The first in a series of public hearings being conducted around the state concerning the draft report of the Governor's Task Force on Teenage Pregnancy Prevention drew little response.
Besides the three task force members who came to hear testimony, Wednesday only two other people attended the meeting - a Deseret News correspondent and Oliver Harris, Blanding.Harris, who is a counselor in the San Juan schools, said he came because other commitments prevented him from attending a similar hearing scheduled Thursday in Moab.
He said he believes the answer to problems of teenage pregnancy and related problems, such as drug and alcohol abuse, is to help young people raise their self-esteem and to teach them refusal skills. He said the schools should teach values. He blamed peer pressure exerted on young people who already have low self-esteem for the problems.
Bryant Howe, legislative research analyst, said he had no specific information to explain the different pregnancy rates. Southeastern Utah, which includes Carbon, Emery and Grand counties, is the state's fourth highest, with 76.1 pregnancies per 1,000 females age 15-19.
The highest teen pregnancy rate is Duchesne County with 100.6 pregnancies per 1,000. Utah County has the lowest rate with 37.7.