Bill Seeks to Address Mississippi Teen Pregnancy

Bill Seeks to Address Mississippi Teen Pregnancy

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Mississippi lawmakers could require community colleges and public universities to study ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies among unmarried 18- and 19-year-olds.

Senate Bill 2563 passed the Senate 34-11 on Tuesday and will move to the House for more work.

It would require the two- and four-year colleges to propose pregnancy prevention programs. Information could be provided during student orientation, for example.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Sally Doty of Brookhaven, says Mississippi had 5,644 teen pregnancies in 2012. Most of those - 3,913 - were to 18- and 19-year-old women.

Democratic Sen. Hob Bryan of Amory says unwanted teen pregnancy is a serious problem, but the bill doesn't offer a serious solution. He says funding public education and expanding health care would be more effective.

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