The following is a letter that Omar submitted to the Daily News in response to an editorial they published about the high rates of teen pregnancy in the Bronx.
A new study reports that teens in the Bronx have high pregnancy and STI rates, even though they have the same amount of sex as teens across the city and throughout the country. Yet, somehow, the Daily News editorial, “Astronomical Bronx teen pregnancy rate” (11/18/11) blames us. This editorial jumps to conclusions too quickly about teens from the Bronx. As a teen from the Bronx who is involved in a peer sexuality education for NARAL NY, the Teen Outreach Reproductive CHallenge (TORCH), I know that many teens act responsibly, or try to, but might lack knowledge of where to get condoms confidentially or for free. The study actually showed that teens in the Bronx are more likely than other teens across the country to use condoms. There’s more going on here than just teens having too much sex – it’s lack of money, knowledge, and access to protection. Instead of trying to use the scare tactics to make us not have sex, we need programs in schools to educate teens, after-school programs, health care clinics, and more positive messages from the media.
For more information about the study mentioned in the article, go here.