By Amy Kramer of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
Today is the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy – a time set aside by countrywide organizations and local communities alike to draw attention to teen pregnancy and to focus on how best to prevent it. Of course, if you’re an avid MTV viewer, you hear this message often -- and the great news is that it's really hitting home. "16 and Pregnant" and its "Teen Mom" spinoffs have had an extraordinary impact on the decline in teen births since they hit the air.
In research released earlier this year, experts found that one-third of the drop in teen births since 2009 can be attributed to the MTV series. They determined that witnessing the struggles and heartaches of teenagers who became parents before they were ready discourages other youth from doing the same. It leads them to think about their own risk, to discuss it with others and to look into ways of preventing it.
Even Times Square is spreading the message about teen pregnancy prevention!
So how can you help spread the word? Talk to your friends about it, and encourage the people you care about to make smart decisions when it comes to sex and protection. Also, check out this teen pregnancy prevention quiz to see how much you already know, and remember: It takes two people to get pregnant, but only one to prevent it. You can be that one!
Photo: Lauren Grillo/MTV