Teen pregnancy rates remain high in Texas

Michelle Green
Michelle Green
Danielle Lewis
Danielle Lewis
Danielle's son, Markell
Danielle's son, Markell

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – The life of a teenager can be hectic balancing school and a social life. Try adding a baby to the mix.

It's not that uncommon -- every ten minutes, a Texas teen becomes pregnant.

A new study shows teen birth rates are the highest in southern states.

Danielle Lewis, 19, planned to join the Air Force after high school.

Her dream came crashing down two months before graduation, when Danielle learned she was pregnant.

"I was just shocked. I was just lost. I didn't know what I was going to do," said Lewis.

Danielle's life changed dramatically.

The single mom has learned to live selflessly.

"I was out having fun. It was all about me and now it's all about him," said Lewis.

Through the Buckner family place, she's able to live affordably, go to college, and raise her son.

"I'm learning to take care of him by myself and be an independent, be a better woman, be more mature."

Danielle is not alone.

According to new statistics from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, as many as one in seventeen babies born in the south are born to teenage moms.

Planned Parenthood clinic director Michelle Green says the state's high teen birth rates stem from a lack of education.

"We fail our teens because we don't provide them with all the comprehensive sex education. Most of the schools provide abstinence only education," said Green.

She says statistics prove it's not enough.

"We just say to teens, do not be sexually active, just say no, but we don't take the time to sit down with them," she said.

Encouraging parents and teens to have open communication can also make a difference.

"Sometimes they just fall into that cycle that they don't have anyone to turn to," said Green.

From one teen to others, Danielle offers this advice.

"You've got to give up some stuff. Just don't move to fast. Focus on your dreams and goals first."

A tough lesson she learned the hard way.

Planned Parenthood offers both counseling for teens and parents, encouraging honest communication.

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