Memphis teen pregnancy story overblown

Jan. 20, 2011 at 9:10 PM
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MEMPHIS, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- A report that 90 teens at a Memphis high school are pregnant or have had babies this year may have been overblown, National Public Radio reported.

NPR said the story began with a local television interview a week ago in which a person involved in trying to keep teenagers from getting pregnant told WMC-TV, Memphis, more than one-quarter of the female students at Frayser High School had given birth this year or were going to.

The story got picked up by the national news media, including MSNBC, the New York Daily News and the Daily Beast Web site.

What did not get picked up, NPR said, was a subsequent story in the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Kriner Cash, the Memphis school superintendent, said the teen pregnancy rate in Shelby County, which includes Memphis, is high but he said that might mean 15 or even 20 pregnant girls at one school, not 90.

There are two new initiatives to deal with the issue in Memphis. One, funded by local governments, provides social workers to help teen mothers and mothers-to-be get services, while the other,, aims to help girls keep from getting pregnant.

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