Former WNBA star to keynote annual conference to prevent teen pregnancy
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - While teen pregnancy rates have been on a decline for the last two decades, it's still a problem that professionals want to continue working to prevent.
Beginning on Thursday, a two-day conference is being held at the Columbia Convention Center to talk about current teen pregnancy rates, issues, and education.
Keynote speaker and former WNBA player Yolanda Moore will talk about how she rebounded from teen pregnancy and how she's helping others avoid it.
"My goal was to play basketball on the college level, do well and play professionally," said Moore. "I had no intention of being anybody's mama."
Moore is a two-time WNBA champion. She's played in Europe and Asia. She also had a daughter when she was 18.
"Being a student-athlete, being a mom, and trying to be a student and do well in all three arenas, it was very difficult at 18, 19," said Moore. "That's a lot."
Moore was able to keep her college basketball scholarship. She's had an accomplished career and now shares her story.
"We didn't have sexual education class," said Moore. "It was don't bring any babies home."
Thursday she'll speak at the annual conference for the SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
"Teen pregnancy rates in our state and across the county have decreased dramatically over the last 20 years," said campaign CEO Forrest Alton.
But there is more work to be done, and not every teen pregnancy ends in success like Moore.
"We have to remind everybody that still 6,000 girls under the age of 20 got pregnant in the state last year," said Alton. "So we can't confuse our progress with success."
Progress for Alton is updating the state's 25-year-old sex education law.
"I think we'd all agree a few things have changed about the world that young people are growing up in the last 25 years."
Moore wants teens to avoid her situation, but she wants them to know there's help if they make a mistake.
"It doesn't have to end there, your story doesn't have to end there," said Moore. "I'm a living testimony."
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