Ohio is the only state in the country with no mandated health education standards for schools. The birth rate among teens aged 15–19 in Franklin County is 41.6 births per 1,000 females — higher than the U.S. and Ohio rates. Teen pregnancy often initiates a cycle of poverty for women, with only 38% of teen girls who have a child before the age of 18 earning a high school diploma by the age of 22. It is integral that women have the education and resources to control their health and in turn, their economic futures.
The Columbus Women’s Commission’s work in the area of health focuses on increasing access to comprehensive, medically accurate health education for Columbus teens. Working with the City of Columbus CelebrateOne Initiative and education partners, the Commission influences local policy, bringing comprehensive, medically-accurate teen health education to Columbus City Schools’ students in the 2019-2020 school year. This work will continue to expand to more students in local school districts in 2020-2022.
In partnership with CelebrateOne, the Commission was awarded a grant by The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio to support teen pregnancy prevention education in a Franklin County school district.
The City of Columbus adopted a paid family and caregiver leave policy for all full-time city employees.
Columbus City Council passed legislation to provide free menstrual products in all 29 City recreation centers, and it will expand availability of these free products to all Columbus City Schools buildings and municipal buildings.
Columbus City Council created a diaper changing station grant program in 2017 to increase equal access to diaper changing stations in small businesses and organizations for all parents and guardians in Columbus. Eligible individuals and businesses in the City could receive up to two baby changing stations at no charge.
Thank you to our partners in this work: