New teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. are showing an official decline in the number of teen pregnancies for teens 15 to 19 years old following the downward trend that began in 2009. These new teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. are lower than previous years, but the country is still higher than other developed nations.
In fact, the United States is nine times higher, in terms of teen pregnancy, compared with at least 13 other industrialized countries. These numbers are from the July report in America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2010 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The decline was first reported in 2009 following a six percent decline from the previous year. Researchers and representatives from the CDC are astonished at this dramatic decline.
New Teen Pregnancy Rates in the U.S.:
- In 2008 the national birth rate was 41.5 per 1,000 adolescent women
- In 2009, that number continued to decline focusing at 39.1 births per 1,000 teen girls
- The numbers continued to decline significantly for 2010 coming in at 20.1 births per 1,000 teen girls aged 15 to 17.
It is difficult to tell where the numbers of teen births in a steady decline are coming from. Other studies are also showing that more and more teens are waiting to have sex, which could be a contributing factor to this scientific find. However researchers are unsure if that is the only reason because it has not been studied at this point in depth. Researchers are also theorizing the possible decline in teen pregnancy rates could be because teen pregnancy and the financial burden of supporting a baby is so much, during this current economic recession, it is just too much to handle. Reports also show that teen girls are more frightened about the childbearing factors that go along with pregnancy.
The risk factors for teen pregnancy include being sexually active at a young age, lacking access or knowledge about contraception, living in poverty or coming from a lower socioeconomic background. Having parents with low levels of education, or coming from a single-parent household is also a contributing factor when it comes to the increased chances of teenage pregnancy. Poor performance in school, lack of drive and coming from a minority race is also more likely to increase a teen’s chances for getting pregnant. About 69 percent of the teen pregnancies are among black women and Hispanics. However, in spite of the teen pregnancy rate, four in 10 of the number of pregnant teens result in abortion. This amounts to about 22 percent of all pregnancies, excluding miscarriages.
While the downward trend in teen pregnancy is definitely a good thing for the teens and parents of teens throughout the United States, this country is still higher than most other developed countries. Prevention methods like teaching kids about the importance of safe sex, abstinence, contraception and other types of teen birth control and how to do so properly are important in helping the number of teen pregnancies continue to decline year after year. There are also many pregnancy myths that need to be dispelled for the benefit of the teen. Many teens believe you can’t get a female pregnant if she is on her period, which is not true. It is possible for a female to get pregnant anytime of the month. In addition, some teens believe you can’t get pregnant using the pull-out method, which is also not true. It is important for teens to understand the facts of teenage pregnancy. Teen pregnancy costs American taxpayers about 10.9 billion dollars each year. Most teens are unable to pay for health care for their baby or even for some of the most basic necessities like diapers, clothing and food. In these situations there are federal government programs available that are designed to benefit pregnant teens like Women, Infant, Children (WIC) as well as Medicare and other programs. Taxpayers provide the funding for these programs each year, which still cost the people of the United States billions of dollars. Not only is having a baby as a teen difficult financially on the teen parents themselves, but likely their own parents as well as the American people. Using protection and practicing safe sex is the best way to prevent these unintended teen pregnancies.
Sources: thenationalcampaign.org, guttmacher.org, ibtimes.com, cdc.gov