Teen pregnancy up in Arizona more than 6-percentPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- At just 19 years old, Jasmine Hernandez has her hands full.
"This is Keith junior, he's my little boy he's two years old, this is Julianna Rose partan she's one year's old."
Jasmine is a single mom.
"Their dad is currently in jail right now. Really adds a lot of pressure on my shoulders knowing that it's really, really, just me that i can depend on."
Like many teen parents, Jasmine had to drop out of school.
"Being young and getting pregnant and having to start from my GED. I didn't go to high school at all."
Jasmine's story is not unusual. According to recent data released by the centers for disease control the number of teens having babies has increased nationwide by 3.5 percent.
The teen birth rates were highest among hispanic females.
In Arizona teen birth rates are up by 6.5 percent.
Michelle Steinberg at Planned Parenthoood says factors ranging from poverty to less use or availability of birth control play a role.
"We have been promoting abstinance in Arizona for a very long time and it is not working!" Steinberg says.
Though Steinberg encourages teaching abstinance, she says it's simply not enough.
"If teens choose not to remain abstinant they need to have the information to make good decisions about their health."
Through the help of Chicanos Por Pa Causa - a local non-profit - Jasmine was able to get her GED. She now plans to pursue a nursing career.
"I definitely want to be something for them. I want to make them proud. I want to see me graduate from college."
She also has this advice for parents.
"The most [important] thing you can do for your child to prevent them from having to be a single mother is to talk to them."
And for young people who may be thinking about becoming sexually active, Jasmine has this advice:
"You could always have kids in the future. You know what i mean? I don't regret having my kids at all but I do think about a lot things I could have done if I didn't have kids. Joining the Navy, Army or Marines or something like that."