Teen Pregnancy Reduced In Oklahoma County, Work Continues

Wednesday, October 2nd 2019, 6:35 pm
By: Caleigh Bourgeois

An Oklahoma County mission announced a major reduction in teen pregnancy rates Wednesday. 

Thrive is a sexual health collective for youth, founded as a mission in 2015 with the mission of teaching teens about their bodies and pregnancy prevention.

“Oklahoma has the third highest teen birth rate in the country, which means that we have one of the highest teen birth rates in the developed world,” CEO of Thrive Laura Lang said.

Thrive was created as a collaboration between public and private partners, to educate and work with youth.

The original goal was to reduce teen pregnancy in Oklahoma County by 30% by 2020.

Wednesday, it was announced Thrive is ahead of schedule and exceeded its goal.

“Over the last five years, it's declined 42% so, if we meet our goal in another five years, that's almost a 70% reduction over 10 years, which is really phenomenal,” Lang said.

One partner Thrive works with is Teen emPower.

Hardy Williams, a senior at Harding Fine Arts, works with Teen empower to educate other young people about abstinence, safe sex and healthy relationships.

“We want to be sure we teach our program without judgement, shame, blame our guilt,” Williams said.

However, the overall goal is far from accomplished for Thrive and all the partners under its umbrella including the OKC County Health Department, Planned Parenthood and OKCPS.

The new goal is to reduce the Oklahoma County teen pregnancy by 25% more by 2025.

“We know that our teens in Oklahoma deserve better. They deserve to have a healthy, thriving future,” Lang said.