National Center for Youth Law

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Los Angeles Reproductive Health Equity Project for Foster Youth
California

LA RHEP for Foster Youth is a partnership of adult advocates and foster youth working to dismantle systemic barriers in an effort to improve access to sexual and reproductive health care services for youth in care.

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Overview

Teen pregnancy rates are at historic lows in the United States – but not for all youth. Young women in the foster care system are far more likely to experience unintended teen pregnancy and childbirth. The consequences of unintended pregnancy and missed reproductive and prenatal care reverberate over generations. Over a third of the young women who are in California’s foster care system at age seventeen will give birth at least once by the time they turn twenty-one. These parents are at greater risk of lowered educational and economic attainment.

This unconscionably high rate of unintended pregnancy highlights that barriers impede the ability of foster youth to take ownership of their bodies and reproductive health and result in unplanned pregnancy and parenting. Because of the complex way sexual and reproductive health intersects with other issues across the life of a child in foster care, reducing unintended pregnancy requires coordinated efforts with youth, caregivers, agencies and state systems at many tiers and across all ages. While many public and private agencies in Los Angeles County already coordinate and have done tremendous work addressing this issue, this collective impact initiative focuses specifically on unplanned pregnancy prevention and coordinates efforts at the local and state level in an unprecedented way.

Please contact Lesli LeGras, Los Angeles Reproductive Health Equity Project for Foster Youth Director, for more information.

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