To study unintended pregnancy, the causes, and the potential remedies, the West Virginia Perinatal Partnership began partnering with The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy in 2008. West Virginia professionals, policy makers, and young adults participated with the National Campaign on a Learning Tour — as one site in a series of meetings with national, state, and community leaders across the country — to ask these experts how they saw the problem of unplanned pregnancy among single, young adults ages 20-29. This diverse cross-section of leaders, professionals, providers, policy-makers, and advocates were generous with their time and offered many thoughtful insights about how best to address the challenge of unplanned pregnancy in the United States. The findings from this Learning Tour helped to inform the work of The National Campaign.
The Partnership also worked on a statewide project, funded by the National Campaign, to reduce unplanned pregnancies among young adults, based upon the findings of the study conducted in April 2008. The goal of the project was to reduce unplanned pregnancy in West Virginia through initiatives in public policy, community colleges, and in-home visitation programs. Policy issues include expansion of Medicaid coverage of contraceptives, improvement of public school education on how to have healthy pregnancies and babies, expansion of insurance contraceptive coverage for dependent children, and the promotion of other teen prevention strategies in WV. The community and technical college initiative focused on developing strategies to educate community college students about the impact of unplanned pregnancies on degree completion and increasing their knowledge of ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies. The in-home visitation program involved training of in-home educators on materials they could use with families on the importance of spacing pregnancies.
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