Teen Birth Rate at Lowest Since the ’40s, Statistics Show

By:  Dave Bohon
04/12/2012
       
Teen Birth Rate at Lowest Since the ’40s, Statistics Show

 According to the latest numbers from the federal government’s National Center for Health Statistics, the birth rate among American teens is at its lowest since the mid 1940s. Officials with the reporting agency, part of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), credited “strong pregnancy prevention messages” for the decrease, and added that use of contraceptives “may have contributed.”

 
 

 According to the latest numbers from the federal government’s National Center for Health Statistics, the birth rate among American teens is at its lowest since the mid 1940s. Officials with the reporting agency, part of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), credited “strong pregnancy prevention messages” for the decrease, and added that use of contraceptives “may have contributed.”

 
But pro-life advocate Kristan Hawkins, writing on LifeNews.com, noted that while the latest government figures account for the birth rate, teen pregnancy rates may tell a different story. “Alarmingly, as the birth rate has fallen in teens ages 15-19 (from 41.5 per 1,000 in 2008 to 34.3 per 1,000 in 2010), the abortion rate has increased (from 17.8 per 1,000 in 2008 to 19 per 1,000 in 2010),” wrote Hawkins.
 
Additionally, “while the CDC is touting contraception as a major factor in the low birth rate among teens, it cannot be stated enough that 50% of women who are using some form of contraception find themselves unexpectedly pregnant,” she observed. “Not only is contraception not an effective means of preventing pregnancy 100% of the time, but the steady teen STD rates from 2008 to 2010 show that one out of 4 teen girls are still contracting STDs.”
 
Hawkins reasoned that if “contraception and contraception sex education was the key to lower birth rates, then one would assume that the rates of both STD and pregnancies occurring during contraception use would decline as well.”
 
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