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Batavia Nurse talks about teenage pregnancy

By Tasia Boland

Although there has been a decrease in teenage pregnancy rates from 1991-2004 new data shows teenage pregnancy is now rising.

Each year almost 750,000 teenage women aged 15-19 become pregnant. Fifty percent or more of teenage pregnancies end in abortion in New York State, according to the National and Statewide statistics.

Stephanie Loranty, nurse at Batavia High School, said last year there were ten students who were pregnant. Four dropped out, one graduated, and five are still continuing on. Currently, two students are pregnant at the high school and one at the middle school.

27 percent of ninth graders in New York are sexually experienced and 17.4 percent are sexually active.  As seniors 62.6 percent are sexually experienced and 49.1 percent are sexually active.

“It’s scary,” said Loranty on the statistics of sexually active teens, “It’s hard because you are around the kids every day and you know their emotional and insecure at times and you know the choices they make can have consequences on their whole life.”

7.1 percent of ninth graders had four or more partners in New York and 20.1 percent of seniors had four or more partners.

Loranty said she feels students do not understand the seriousness of STDs and there are not many educational opportunities for students besides what they learn in their health class.

When asked about how safe sex is promoted or talked about she said it really isn’t, mostly abstinence is.

 Loranty said she wants to see more programs informing students of the risks of unprotected sex, and the importance of abstinence and safe sex, but it is a sensitive topic. She said this is where it gets hard because the line can easily be crossed with parents.

Loranty thinks a way to help teenagers make the right choice would be to start the health class at the freshman level.

She hopes one day the school budget will be able to afford electronic computer babies (mimics all the behaviors of a real life baby), instead of using flour babies.

Loranty nodded her head and sighed as she said, “It is not effective for them at all, and it just teaches them to be responsible for carrying an extra item around.”
Although these electronic babies would be much more effective, they are too costly.

“They are somewhere around $10, 000,” said Loranty.

Teenage pregnancy is also costly, from a press release teen childbearing in
New York cost taxpayers (federal, state, and local) at least $421 million in 2004.

Loranty’s advice for students who are pressured to be sexually active is, “Talk to someone and really think about your decisions.”

Her advice for parents, “Be involved, there are so many kids out there who don’t have any support.” She said even the little things matter. Just talking to them can create change. She hopes to see more programs implemented into the curriculum that are self-sufficient and involve parents. 

Tasia Boland

When I was reading those statistics, I felt scared. I wish there was a way we could really speak to kids today and get through to them.

Mar 12, 2009, 9:15pm Permalink
Brian Hillabush

That story made me feel old, or made me feel proud to behave like I did when I was young.
The problem is the media for making mattresses like Paris Hilton celebrities.

Mar 12, 2009, 9:25pm Permalink
Tasia Boland

I know, I am 24 and in ninth grade those things just weren't a priority, and if anyone was doing"sexual things" it was like oh my god, we couldn't believe it. I can't believe that in just a few years things have changed so much.

Mar 12, 2009, 10:09pm Permalink

When I was in 7th grade, holding hands and hugging was the most anyone did. I know people screwed around in 8th and 9th grade, but it wasn't me and none of the people coming to mind are doing much with their lives now.

But man, 9th grade. Even 11th is pushing it, regardless of what the age of consent is. They have no idea what they're getting into and I'm so glad I'm out of high school.

Mar 12, 2009, 10:51pm Permalink

And not to sound pretentious, but I know how (most) teenage men can be. How they talk, the things they say, and what they want. I look back and I'm glad I've been a bit more... nice, for lack of a better word.

That being said, I cringe at Beth's comment. Now I know I feel old.

Mar 12, 2009, 10:56pm Permalink
Robin Walters

It all is very scary! I have a teenage daughter who lives in PA with her dad. She is going to be 17. One of the most important things is the parents have got to be on board. The parents need to be very open with the kids, I mean down to the nitty gritty details and the consequences of what can happen. It is not only about pregnancy as stated, it is also the fact that sex can lead to death.. ie.. AIDS.

Back in the previous town, where I came from, there were 2 girls that ended up going to this house, they were in seperate rooms with guys. The one gal was 15 and the guy forced her into sex, needless to say she not only lost her virginity, but she also got AIDS. How sad is that.

And how about the 6th graders in NJ who at a party, decided to play the "rainbow game"..won't go into all the details, but the girls were all giving the guys oral sex, come to find out 16 kids ended up with Herpes.

Sex has its consequences, kids do not think about it, nor do alot of adults.. look at what is on the internet, the swinger sites, the adult dating sex sites. I remember looking for a teen hot line number that kids could call when they were in trouble and one link that was to be a help line, led me to a site where there was porn with adults with teenage girls. I absolutey was horrified. I for one am very open with my daughter.

With being involved with street ministry here in Batavia I have had the opportunity to minister to some really hurting souls. There are many women, all ages who at one time have been sexually abused, or molested.

This topic could get me typing for hours. There are some parents who do not take the time for the kids to talk about it and let's face it , the world is different now than it was years ago. Do you remember your talk with your parents about the "birds and bees"? I remember mine. The talks sure do need to be different now adays.

Honestly, there is a big need for education with the kids. They need to hear from adults who have gone through some of those consequences. I feel to that the youth programs and churches really need to be open about this topic with the teens. I just attended a service at Northgate last week. They are doing a series on Lord of the Rings which is about marriage and relationships. Pastor Andy gave a great talk.

Years ago, it seemed "taboo" to talk about sex. It was a hidden topic. Those days are over folks. Keep loving your kids, be open. Let them know what great kids they are. Let them know of the challenges of their racing hormones. I also raised 2 sons, who are now 24 and 21.
I had those talks with them. I was a single mom so it was a bit uncomfortable. But, I am forever grateful for those awkard moments, because if I did not share the truth with them, where would they hear it at.

Ok, I will quit rambling now. Thanks for listening!

Mar 14, 2009, 7:42am Permalink

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