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Paying Teens to NOT Get Pregnant

There's a North Carolina-based group called College Bound Sisters that gives girls a stipend toward college, if they make it through the program without getting pregnant.

Read Teenage girls earn extra cash for college -- as long as they don't get pregnant 

From the article:

"In 1997, [Drs. Hazel Brown and Rebecca Saunders] turned their focus to primary pregnancy prevention, founding College Bound Sisters for girls 12 to 16 -- considered high-risk because their sisters were teenage mothers.

…The program is controversial on several levels. Abstinence is not required of participants; the program offers information on both birth control and safe sex, which doesn't sit well with those who support abstinence-only education. Other critics believe the government should not pay teens to do what's in their own self-interest.

Indeed, many of the girls who join the program initially are motivated by the money. But they stay, Brown says, because of the support they receive and the opportunity to get a college education. "You can't work toward a negative," she says, "so saying 'Don't get pregnant' isn't good enough. This program gives them something to work toward."

Only six girls of the 125 enrolled for six months or longer have become pregnant. About 40 have already finished high school, and 10 have graduated from college….North Carolina ranks eighth in the nation for teen pregnancies. The $75,000 annual cost for the programs run by Planned Parenthood and College Bound sisters pales next to the $500,000 a teen pregnancy can cost taxpayers for health care and welfare."

What do you think about this program? Do the ends (more at-risk girls going to college) justify the means (dangling cash in front of them)?

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