz said.
Munoz graduated high school on time and is now enrolled in college, working full time and raising her son.
“I’m doing everything that my peers have done but way slower,” said Munoz.
She loves her son and couldn’t imagine life without him, but said the responsibility of raising a child is something no teen should take on.