The Boston Herald’s Jessica Van Sack wrote: Teens are going to download [the app] and they’re going to laugh about it with their friends. The trick, experts say, is how adults respond.
“Let’s make sure this isn’t the only message kids get about teen pregnancy,” said Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy. “We’ve got some work to do. We don’t get to make sure nobody sees that app. But we can encourage parents to use it as an opportunity to talk about sexual health and risks. They (teens) need our help to think more deeply about it.”
The Boston Globe’s continuing coverage of the Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to deny over-the-counter status for emergency contraception cites the Alliance:
But overturning an FDA ruling on the basis of extreme scenarios involving very young adolescents ignores the good that broader availability of a demonstrably safe drug would do. For instance, making Plan B more accessible would likely reduce abortion rates - particularly among young girls. A recent study from the Guttmacher Institute found that teens are more likely than older women to get second-trimester abortions. And Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy, points out that the minors most likely to use Plan B know they don’t want to have babies, and would likely seek an end to any pregnancy.
Following Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius’s decision to overrule the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to lift age restrictions on the over-the-counter availability of emergency contraception, The Boston Globe interviewed Alliance Executive Director Patricia Quinn:
It almost seems cruel to limit access to emergency contraception to young people since this is a tool to help them prevent pregnancy,’’ said Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy. “It’s hard to imagine, as with other decisions regarding adolescent sexual health, that politics wasn’t attached to it.’’
The first year was mostly a planning year. However, approximately 18 local agencies participating in the program are sold on the mission that it is “really about changing the landscape for youth sexual health in the Holyoke-Springfield area,” [Patricia Quinn] said.
“I don’t think I have ever been more hopeful about the community capacity to move teen pregnancy prevention in the right direction,” Quinn said.
Holyoke was ranked the highest in the state in teen birth rates for the fifth consecutive year in 2009 even though the number of teen births declined. Springfield was ranked fourth highest in the state.
The second year will focus in part on creating “a very aggressive and effective message campaigns developed in partnership with all the organizations, parents and community groups,” Quinn said.
Along with Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley and representatives from Children’s Hospital and the Department of Public Health, staff members from the Alliance were featured on a Parent/Child Relationships segment on WCVBTV. All three segments of the series are on The Boston Channel (the Alliance is featured in Segment 2).
The Alliance’s Director, Patricia Quinn, and Training and Technical Assistance Manager, Consuela Greene, visited WGBY Springfield to discuss the teen pregnancy rates in Holyoke, Springfield, Pittsfield, Lowell, and other parts of Western Massachusetts.
The Berkshire Eagle covered the youth summit hosted by Berkshire United Way, North Berkshire Community Coalition, and the Berkshire Youth Development Project. The teen birth rate was a topic of discussion at the summit, and the Alliance’s birth data was cited in the article.
Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy, said communities need to focus on three things to bring teen pregnancy rates down; comprehensive sexual education, access to contraceptives, “and third is motivation.” Over the past year, the Berkshire United Way has been working with the alliance towards the development of an action plan to address teen pregnancy in the county. Kris Hazzard, president and CEO of Berkshire United Way, said the county needs improvement in all three areas mentioned by Quinn.
The Berkshire Country have some of the more consistently high teen birth rates in Massachusetts. Together with Berkshire United Way, the Alliance is working to change that; our joint work was covered in The Berkshire Eagle:
Consuela Green of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy presented the Berkshire County survey findings, which include the fact that children need parents and adults they can feel comfortable talking to about sex.
“Not just the one talk,” Greene said. “It needs to be an ongoing conversation.”
After news that young mother Bristol Palin had received a $262,000 salary as spokesperson for The Candie’s Foundation, Patricia Quinn was interviewed by The Boston Herald:
What would have been more effective is if she would have been a spokesperson for the needs of pregnant and parenting teens,” said Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy. “She’s very successful, yes, but it would have been good for her to talk to teen moms about what kind of resources it took to make that possible.”
According to Quinn, that $262,000 is about the same amount of money her organization got from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a few years ago to educate schools, health-care providers and community outreach programs about teen pregnancy prevention, reaching 8,000 teens each year.