Teen pregancy in the spotlight - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Crystal Oko

Teen pregancy in the spotlight

ROCHESTER, MN (KTTC-TV) -- It's been a focus during the Republican National Convention ever since the vice presidential nomination announcement-teen pregnancy.

Governor Sarah Palin's 17 year-old daughter is pregnant and plans to marry the baby's father.

Tonight we talked with a 17 year-old Century High School student who says the criticism she gets from her peers is bad enough-she can't imagine being criticised on a national level.

17 year-old Stephanie Lynch says she's excited.

She could have her baby any day now.

"I'm 39 weeks and still going to school and everything," said Lynch.

But Stephanie says school has been her biggest struggle in her pregnancy, the place where she gets the most criticism.  "You get a lot of looks, everyone's looking at you, people saying everything behind your back."

With the Republican nomination of Governor Sarah Palin and the situation with her daughter, teen pregnancy has been thrown into the spotlight.

Stephanie says she can't stand the criticism from her peers, she can't imagine what 17 year-old Bristol is going through.

"I wouldn't like it, it's just more attention and more people looking at you and criticising everything you are doing," said Lynch.

Like Bristol, the father of Stephanie's baby, her boyfriend will be sticking around.

Stephanie says Jose has been a great support for her.

"He's been around, he's been great, he's helping out with everything," said Lynch.

While Governor Palin sticks by her daughter, Stephanie's father says parental support is key to helping pregnant teens find success.

"If you support your daughters or your sons you can do it," said Kevin Lynch, Stephanie's father.

A new report by the National Institutes of health says teen pregnancy is on the rise after a 15-year decline.

However the Olmsted County Health Department says pregnancy and birth rates here in the county have declined among teenage girls.

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