In case you haven’t heard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report last week concluding that the birth rate among American teens has reached a low not seen since 1946. Even more encouraging is the news that the birth rate has dropped among all ethnic groups, although disparities remain. Why the continued decline, you wonder?
We can attribute the decline in the teen birth rate to better access to and better use of contraceptive methods along with comprehensive sex education. Remember a few years back when President Obama cut funding to ineffective abstinence-only programs and instead funded comprehensive sex education programs? Well, now a few years later you can see that the proof is in the pudding. Comprehensive sex education programs work and the decline in the teen birth rate is proof. Once the health care bill starts making contraception even more affordable, you can bet that the teen birth rate and teen pregnancy rate will continue to decline.
Let’s get something straight, the teen birth rate ≠ the teen pregnancy rate. The pregnancy rate is always higher than the birth rate due to miscarriages and abortions. Abortions are much less common among teens than among women aged 20’s-40’s and overall, 10-15% of all confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage (more if you count the miscarriages that occurred before the woman knew she was pregnant.)
News like this makes this sex educator very proud. I am proud to be a part of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading and most trusted provider of reproductive health care and sex education. I am proud of our well-designed and well-delivered prevention programs. I am proud of the young people that are open to being educated, who are willing to take back the power by preventing pregnancies and controlling their lives.
Feronians, where does your state rank?