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PR- 081-13
March 3, 2013


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The following is the text of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, March 3, 2013.

“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

“Having a child is the greatest responsibility anybody can assume, and raising a child is every parent’s most important – and most demanding – job. And it’s a job that young people should not rush into.

“Our Administration is already providing young New Yorkers with information and services that helps them make good choices in their lives. That’s helped reduce the teen pregnancy rate by 27 percent over the last 10 years. While that’s important progress, we can do better – too many teens are still becoming parents before they are ready. So tomorrow, we’ll launch a new Teen Pregnancy Prevention campaign to help prevent more unintended pregnancies among teens.

“This new campaign will feature bus and subway ads in all five boroughs alerting teens to the stark realities of becoming a young parent. For example, the ads will highlight that it costs $10,000 per year, on average, to support a child; that the children of teen parents are twice as likely not to graduate high school; and, perhaps most important, that if teens graduate high school, get a job and marry before becoming parents, they have a 98 percent chance of not being in poverty.

“The campaign will also include an interactive texting program that will allow teens to learn about the benefits of delaying pregnancy, as well as simulate real-life choices that teen parents face. To sign up, just text ‘NOTNOW’ to 8-7-7-8-7-7. Later this month, we’ll also release a video public service announcement on YouTube to further engage teenage New Yorkers on how and why to prevent a pregnancy.

“Every year, more than 20,000 teenage New Yorkers become pregnant, and the data tells us 87 percent of those pregnancies are unintended and usually involve unmarried partners. In fact, as our new campaign highlights, 90 percent of teen parents don’t marry each other and many don’t stay together at all. We know that there are many great, single parents doing incredible jobs raising their kids. But we also know there are many teen fathers who neglect their duties and offer little or no support and care to their children. Unfortunately, that’s the common reality of teen pregnancy.

“As I mentioned, we’ve already seen important progress in our effort to help more teens delay pregnancy. Health care and counseling services provided by the city’s Health Department and Human Resources Administration, as well as HRA programs like “No Kidding,” which allows young parents to share their stories with public school students, are a big reason why teen pregnancy has dropped. The new campaign we’re launching tomorrow will build on that work.

“By focusing on responsibility and the importance of education, employment, and family in providing children with the emotional and financial support they need, we’ll let thousands more young New Yorkers know that waiting to becoming a parent could be the best decision they ever make.

“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”


Marc La Vorgna   (212) 788-2958


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