Mississippi has too many young girls getting pregnant. As we have editorialized before this is something that needs to change. Yes, the teen pregnancy rate is decreasing in our state, but Mississippi still has the highest percentage of births to teens in the country. And it's not only changing our youngster's lives, but costing us all money, and taking tax dollars away from much needed programs like education and public safety.
Statistics show in 2009 teen pregnancies in our state cost taxpayers $155 million. Teen births in Jackson County accounted for almost $6 million of that, Harrison County almost $8 million and Hancock County more than $1.6 million.
Just last month we applauded Governor Phil Bryant for setting into motion the Healthy Teens For A Better Mississippi to try and tackle the teen pregnancy problem. But another part of the equation is community involvement.
We need more programs like next weekend's 'Saving Our Sisters' at the Coast Coliseum. Saving Our Sisters offers girls and women a chance to talk heart-to-heart, hear and learn about not only abstinence, but also about everything they need to know to protect themselves. And as we've said each year at this time, isn't that what we want to ultimately do, protect our children.
That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to email@example.com, or post your comments below.
WLOX-TV General Manager
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