WHEREAS, A recent survey by the National Center for Health Statistics shows that for mothers interviewed between 1989 and 1991, half of the babies born to teenage mothers were fathered by adult men; and
WHEREAS, Said study also reveals that the younger a mother was, the greater the age difference between her and the child's father; and
WHEREAS, The pregnancy rate is higher among teens living in poor neighborhoods and many young women who give birth fall into poverty later; and
WHEREAS, Women who give birth as teens are far more apt to be among the poorest families in Rhode Island and are more likely to stay on welfare assistance for a longer period of time; and
WHEREAS, Like all children, children born into poverty, need medical care, family support and the opportunity to realize their potential; and
WHEREAS, It is in the state's interest to determine and identify the number of young teenage girls who are impregnated by adult men; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Rhode Island General Assembly hereby requests that the Department of Health compile and publish data relating to the age of mothers and fathers at the birth of a child and that the Department of Health use this information to prioritize its goals for public health information and education and program resources; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the secretary of state be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the director of the department of health.