03 May 2010

Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month; National Latina Institute Releases Report on Young Latinas' Sexual Health

Timed to coincide with National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, Ms. Foundation grantee, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, has just issued the report, "Removing Stigma: Towards a Complete Understanding of Young Latinas' Sexual Health [pdf]." With expert knowledge of reproductive health policy and young Latinas' lives across the U.S., the Latina Institute is perfectly positioned to counter the overwhelming amount of misinformation about young women of color and teen pregnancy that fuels stigma and discriminatory, misguided prevention strategies. Check out their report and help set the record straight!

In the release of "Removing Stigma," the Latina Institute writes:
“Traditional teen pregnancy prevention campaigns that rely on stigma and shame simply don’t work. Latinas and their families need health resources that recognize their unique experiences,” states Silvia Henriquez, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. [We're thrilled to honor Silvia at this year's Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards!]

Latina teens have the same level of sexual activity as white teens, yet have a much higher teen birth rate. Many programs continue to rely on stigma and myth rather than a holistic approach that appreciate Latina teen realities.

Lack of health insurance, limited sexuality education in schools, and differential health care rights for immigrants and non- immigrants all contribute to young Latinas’ inability to access information and medical care to protect their health and futures. Of critical concern, Latina women have the second highest mortality rate from cervical cancer after black women.

Henriquez continues, “It’s time for politicians to get to the tough work of breaking down remaining structural barriers to health care and re-focus their efforts on giving young women the knowledge, access and power to plan their families in the ways that work best for them.”
Download the full report [pdf].

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