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Statewide Sexual Health Organization changes name, appoints new executive director

Jessa Reid Bolling

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The Alabama Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is changing its name to The Alabama Campaign for Adolescent Sexual Health (Alabama Campaign) in an effort to more accurately reflect its goal of promoting comprehensive sexual education program for all Alabama young people.

The organization’s Board of Directors also named a new executive director to lead the organization’s new direction.

Organized in 1999, the Alabama Campaign was created to address the rising number of teenage pregnancies in the state. During that time, Alabama’s birth rate for teenagers aged 15–19 years old was 62.8 births per 1,000 women, one of the highest rates in the country in this age group.

The campaign then sought changes to state policy and organized thousands of workshops on sexual health across the state. The Alabama Campaign has expanded its efforts to more broadly address adolescent sexual health after surveying parents, child policy leaders and students about their desire for schools to provide more health classes and sex education.

To help the Alabama Campaign achieve its broadened goals, the organization’s board appointed Christina Clark Okarmus, who worked with the Alabama Campaign for seven years before her appointment.

“Sex education is about more than disease prevention,” Okarmus said. “It is also about creating healthy relationships, knowing your body, consent and communication among partners. We envision sexually healthy people and communities throughout Alabama, and the way to reach that vision is by building knowledge, skills and access through medically accurate, age-appropriate, inclusive sexual health education that is free of bias and shame.”

 

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Jessa Reid Bolling is a reporting intern at the Alabama Political Reporter and graduate of The University of Alabama with a B.A. in journalism and political science. You can email her at [email protected] or reach her via Twitter.

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