Teen Pregnancy Rates Continue to Decline
A total of 209,809 babies were born to women aged 15–19 years in 2016, for a birth rate of 20.3 per 1,000 women in this age group. This was another record low for U.S. teens and a decline of 61.8 births per 1,000 women in this age group from 1991.
Evidence suggests the reason for the decline as more teens are abstaining from sexual activity and more sexually active teens are using a birth control method. There has also been an increased use of long acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). However, despite efforts the U.S. teen pregnancy rate is significantly higher than in other western industrialized nations. Racial, ethnic, and geographic disparities in teen birth rates continue to persist.
Teen pregnancy is associated with costs to our state, for teen parents, and for families.
According to the Office of Adolescent Health:
Decline in births among teens will save $4.4 billion in public spending this year.
- 1 in 4 teen females will be pregnant at least once before the age of 20.
- 1 in 6 teen births are to females who already had one or more births.
- The average national cost to provide medical and economic support during pregnancy and the first year of infancy is $16,000 per teen birth.
- Teen mothers are more likely than mothers over age 20 to give birth prematurely (before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy). Babies born prematurely face an increased risk of newborn health problems, long-term disabilities, and death.
- Teenage mothers are more likely to live in poverty and depend on public assistance.
- About 50% of teen mothers earn a high school diploma by the age of 22.
- Children born to teen parents are more likely to have lower school achievement, enter the child welfare and correctional systems, drop out of high school, and become teen parents themselves when compared to children born to older parents.
Angela Graber, Nurse Practitioner, stated, “The decline in teen pregnancies can be contributed to many factors. However, I the think the biggest factor may be that parents are having conversations with their children about this sensitive and oftentimes uncomfortable topic.”
“Teenage pregnancy is a significant concern that needs to be addressed,” shared Michelle Pitcher, Clinical Services Manager. “Health Connection works with individuals of reproductive health care age and will continue to work to decline teen pregnancy rates. We provide confidential services with accessible hours to all our patients.”
For more information on teen pregnancy and prevention contact Health Connection, a leader in providing reproductive healthcare including physical examinations for males and females, pregnancy testing and counseling, contraception, STI testing and treatment as well as HIV screenings. All services are confidential. To make an appointment, call (812)882-6069 Vincennes; (812)254-6936 Washington; (812)234-0707 Terre Haute.
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