Date of Award

Spring 1991

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 1991 Karen Funk. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Black Studies, Political Science


Each year, approximately 1 million American teenagers will find themselves pregnant. About four in ten of these girls will terminate the pregnancy with abortion, one in ten will miscarry while approximately five in ten will carry the baby to term. In a perfect society, these births would cause no alarm as partners would serve supportive roles and adequate prenatal and postnatal care would be accessible for these families regardless of income level. However, the reality is that these girls are unmarried, predominantly poor, reliant on public assistance such as AFDC and, many times, members of disadvantaged urban communities. More importantly, because of their income levels, these girls experience restricted access to contraceptive and counseling services which may serve to delay childbearing. Title X of the Public Health Act, enacted in 1970, is the first and only federal legislative initiative designed to provide contraceptive and educational services for low income women in order to promote more responsible family planning. Its legislative history and recent reauthorization patterns suggest the program is far from stable. More importantly, an examination of how present funds are allocated suggests that there may be a mismatch between where adolescents are most at risk for pregnancy and where the most funds are being allocated. Methodology includes data analysis.