The Amarillo Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition held a meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss the issue of teen pregnancy in the area. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five teen births is a repeat birth.
According to the Department of State Health Services, in 2010 129 teens in Potter County and 43 teens in Randall County became pregnant. The rate in Potter County declined 43% since reaching a record high in 1998 and in Randall County it has declined 53%.
"The rates have gone down but we have a lot more work to do," said Amarillo Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition Chair, Myrna Raffkind. "We know that it's putting effort in the area does help so we are kind of just more and more committed to doing whatever we can to reduce the rates."
More than 18 percent of all babies born to teens in the United States are baby number two or three.
Raffkind thinks poverty is a factor as to why teen pregnancy is an issue.
"Girls lose their hopes and dreams about going to school," said Raffkind. "They become pregnant and then we have a high rate of repeat pregnancy so we still have a lot of work to do."
The meeting also talked about new tools to help raise awareness of teen pregnancy. Among the new tools was the empathy belly.
"It's something that a person can put on and it stimulates how they would feel during pregnancy," said member Jolie Pearson. "It's wonderful to use with teens."
The empathy belly has warm water in the belly, weights and puts pressure on the bladder.
For more information on the Amarillo Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition, visit Amarillo Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coaltion Website
For more information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, visit www.cdc.gov
For more information on the Texas Department of State Health Services, visit www.dshs.state.tx.us