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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 (21-30):
IandLoveandYou
by Bronze Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 9:38 AM

What with the glamourization of teen pregnancy and liberals urging everyone to become low-income single moms...how could this be!???!!

Lol.. no just kidding, thats great news.

Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 9:47 AM
& abstinence only education in the schools. And...

Quoting quickbooksworm:

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. 


Kmary
by Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 9:56 AM

However, the article also indicated no increase in abortions and no decrease in sexual activity.  So unless tons of these teens are giving their babies up for adoption, the take away is that sex ed and proper contraception use are working.  And that contrary to popular belief, just making bc and/or condoms available doesn't actually encourage more kids to have sex.  I think this article is great news all around.


Quoting AlekD:

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



Kmary
by Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 10:00 AM
1 mom liked this

You seem to have internet access.  Look it up yourself.  A quick search will show a massive amount of articles, studies, etc. demonstrating the decline of teen abortions in the United States-- a decline that has been taking place since the 80s.


Quoting 12hellokitty:

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. 






12hellokitty
by Ruby Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 10:02 AM
1 mom liked this
Where are you getting there being no increase in the number of teen abortions? The report references the number of births going down based on hospital birth records. The article mentions researches saying its PARTLY because of birth control, so what is the other part?


Quoting CheesyKitty:

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. 






Citygirlk
by Gold Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 10:03 AM
1 mom liked this

Why you should be happy that teens aren't setting themselves up for failure.

Quoting AlekD:

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


JWu
by on Sep. 7, 2013 at 10:42 AM

This article doesn't address moms younger than 15. I wonder what those stats are these days. I have seen a number of articles and shows focusing on 12-14 year old girls being pregnant. I was completely blown away by this over the last several years and asked my teen daughter if she knew of any pregnant girls at her school. She knew of several and they were under 15. We live in an area where a teen clinic with education and birth control is within walking distance of the schools. The kids can attend without parental permission. I am concerned that we are only getting part of the story.

PamR
by Pam on Sep. 7, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Regarding teen abortion rates, they are also dropping. 

Teenage Abortion Rate

In 2008 the teen abortion rate was 17.8 abortions per 1,000 women, the lowest rate since abortion was legalized. Abortion rates for teens peaked in 1988 at 43.5 per thousand; compared with the 2008 rate, that represents a decline of 59%. Although teen birth and abortion rates have been on a steady decline for more than two decades, in 2006 there was an short-lived increase in both the teenage birth and abortion rate. Both rates resumed their decline according to 2008 figures.

Teenage Abortion Ratio
The proportion of teen pregnancies that end in abortion (known as the abortion ratio) declined by a third from 1986-2008, from 46% to 31%.


NWP
by guerrilla girl on Sep. 7, 2013 at 12:28 PM

PamR just answered your question in the post above this one.

Quoting 12hellokitty:

Where are you getting there being no increase in the number of teen abortions? The report references the number of births going down based on hospital birth records. The article mentions researches saying its PARTLY because of birth control, so what is the other part?

Not Without Panties

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Sep. 7, 2013 at 12:30 PM
1 mom liked this

I was about to give you an earful until I saw your disclaimer. LOL>.<

Quoting IandLoveandYou:

What with the glamourization of teen pregnancy and liberals urging everyone to become low-income single moms...how could this be!???!!

Lol.. no just kidding, thats great news.


Not Without Panties

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