Memphis is Working to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

We know that children do better when they are not raised by children. Early childhood is a particularly active period of brain development and teen parents have a far more difficult time supporting this process. Parenting is inherently stressful; and teen parents have far fewer resources than parents who wait to have children until they are out of their teens, have finished school, and are married.

Children born to teens are at risk for poor health and for childhoods spent in poverty. Meanwhile, teen-parents tend to have fewer parenting skills and are more likely to abuse or neglect their children.

Preventing teen pregnancy and supporting teen parents are two ways the Memphis community can improve the lives of our youngest children. In Memphis, teen pregnancy rates are on the rise, far above the national average. Locally there are numerous efforts to educate teens and curb teen pregnancy. Listed below are a few organizations in Shelby County that are working to improve our community by helping this population.


Memphis Teen Vision (MemTV) is a relatively new collaborative effort of more than 30 Memphis community organizations working to address the high rate of teen pregnancy in our community. The group is in the early stages of forming a coordinated community response to the issue of teen pregnancy in Memphis and Shelby County. MemTV hopes to help create an environment in Memphis where all teens are taught comprehensive sex education, sexual intercourse is delayed, teen pregnancies are reduced/eliminated, and teen parents are provided assistance. MemTV's guiding principles are the following:

  • Dedicated to making teens more aware of resources for teens and teen parents and making these resources easily accessible
  • Promote a non-judgmental environment where teens have access to comprehensive sex education
  • Promote strategies that focus on both boys and girls
  • Promote programs based on evidence and best practices

The co-chairs of MemTV recently were awarded one of two $10,000 grants from the National Institute of Reproductive Health in order to further the mission and vision of the collaborative. To learn more about MemTV, please visit their website.

Memphis Center​ for Reproductive Health

The Memphis Center for Reproductive Health (MCRH) is a private, nonprofit health care clinic offering a wide range of reproductive health services for women and men, as well as education and outreach for the community. MCRH offers several services, some free and some for a fee, to teens including:

  • Teen Reproductive Health Clinics are offered every Monday from 3:30pm – 5:30pm. For a fee, interested teens can schedule a personal appointment that will be tailored to his or her interests and needs.
  • Long acting reversible contraception for teens
  • Between Teens, a free, interactive program that educates teens in a group setting on reproductive health. At the end of the session, teens will have completed a personal plan for their reproductive health.
  • Pregnancy Options Counseling

Planned Parenthood: Greater Memphis Region(PPGMR)

PPGMR's most valuable contribution to combating teen pregnancy is providing preventative health services, including a wide range of birth control methods. PPGMR's highly trained nurse practitioners provide counseling about abstinence as the best way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Sexually active teens are counseled on the safest and most effective contraceptive methods to fit their individual needs and lifestyle. These services and contraceptive supplies are provided on a sliding fee scale based on the patient's income—most teenaged patients qualify for free services.

Teen pregnancy is an issue that has negative consequences for both teens and their children. Often times, these babies are born in to a chaotic environment, with parents who are not prepared to provide them with experiences needed for proper brain development and future academic success. Therefore it is important that we educate and support our youth; MemTV, Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, and Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region are three organizations taking on this policy initiative.

  1. Florida State University Center for Prevention & Early Intervention Policy (2005). The children of teen parents: Fact sheet. Retrieved from:
  2. Memphis Center for Reproductive Health. (2011). Reproductive Wellness Care for Teens. Retrieved from:
  3. The University of Memphis Center for Research on Women. (2011). Memphis Teen Vision. Retrieved from: