Right now the United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the industrialized world - three times higher, in fact.
DoSomething.org  asked Jessica Sheets, Senior Manager, Communications at The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy , for advice on what a young person could be doing to prevent being called "mommy" or "daddy" before graduation.
1. Is it true that more teens are having babies each year?
After going down for more than a decade, the rates seem to be stalling out. Maybe people had gotten a little complacent and started focusing on other issues, but with the recent increases people are paying attention again.
2. What can teens do to spread awareness?
The best thing anyone can do [is] to talk about teen pregnancy . Teen pregnancy is 100% preventable. You never have to have another pregnant teen if they know how to protect themselves from pregnancy either by waiting or by using contraception correctly every single time they have sex.
3. What are benefits of a comprehensive sex education program?
Whenever you set up a curriculum talking to teenagers about how to prevent pregnancies, you are getting the conversation going which is the first step to making sure that kids know what they’re doing.
4. Why are there so many unplanned pregnancies among teens in this country?
Teenagers are having sex and they’re not using contraception. That’s the bottom line. If you’re going to have sex, you have to protect yourself.
5. How important is it to use contraception?
Couples who have sex regularly for a whole year without using contraception have an 85% chance of getting pregnant. That’s a really high number.
6. How does the rate of teen pregnancy in this country compare to that in other countries?
We have the highest teen pregnancy rate in the industrialize world. Our numbers are far higher than in places like Canada, or England, or anywhere in Europe.
7. What’s the consequence of having so many teen pregnancies in this country?
Teen pregnancy is something that affects a ton of other social issues. For example, the children of teen parents are more likely to become teen parents themselves. Sons of teen mothers are more likely to become incarcerated. Teen parents are less likely to finish high school which means they are less likely to earn a high-paying wage later in life. They are less likely to go to college and less likely to have a two-parent family.
8. What are the prospects for a teen mother for finding a job or financial security?
The majority of women who drop out of high school do so because they’ve had a baby. It’s incredibly difficult  to go to school when you have a kid at home. It’s incredibly difficult to finish your homework when you’ve got a crying baby on your lap. A lot of these women work very, very hard and become successful but a majority of these women have an extraordinarily difficult road ahead.
9. How much is sex part of a young person’s life these days?
We know that teenagers are having sex and we know that a lot of the teens who had sex wish that they had waited. So while sex is definitely a part of the lives of teenagers I also think it’s something that they wish they had waited to have, not necessarily until they were married but until they were in a more committed relationship, until they knew their partner had been tested, etc.
10. Does your org advocate abstinence or birth control?
We like to advocate both. We would like to say that teens should delay sex until they’re ready, and the decision is theirs, but when they do decide to have sex, they must know what they’re doing.
11. What are some of the ways that teens deal with newfound parenthood ?
A lot of them think it’s going to be easier than it is. Then they find out that it’s extremely difficult to start a family, particularly when you’re not ready, when you’re still living at home, when you’re not married to your partner, etc. If you’re doing it all on your own, you’ve got a really tough road ahead.