Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Paying to Decrease Teen Pregnancy

There is no question that financial gain can incentivize behavior.  At 5, some kids may get a small allowance upon properly brushing their teeth.  At 12, they may get a token amount upon taking out the garbage.  In North Carolina, teenagers may now qualify for a small government stipend ($1 per day) to avoid pregnancy and enroll in school.  This article describes the details surrounding the program sending many girls to the bank, which aims to offset public costs of teenage pregnancies.  From

Teen pregnancies cost $9.1 billion annually, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, or around $500,000 for each teen pregnancy for health care and welfare. College Bound Sisters [this program paying off teenagers] costs just $75,000 a year to operate.

It will certainly be interesting to see the outcome, although it is not the first such program.  Read more about this program here.



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Declines in teenage pregnancies can be achieved through two mechanisms--changes in sexual behavior and changes in contraceptive use. Some observers have claimed that the declines are the result of increased abstinence.

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