97-S 771A am
Approved Jul. 3, 1997


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows

SECTION 1. Title 40 of the General Laws entitled "Human Services" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:


{ADD 40-19.1-1. Coordination of teen pregnancy prevention among state agencies. -- ADD} {ADD (a) Whereas, the department of human services, department of health, department of education and department of children, youth and families all have responsibility for teen pregnancy education and prevention programs, and recognizing that teen pregnancy is a multi-faceted issue requiring a comprehensive approach and long-term coordinated activities among federal, state and local agencies, and whereas the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 encourages states to establish goals and take action to prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies, with special emphasis on teen pregnancies, and including programs for men and whereas the nation's social costs of teen pregnancy and too-early childbearing are $7 billion annually, the general assembly hereby authorizes and directs the director of department of human services, the director of the department of health, the director of the department of children, youth and families, and the commissioner of education to develop a comprehensive statewide plan to prevent and reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancies among adolescents and to structure and coordinate primary pregnancy prevention health care services and educational programs for at risk adolescents as outlined in the plan. Such plan shall:

(1) Include numerical goals for calendar years 1998 through 2005 which demonstrates a reduction in the incidence of unintended adolescent pregnancy, especially among at-risk teens;

(2) Identify current and future federal and state funding sources for adolescent pregnancy prevention;

(3) Identify current programs providing pregnancy prevention education for teens;

(4) Incorporate successful primary prevention strategies and programs proven to be effective in reducing unintended adolescent pregnancies. These shall include, but not be limited to, life and educational goal programs, parental education and involvement, comprehensive abstinence education and assertiveness training skills, peer educators and abstinence training for peer education, after-school programs that offer tutoring, substance abuse, sexual abuse and self-esteem education and male mentors for at-risk male youth, and identification and development of health care services accessible to adolescents for the purpose of primary pregnancy prevention. A list shall be made available to the public naming these primary prevention programs and services which are available throughout the state.

(5) Establish numerical goals that designate male involvement in pregnancy prevention and sexual responsibility education programs that shall incorporate educational involvement from local and state law enforcement officials to address child support, and sexual assault laws and penalties;

(6) Include specific programs to identify and educate at-risk teens before they become sexually active;

(7) Identify and access financial resources for teachers training in the areas of family life and sexuality education for teachers, K-12 in elementary and secondary schools.

(8) Establish community and local involvement in the statewide planning effort and development of primary prevention services and educational programs for adolescents, especially in the maternal and child health planning areas of the state with high rates of teenage pregnancy. Organizations and individuals chosen for this shall represent the diversity of their communities including, but not limited to age, youth, gender, race, culture and ethnicity.

(b) The director of the department of human services, director of the department of health, the director of the department of children,youth and families, and commissioner of education shall select a teen pregnancy prevention plan coordinator from existing staff who will convene designated representatives by September 1, 1997 to develop the plan, and who will report its findings and recommendations thereof and any requests for extension to the general assembly no later than January 15, 1998 and in six (6) month intervals thereafter. ADD}

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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