This is a Tumblr is written by young mothers who believe there should not be any shame and stigma in being a young parent. This website offers inspiration and information. #NoTeenShame is also a good internet site for those looking to find resources on how to talk about young parents or those who work with or want to work with young parents.

This site offers a list of ways to be allies to young parents.

Click here to read the rest of the posts.


Characteristics of Parents of Sexually Healthy Adolescents (1995)

This is a list of characteristics that understanding parents have.

It lists:

  • respecting the young person
  • finding resources and educational materials to share with the young person.
  • seeking additional help when needed
  • talking about sexuality in an open manner with the young person
  • check in with young person about their life, dating life and partners

To read the entire list click here.

Accessing Abortion in Illinois: A guide for health care and social service providers

This resource guide was initially created in 2014 by the University of Chicago a program of family planning. The guide provides resources to improve access to abortion., but this section is especially helpful for “health and social service providers advise pregnant persons who may be seeking abortion care in Illinois.”

  • Under Illinois law, a pregnant person who is under age 18 (a minor) can consent to an abortion on her own and does not need parental consent (permission).
  • However, all 50 states have laws that allow minors to consent to certain reproductive health services on their own
  • As of August 15, 2013, Illinois state law requires health care providers to notify an adult family member (defined by the law as a parent, legal guardian, grandparent or resident step-parent who is over 21) at least 48 hours before providing abortion care to patient under age 18.
  • State mandatory reporting laws require health care professionals to breach confidentiality in order to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse
  • Illinois’ law requires reporting of child abuse and neglect by mandated reporters to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). DCFS investigates cases of child sexual abuse when the perpetrator is a family member, a person living in the home of the child, or a person in a position of of trust or authority (e.g., teacher, babysitter, volunteer in a youth program).

Click here to read more information by visiting the guide online.

Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing (2014)

This article contains data and statistics from 2013 from the Office of Adolescent Health.

Teen pregnancy has declined because youth are waiting longer to have sex and are using contraceptives. There are lower rates of pregnancy in the Northeast and higher rates in the South. This article has a link to reproductive health state fact sheets. There are higher rates of pregnancy among the working class and those that have not yet attained their college degree. There are lower rates of pregnancy among those that grow up with both parents until the age of 14.

  • In 2013 there was a 10% decrease in teenage pregnancy
  • Teenage pregnancy rates are higher in the south
  • Teenage pregnancy rates are low in the Northeast

Check out the article here.


Our Issues: Abortion Access

The 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision was a victory. Still not all women have access to an abortion. There are many hindrances that stand in the way of Latinas and other women of color including: language, class and immigration status. The Hyde Amendment passed in 1977 meaning that abortion was not covered for those with Medicaid. This affected many women of color and working class women.

  • Abortion access if you have Medicaid is limited.
  • Latina women have higher rates of abortion at 25% compared to white women at 18%

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) is the only national reproductive justice organization dedicated to building Latina power to advance health, dignity, and justice for the 26 million Latinas, their families, and communities in the United States through leadership development, community mobilization, policy advocacy, and strategic communications. Check out the article here.


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is a global organization dedicated to activism in sexual and reproductive health, specializing in women’s health. For over seven decades, EngenderHealth has been a positive force for improving the lives of men, women, and families with their impressive range of programming. According to their mission, EngenderHealth works to “promote gender equity, advocate for sound practices and policies, and inspire people to assert their rights to better, healthier lives” by partnering with local organizations in dozens of countries around the world.

The website is home to a wide array of resources published by EngenderHealth, including training curricula, clinical guidelines, instructional videos, brochures, papers, and articles, many of which are available for free download. These materials cover topics such as Family PlanningHIV, AIDS, and STIs, Maternal Health, and Gender Equity, among others. They have a variety of informational videos as well.

The Risk of Unintended Pregnancy Among Young Women with Mental Health Symptoms (2014)

Every year in the United States, an estimated 3.2 million unintended pregnancies occur and inadequate contraceptive use accounts for 90% of these unintended pregnancies.  A great volume of research has associated women’s mental health with risky contraceptive behaviors, sex behaviors and relationships.  Risky contraceptive behaviors include contraceptive nonuse, misuse, discontinuation, and less effective method use while risky sex behaviors include having sex under the influence of alcohol and drugs, intimate partner violence and non-consensual sex.  From a biological and cognitive framework, mental health symptoms have been found to affect women’s cognitive capabilities for decision-making, risk assessment and planning and have been found to distort their perceived susceptibility to an outcome like pregnancy.  Naturally, many researchers have wondered whether there was a direct link between mental health and unintended pregnancy.

Drs. Hall, Kusunoki, Gatny and Barber, researchers from the University of Michigan, wanted to know exactly whether depression and stress symptoms directly translate to an actual effect on women’s risk of unintended pregnancy.  They collected data from 992 young women ages 18-20 years old who reported a strong desire to avoid pregnancy.  The researchers conducted interviews and analyzed journal entries over one year.  They measured contraception use, relationships and pregnancy outcomes and looked at a variety of factors such as race/ethnicity, educational attainment, relationship status, religion, birth control usage and etc.

The researchers found that:

  • Women with baseline stress symptoms had a 1.6 times higher risk of becoming pregnant over one year than women without stress symptoms.
  • Women who had co-occurring stress and depression had 2 times the risk of pregnancy than women without symptoms.
  • The sole effect of depression on pregnancy risk remains unclear

This research study highlights the negative impact of mental health symptoms, especially stress and co-occurring depression and stress, on young women’s risk of unintended pregnancy over one year.  This is important, especially for healthcare providers, who may want to consider young adults’ mental health during discussions about choosing the best form of contraception.  This is also important for health educators who may want to educate young women about the importance of stress management and provide resources and/or referrals to young adults who are experiencing mental health symptoms.


Hall, K.S., Moreau, C., Trussell, J., Barber, J. Young women’s consistency of contraceptive use–does depression or stress matter? 2013. Contraception. 88:5. 641-649.

Link to “The Risk of Unintended Pregnancy Among Young Women with Mental Health Symptoms.”

Pregnancy and Childbirth Among Females Aged 10–19 Years – United States, 2007–2010 (2013)

This report is part of the Center of Disease Control Health Disparities and Inequalities Report (CHDIR) 2013.  It aims to highlight and raise awareness of differences in the characteristics of females aged <20 years who become pregnant and give birth and to prompt actions to reduce these disparities.

CDC examined 2007 and 2010 birth rate (live births, induced abortions, and fetal losses) data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) and comparable data for earlier years. Characteristics analyzed included four age groups (10–14, 15–19, 15–17, and 18–19 years), race, ethnicity, and state.  Household income and educational attainment were not analyzed.

  • Data showed little change in the proportion of males and females aged 15–19 years who have ever had sex
  • In 2010, the U.S. birth rate for females aged 15–19 years had decreased 45% since the 1991 peak
  • The pregnancy rate in 2008 for females aged 15–19 years was the lowest ever in the more than 3 decades
  • Birth rates for females aged 15–19 years tend to be highest in the South and Southwest and lowest in the Northeast and upper Midwest
  • Birth rate decreases ranged from 40% and 42% for non-Hispanic white and Hispanic females aged 18–19 years, to 47% to 56% for non-Hispanic black, America Indian/Alaska Native, and Asian/Pacific Islander females aged 18–19 years

3 tables are also available that show birth rates for females by age, race/ethnicity, and state.

Citation: Ventura, S.J., Hamilton, B.E., Mathews, T.J. Pregnancy and Childbirth Among Females Aged 10–19 Years – United States, 2007–2010. 2013. CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report- United States, 2013.   Supplement. Vol. 62. No. 3. 71-76.

Link to the Article

PDF of the Article

Abortion-Seeking Minors’ Views on the Illinois Parental Notification Law: A Qualitative Study (2012)

UPDATE: While the parental involvement law was not in place in Illinois at the time the research was performed, the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion is now in effect.  Under this act, health care providers must notify an adult family member 48 hours before performing an abortion for a patient under 18 years old.  There are now a total of 39 states in the U.S. that have parental involvement laws in effect.

Researchers interviewed 30 women ages 14 to 17 who were seeking abortion services in Chicago to learn their opinions about the parental involvement law.

  • Participants were very concerned that the parental involvement law could harm minors.
    • Most participants believed that it is their private decision to choose who to tell or don’t tell, that parents are not necessarily the people they trust the most and that they will lose control over their bodies.  (Kavanagh et al., 2012. p.161)
    • “Many participants expressed concern that […] some parents might […] force [them] to continue the pregnancy” (Kavanagh et al., 2012. p.162)
    • Many participants fear unsupportive parents will physically or emotionally abuse them, kick them out of the house or be disappointed  with them (Kavanagh et al., 2012. p.162)
    • Participants did mention some benefits of the parental involvement law
      • They would be able to gain outside support during this difficult decision
      • Their parents or guardians would know if complications arise from the procedure
      • It would maintain a sense of trust between the parent/guardian and daughter
      • All states that mandate parental involvement also allow a judicial bypass option but participants view this option as another barrier to abortion. (Kavanagh et al., 2012. p.164)

Read more about the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act here and here

Read more about Parental Involvement in Minors’ Abortions here

Citation: Kavanagh, E.K., Lee, A., Hasselbacher, B.B., Tristan, S. and Gilliam, M. (2012). Abortion-Seeking Minors’ Views on the Illinois Parental Notification Law: A Qualitative Study.  Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Vol.44., Issue 3.,159-166.

PDF of the Article

Youth Speak Out on Sex, Love and Teen Pregnancy

“Our Story, Our Words”, produced by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (NCPTUP), features foster-care involved young people’s views on love, sex, and pregnancy in their own words. Some interesting statistics from the the magazine include:

“Nearly 80 percent of teen mothers do not marry their baby’s father.  On average, these absent fathers pay only $800 a year in child support.” (p. 7)

“Three out of ten girls become pregnant at least by once by age 20.” (p. 7)

“41% of foster youth think the reason teen pregnancy is higher among foster youth is because they want to feel loved.” (p. 7)

Citation: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. (n.d.) Our Story, Our Words. Retrieved from http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/resources/pdf/pubs/OurStory_FINAL.pdf

Link to magazine.

California Core Competencies for Providers of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs/Services (2008)

The Core Competencies are intended for adult providers of adolescent sexual and reproductive health and serve as a foundation of professional capabilities that all providers should strive to possess in order to deliver effective, sensitive and appropriate sexual health care and services to adolescents.

The Core Competencies are divided into 5 major domains:

  1. Professional and Legal Role
  2. Adolescent Development
  3. Youth-centered Approach and Youth Culture
  4. Sexual and Reproductive Health
  5. Pregnancy-STIs-HIV

Information is provided that details what a provider should know and should be able to do for each domain.


Core Competencies Subcommittee of the Adolescent Sexual Health Work Group (ASHWH), California Core Competencies for Providers of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs/Services. 2008. Core Competencies.

Link to “California Core Competencies for Providers of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health.”

Howard Brown Health Center (Chicago, IL)

Image Source: http://www.howardbrown.org/hb_locations.asp

Howard Brown Health Center was founded in 1974 and is now one of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations.  Howard Brown Center is based in Chicago and serves men, women, infants, youth, and children through many health clinics and research centers.  For more information about Howard Brown Health Center’s history, click here.


“Howard Brown exists to eliminate the disparities in health care experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people through research, education and the provision of services that promote health and wellness.”

The Howard Brown Health Center provides many services including:

  • Walk-in Clinic
  • STD & HIV Rapid Testing
  • Transgender Health
  • HIV/STD Prevention & Services
  • Youth services
  • Elder services
  • Community initiatives
  • Alternative Insemination (AI) Program
  • Case Management
  • Counseling & Psychotherapy
  • Domestic Violence Support
  • Workshops & Support Groups

Howard Brown Health Center offers discounted health services to qualifying patients who are uninsured and have low income.  They also accept many insurance plans, in addition to Medicaid and Medicare.

For a list of locations, hours and specific services, click here.

For health related matters, please phone Howard Brown Health Center at 773-288-1600.  For urgent health issues, please call 911.

Connect with them via Facebook or Twitter.

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood, founded in 1916, is an organization that is committed to providing trusted health care, educating and informing the community, leading the reproductive health and rights movement, and advancing global health.

“Planned Parenthood believes in the fundamental right of each individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual’s income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence.”

The website provides up-to-date, clear, and medically accurate information about a variety of topics such as:

Planned Parenthood health centers also provide a variety of services such as:

  • Abortion
  • Birth Control
  • Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)
  • General Health Care
  • HIV Testing
  • LGBT Health Care
  • Men’s Health Care
  • Pregnancy Testing & Services
  • STD Testing, Treatment & Vaccines
  • Women’s Health Care

Click here to find your closest Planned Parenthood Health Clinic.

Connect with Planned Parenthood via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Youtube.

Young Parents and Education (2006)


Illinois Caucus for Adulescent Heath (ICAH) surveyed 120 pregnant and parenting youth to learn about school, self-esteem, discrimination, and their hopes for the future.

A large majority of those surveyed believe that it is important to finish high school, live in a safe place, and have medical coverage for their children and themselves. However, many respondents have faced challenges such as discrimination and even encouragement to leave school.  Nearly all report the need for significant support such as financial, emotional and childcare support in order to accomplish their goals.

Link to “Young Parents and Education (PDF)

U.S. Teenage Pregnancies, Births and Abortions: National and State Trends and Trends by Race and Ethnicity (2013)

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This report, compiled by Guttmacher Institute, contains the most recent statistics available (from 2008) on teenage pregnancy, birth, miscarriages and abortion.  It also details population trends and trends among states and information concerning different races and ethnicities.  The report is largely data, but has a lot of compelling key findings that are listed in the beginning of the report.

Some findings include:

  • New Mexico had the highest teenage pregnancy rate and New Hampshire, Vermont, Minnesota, North Dakota and Massachusetts had the lowest teenage pregnancy rates in 2008.
  • Teenage abortion rates was highest in New York in 2008.
  • New Jersey had the largest decrease in teen pregnancy rate between 2005-2008


Kost, K. and Henshaw, S. U.S. Teenage Pregnancies, Births and Abortions: National and State Trends and Trends by Race and Ethnicity (2013).

Link to “U.S. Teenage Pregnancies, Births and Abortions: National and State Trends and Trends by Race and Ethnicity.

The Teen Parenting Service Network (TPSN) (Illinois)

The Teen Parenting Service Network (TPSN) works exclusively with pregnant and parenting youth in Illinois Department of Children and Family Services care throughout Illinois. The Teen Parenting Service Network provides an array of service to youth in care and can link youths to professionals who can assist with case management, education, parenting classes and support groups.

In addition to providing resources for pregnant and parenting youth, the website also provides resources and information about education, money & job search, housing, life skills, healthy living, and the legal system.

Click here to go to the Teen Parenting Service Network website

By the Numbers: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing (2006)

This article, compiled by Dr. Saul Hoffman and reviewed by the National Campaign’s Effective Programs and Research Task Force, discusses the public sector costs of teen pregnancy affecting the federal, state and local governments and tax payers.

The report is divided into the following sections:

  • Context: Teen Births in the United States
  • The Cost of a Teen Birth: What the Study Measures and How
  • Costs of Teen Childbearing:  Consequences for the Children
  • Costs of Teen Childbearing:  Consequences for the Parents
  • Conclusions: Public Sector Costs of Teen Births

Some of the key findings in the article that are of interest:

  • Between 1991 and 2004 there were 6,776,230 births to teens in the United States.
    The estimated cumulative public costs of teen childbearing during this time period is
    $161 billion USD.
  • The steady decline in the teen birth rate between 1991 and 2004 has already yielded substantial cost savings. As noted above, the national teen birth rate declined by one-third
    between 1991 and 2004. This progress in reducing teen childbearing saved taxpayers an
    estimated $6.7 billion in 2004 alone.
  • Because not all costs can be measured, and because the estimates themselves are constructed conservatively, it is certain that the full public sector costs of teen childbearing
    are larger than those noted in this analysis

Click for a link to the “Public Costs of Teen Childbearing in ILLINOIS” (PDF)


Hoffman, S. By the Numbers: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing (2006)

Link to “By the Numbers: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing.” (PDF)

The Odyssey Years: Preventing Teen Pregnancy Among Older Teens (2010)


Despite a 39 percent decrease in the teen pregnancy rate and a one-third reduction in the teen birth rate since the early 1990s, recent data suggest that prog- ress has stalled. Between 2005 and 2006 both the teen pregnancy and teen birth rate increased for the first time since the early 1990s [1, 2]. Teen birth rates continued to increase in 2007 (data on teen pregnancy rates are not available beyond 2006) before declining slightly in 2008. Teen birth and pregnancy rates in the United States remain among the highest of all indus- trialized countries and it remains the case that three in 10 girls in the United States get pregnant by age 20. These trends are worrisome because the majority of teen pregnancies in this country are unplanned, are to unmarried mothers, and are associated with serious hardship for both child and parent.

Older teens (ages 18–19) account for the vast majority of teen pregnancies and births, and their trends have been more discouraging than for younger teens overall. Compared to their younger peers, older teens experienced smaller declines in teen pregnancy and birth rates through 2005, and recent increases in their teen birth rates are larger. Yet, few efforts have addressed teen pregnancy pre- vention specifically among this age group. This lack of attention may be due to the challenges reaching this group, lack of political and/or community will to address pregnancy prevention among this age group, and limited evidence of effective programs for teens in this age group.