Penny says teenage pregnancy a big problem

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Independence Party Governor candidate Tim Penny addressed the problem of teen pregnancy Tuesday.

“Everyday in Minnesota, more than 20 teens become pregnant, and we all bear the cost,” Penny said. “Decreasing teen pregnancy is one of the most significant steps we can take to reduce the need to rely on government assistance in the future.”

Penny pointed out that the teen pregnancy is one of the most plausible indicators for the poverty, and is concentrated disproportionately in the minority communities.

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Penny promised that his administration will consolidate current community-based adolescent programs by targeting specific constituencies across the state by coordinating relevant departments: The Department of Health, Human Services, Children Families and Learning.

Penny said his administration would aim to cut the number of teen pregnancies in half over the next four years.

The former U.S. Representative and Democrat has been trying to keep himself out of the partisan dispute regarding the abortion issue, emphasizing a realistic approach instead.

“The perennial abortion debate has divided Minnesota’s for too long, causing us to lose the focus on the root of the problem,” he said.