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CDC: Kentucky has 4th-highest teen birthrate in U.S.

Tamarra Weider, the state director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, says a lack of comprehensive sex education and OB-GYNs are partly responsible for Kentucky's high teen birth rate.
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Tamarra Weider, the state director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, says a lack of comprehensive sex education and OB-GYNs are partly responsible for Kentucky's high teen birth rate.

Kentucky has the fourth-highest teenage birth rate in the U.S. That’s according to the latest figures from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which showed Kentucky’s teen birthrate 38 percent higher than the national average. Tamarra Wieder, the state director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, said what children don’t learn in school is part of the problem.

“We're not having conversations around comprehensive sex education, and empowering our youth to know that they can say no to sex, that they can empower them to talk to their providers around birth control.”

Wieder said another reason for the high teen birthrate is a lack of proper medical care in much of the state.

“73 of our counties do not have practicing OB-GYNs. So when you're already not having the these conversations in the classroom, and then you don't have access to providers, this is a huge problem for the Commonwealth.”

Wieder said surveys show 83 percent of Kentuckians support comprehensive sex education supported by science and legitimate groups like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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