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Voicing Concerns Over Teen Pregnancy

March 31, 1993

We would like to commend The Times for focusing attention on the very serious problem of teen-age pregnancy with its series, "The Teen Birth Explosion" (March 14-16). The series was accurate in depicting the underlying causes of the escalating teen birth rate and the sense of hopelessness that many teens experience. As Laurie Becklund showed so clearly, many of these young men and women are trying to create hope for themselves by creating children.

We were, however, disturbed by the fact that Becklund seems to have some misunderstanding about who we are and what we do.

The Los Angeles Regional Family Planning Council (LARFPC) is the largest family-planning organization of its kind in the country. LARFPC today provides funding for nearly 90 clinics that provide family-planning services for over 180,000 patients annually. Of the seven original agencies funded by LARFPC, all seven continue to exist today.

The last 13 years have been difficult ones for family-planning clinics and their clients. We have faced cutbacks in funding, and we have watched as some of our clinics have been forced to close their doors. This was yet another legacy of the Reagan/Bush/Deukmejian years. It must be stated that we never discouraged any of our agencies from opening new clinics. Our problem was that we could not increase their funding to do so, no matter how great the need.

Today, we are happy to say, the political climate has changed, and there is new awareness of the role family planning plays in encouraging a healthy society. There is also, for the first time in 13 years, new funding.

THOMAS C. KRING

Chief Executive Officer

Los Angeles Regional Family Planning Council, Inc.

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