Support AB 1640 Help Pregnant Teens

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Subject: Support AB 1640 Help Pregnant Teens

The Hon. Jerry Brown, Governor
The California State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Brown:

Please sign AB 1640 when it comes before you from the legislature.

AB 1640 would require CalWORKs (welfare) aid to be paid to a pregnant mother, 18 years of age or younger, regardless of whether she is eligible for the Cal-Learn Program.

The Cal-Learn Program aims to reduce teen pregnancy rates and long-term welfare dependency. It is designed to assist teen parents receiving CalWORKs aid. The Cal-Learn Program helps pregnant and parenting teens to attend and graduate from high school or its equivalent.

However, Cal-Learn was suspended from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. Given the state's continuing fiscal problems it could be suspended again. Prohibiting CalWORKs aid to pregnant teens who are not in Cal-Learn, but suspending Cal-Learn again, would be worse than cruel.

Teen pregnancy is a serious problem in this nation, and in California. According to the Gutmacher Institute, nationwide, almost 750,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 become pregnant each year. The Institute also reports that California has the 15th highest pregnancy rate, for this age group, in the nation.

Pregnant teens are particularly vulnerable. Often they are alone with their child. Finding work to support themselves and their child can be daunting. California's teen unemployment rate (36.2%) is among the highest in the nation. And, of course, teens with children have an even harder time finding employment.

In many cases, CalWORKs is an absolute necessity for these young women. AB 1640 assures that this resource will be available to them if they need it. Please sign this important bill.


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Campaign (<em>2985</em>): <em>Support AB 1640 Help Pregnant Teens</em>
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