Betty on the News: Paying Teens Not to Get Pregnant
A controversial new program pays young girls to stay in school and not get pregnant.
-Margeaux Baulch Klein
It used to be that teens earned extra cash by working a part-time job, but now, thanks to a new program called “College Bound Sisters”, all young girls in Greensboro, NC have to do is stay in school and not get pregnant.
The program, which started in 1997, pays local teenage girls $7 a week to attend an hour and a half meeting where organizers teach them about abstinence, contraceptives, and how to prepare for college. The teens can earn more than $2200 but don’t receive the money until college.
“We are paying them to avoid pregnancy, to graduate from high school and enroll in college. Because it is a short term and a long-term incentive for them to change their life trajectory,” says Hazel Brown, the coordinator of the program, who notes that most of the girls have older sisters who became pregnant before turning eighteen.
Opponents, however, are critical of taxpayer money being used to support the program.
“To pay someone not to do something wrong, or not to make a mistake like that, that’s a concern,” said Bill Wright, Chairman of the Republic Party in Guilford County.
“I’d prefer it be funded by civic organizations, churches or other non-profits and not tax dollars. There’s a certain thing called individual responsibility. And I think society is often taking us away from that and trying to put more of that on government.” (DigiTriad)