Guide describes legal rights of teen parents

Teen birth rates have fallen in the United States but there are still about 39 births per 1,000 teens. This often-ignored group of pregnant teens and young parents now has a guidebook and website to help them understand their legal rights as they navigate the challenging road of schooling, employment and parenting.

The book, "California Pregnant and Parenting Youth Guide," was written by the National Partnership for Women & Families to inform teens in an easy and unbiased manner. The topics include support for a pregnant teen who is trying to decide what to do about an unplanned pregnancy, legal rights regarding obtaining healthcare and staying in school, fathers' rights and information on public benefits.

A blog was launched with the guide to give teens a place to voice their concerns and share support and ideas. It's an interesting look at the needs of this group and the desires of many to do right by their children. Said one teen mom: "Teens should know that they’re not alone there is always something out there to help them through the hard times."

The guide is being promoted by the National Partnership as well as the National Health Law Program, Planned Parenthood of Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley Inc. and with support from WebMD Health Foundation and the California Endowment.

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