New WRAL Documentary Looks at Teen Pregnancy in African-American Community

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Focal Point: “Love Child”
New WRAL Documentary Looks at Teen Pregnancy in African-American Community

Airs Wednesday June 18, 2008, 7pm

 “We didn’t even have a relationship. We never dated. Just had a baby together.” 
— Ebony Williams on getting pregnant at age 13

Focal Point Studies show that teen pregnancy costs North Carolina taxpayers more than $300 million dollars a year.   Most of that money is spent on the children of teen mothers, from health care and other support services when they are young to welfare and incarceration when they are older. WRAL’s new Focal Point documentary “Love Child”takes an in-depth look at the disproportionate number of teen births in the African-American community.  The documentary is hosted by WRAL-TV Anchor/Reporter Gerald Owens and airs Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 7pm on WRAL-TV.

African-American girls have the highest teen pregnancy rate among the major racial and ethnic groups in the US and double the rate of white teens in North Carolina. While that rate decreased dramatically between 1990 and 2002, it’s on the rise again.

The North Carolina News Network recently produced a series “Unplanned Parenthood” about teen pregnancy. Listen here.

In the program a teen mother tells her story and reveals the generational aspect of the trend.  Her older sister, mother, and grandmother were also teen mothers. Her mother and older sister also tell their stories in the program.

Focal Point: “Love Child” also presents the male perspective of teen pregnancy in candid and revealing interviews with African-American men. The program shows the common threads in many of the stories of African-American teen mothers, and provides an eye-opening perspective, that to many of them it’s not seen as a problem. 

Through these stories solutions are revealed that may help reduce the incidence of teen pregnancy and help teen mothers and their children achieve more successful lives.

Focal Point
“Love Child” is the latest episode in the WRAL documentary series called Focal Point.  These in-depth news documentaries focus on a single topic, bringing depth and clarity to complicated issues facing North Carolina.  From North Carolina’s economy and environment, to health care and race relations – Focal Point takes viewers inside the lives of the people most affected.  Focal Point tackles the tough questions with leaders and policymakers who have the power to effect change.  WRAL News anchors, including David Crabtree, Pam Saulsby, Bill Leslie, Gerald Owens and Debra Morgan, host the series.  Six to eight new episodes of Focal Point will be produced each year. 

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Clay Johnson for this capcom story.

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