Teen births costly for Dougherty County

"Taking Time for Teens" met today to discuss Dougherty County's teen pregnancy problem.

In past years, teen births have cost local taxpayers $5.9 million dollars.

"If you do have a child that is needing extra doctor's visits, needing visits from a psychiatrist, extra medication; so it affects us all," said Dr. Donna Edmond-King.

Over 25% of teen pregnancies in Dougherty County are repeat pregnancies which causes many young mothers to face tough decisions about schooling and keeping a job. Ed Willis knows first hand, his daughter was pregnant when she was 15.

"We all make mistakes in life when we're young. We don't want them to get pregnant but if it does happen they need that support," said Willis.

Doctors say barriers in accessibility to contraceptives and lack of education are major factors Dougherty County teens have to face.