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Teen Births Have Hit A New Record Low

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As More Young Americans Are Using Birth Control, Teen Births Have Hit A New Record Low

By Tara Culp-Ressler on September 6, 2013 at 8:59 am

CREDIT: Shutterstock

The U.S. teen birth rate has hit its lowest point in the entire 73 years that the government has been collecting the data, according to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics. Researchers say that’s partly because more youth are now opting to use effective forms of birth control.

In 2012, there were 29.4 births for every thousand Americans teens between the ages of 15 and 19. That represents a six percent drop from the year before — and fits into a larger pattern of declining teen births across the country. The teen birth rate has been steadily falling since 1991. At this point, there are less than half the number of children born to teenage mothers than there were in 1970, when the teen birth rate hit its peak.

Dr. John Santelli, a professor of population and family health at Columbia University who was not connected to the government study, told NBC News that the 2012 figures represent “a considerable one year drop.” But Santelli also noted that isn’t because there’s been much change in teenagers’ sexual activity over the past decade. There aren’t fewer adolescents having sex, and there aren’t an increased number of abortions being performed.

“What we have seen is greater availability of much more effective birth control methods,” Santelli explained. Particularly as more medical professionals have been recommending long-lasting forms of contraception to their teenage patients, Santelli believes more adolescents have been able to take effective steps to avoid pregnancy.

“This stunning turnaround in teen birth represents one of the nation’s great success stories of the past two decades,” Bill Albert, the chief program officer at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, told U.S. News & World Report. “This report shows that significant progress can and has been made on a very challenging social problem that many once considered both unsolvable and inevitable.”

Although the national teen birth rate continues to set new record lows, there are still significant regional disparities within the United States. States in the South, which tend to lack adequate sexual health instruction in public schools, still have stubbornly high teen birth rates. While some states are slowly moving away from abstinence-only education in order to attempt to change that, conservatives still tend to resist efforts to expand sexual health resources for teens.

Ultimately, though, teaching youth about birth control isn’t a controversial policy. The vast majority of Americans support expanding comprehensive sex ed — particularly after they see the direct results. In California, for example, teen births plunged by 60 percent after the state invested more resources in sexual health education.

by on Sep. 6, 2013 at 7:13 PM
Replies (11-20):
EmmasMom0305
by Bronze Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 5:52 AM
4 moms liked this
" There aren’t fewer adolescents having sex, and there aren’t an increased number of abortions being performed."

“What we have seen is greater availability of much more effective birth control methods,” Santelli explained.



Don't be sad, the decline is because of birth control, not abortion.


Quoting AlekD:

I notice that the emphasis is on teen BIRTHS, not teen pregnancies. Which makes me sad. 

SyllabaryBisque
by Bronze Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 5:54 AM
That's a comforting read. Thanks for posting!
Healthystart30
by Silver Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 6:10 AM
Quoting AlekD:

I notice that the emphasis is on teen BIRTHS, not teen pregnancies. Which makes me sad. 




It says right in the article that there are not increased numbers of abortions. So I don't understand why you are so sad?
12hellokitty
by Platinum Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 6:56 AM
1 mom liked this
There is no evidence of fewer abortions listed in the report.


Quoting EmmasMom0305:

" There aren’t fewer adolescents having sex, and there aren’t an increased number of abortions being performed."

“What we have seen is greater availability of much more effective birth control methods,” Santelli explained.



Don't be sad, the decline is because of birth control, not abortion.


Quoting AlekD:

I notice that the emphasis is on teen BIRTHS, not teen pregnancies. Which makes me sad. 



PamR
by Pam on Sep. 7, 2013 at 9:16 AM
6 moms liked this


The rate of abortion has been falling since the early 1990s.  So there are fewer births and fewer abortions among teenagers.  And this is not due to abstinence-only sex ed.  It's due to comprehensive education and accessible birth control.

Quoting 12hellokitty:

There is no evidence of fewer abortions listed in the report.


Quoting EmmasMom0305:

" There aren’t fewer adolescents having sex, and there aren’t an increased number of abortions being performed."

“What we have seen is greater availability of much more effective birth control methods,” Santelli explained.



Don't be sad, the decline is because of birth control, not abortion.


Quoting AlekD:

I notice that the emphasis is on teen BIRTHS, not teen pregnancies. Which makes me sad. 





quickbooksworm
by Silver Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 9:20 AM
1 mom liked this
Because in the south they outlaw all the clinics where birth control is available. Not to mention all the laws and policies not to give birth control to teen girls without parental consent.


Quoting Bookwormy:

Of course here in the south we have stubbornly high teen birth rates.  Figures. 


survivorinohio
by René on Sep. 7, 2013 at 9:20 AM


Quoting AlekD:

I notice that the emphasis is on teen BIRTHS, not teen pregnancies. Which makes me sad. 

I thought about that too.

How far you go in life depends on your being: tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of both the weak and strong.  Because someday in life you would have been one or all of these.  GeorgeWashingtonCarver


stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 9:22 AM
Of course access to birth control and education about sex will decrease pregnancy. That's great that the numbers are improving.
12hellokitty
by Platinum Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 9:28 AM
1 mom liked this
Show me the statistics to support fewer teen abortions, and that is is not do to teen absinence? And while your looking up things let me know what you find inway of increase in teen STD's


Quoting PamR:

The rate of abortion has been falling since the early 1990s.  So there are fewer births and fewer abortions among teenagers.  And this is not due to abstinence-only sex ed.  It's due to comprehensive education and accessible birth control.


Quoting 12hellokitty:There is no evidence of fewer abortions listed in the report.


Quoting EmmasMom0305:" There aren’t fewer adolescents having sex, and there aren’t an increased number of abortions being performed."

“What we have seen is greater availability of much more effective birth control methods,” Santelli explained.



Don't be sad, the decline is because of birth control, not abortion.


Quoting AlekD:

I notice that the emphasis is on teen BIRTHS, not teen pregnancies. Which makes me sad. 


CheesyKitty
by on Sep. 7, 2013 at 9:36 AM
2 moms liked this
There is also no increase in abortions. So if the same number of teens are having sex, and the abortion number hasn't changed, but the birth rate is down, more teens are choosing not to get pregnant in the first place.

This is good news!


Quoting 12hellokitty:

There is no evidence of fewer abortions listed in the report.





Quoting EmmasMom0305:

" There aren’t fewer adolescents having sex, and there aren’t an increased number of abortions being performed."



“What we have seen is greater availability of much more effective birth control methods,” Santelli explained.







Don't be sad, the decline is because of birth control, not abortion.




Quoting AlekD:

I notice that the emphasis is on teen BIRTHS, not teen pregnancies. Which makes me sad. 




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