A dollar a day is the going rate for not getting pregnant at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where teen girls between the ages of 12 and 18 can enroll in the College Bound Sisters program. The program's mission is to keep young girls in school rather than Babies "R" Us by paying them $365 a year.
As part of the baby-free program, girls attend weekly meetings where they learn about abstinence and contraceptives. At the end of each week, $7 is put into a fund that's off-limits until they go to college.
To participate, girls must have never been pregnant, currently attend school, have a desire to go to college, and have a sister that gave birth before age 18. The program is currently at its max capacity of 24 girls.
Click here for more about the controversial program, after the jump.
Not surprisingly, some skeptics aren't entirely comfortable with the idea. "It makes me a bit uneasy," says Bill Albert, chief program officer at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. "It's hard to pay people to do something we think they should be doing regardless. It would be like if you didn't want young people to experiment with marijuana, you'd pay them not to do it."
Still, Albert admits with costs of teen pregnancies reaching $9 billion annually, paying teens $365 to stay baby-free seems like a "modest investment -- especially if the program works."
And Dr. Hazel Brown, co-director of College Bound Sisters, says it is. Some grads of the program have saved upwards of $3,000 for college. "We want to give them something to work toward," Brown says. "If someone believes in you, there's no end to what a lot of people can accomplish."
What do you think? Is paying girls to stay baby-free a creative approach to helping their futures? Or is it bribery, plain and simple?
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