On The Rise

Teen Pregnancy Climbs 3 Per Cent, Prompting Concerns

Published Dec 9, 2007 by Samantha A. Torrence
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1 more article on this subject:
Dec 10, 2007 – Op-Ed: Teen births on the rise despite education – 12 comments
Over the past 20 years, teen pregnancy has fallen dramatically after a large peak in 1990. However the recently released numbers for the year of 2006 has shown a 3 per cent increase which has prompted efforts to avoid a trend.
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy is a non-profit organization that is mostly supported by private donors. The organization was founded in 1996 with the mission to educate the masses about the necessity of preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy.
The dramatic decline in teen pregnancy can be contributed to the efforts of the National Campaign as well as concerned citizens around the United States. In 1990 the average rate for teen pregnancy was 117 pregnancies per 1000 teenage girls between 15-19 and the estimate as of 2006 is 41.9 per 1,000 teenage girls between 15-19.
The number show that although the United States has the highest average of teenage pregnancy among industrialized nations, education and prevention have helped lower the rate of teenage and unplanned pregnancies. However a 3 per cent rise in the teenage birth rate has fanned the flames of the movement lead by the National Campaign.
Sarah Brown (CEO of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy) said, “A one year up-tick does not necessarily mean the progress has ceased, but at the same time, the increase is significant enough to warrant concern. For years, the National Campaign has celebrated the yearly decline in the teen rates but has also warned that good news can lead to complacency. Each year, a new group of young people turns 13, and the need to retain a steady, intense focus on preventing teen pregnancy remains. We have also noted many times that even with the wonderful declines of the last 14 years, the United States still has the highest rate of teen pregnancy and birth in the developed world. Perhaps today’s numbers will encourage a greater, more intense concentration nationwide on teens.
Over the next several months, our group and others will be trying to tease out what might account for today’s news. An important aspect of this work will be to recognize that birth rates went up last year not only for teens but also for women in their 20s, 30s and 40s. It will also be important to learn more about how these broad changes in the US birth rate might have been affected by the abortion rate, public investments in education and services, behavioral changes, state variations, and more as well.”
The link between teenage pregnancy and other social ills has been established through research conducted by the National Campaign and affiliate groups. The findings show a remarkable connection between the well being of children and unplanned pregnancy
• Women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy are less likely than women who have an intended pregnancy to obtain early prenatal care and their babies are at increased risk of both low birth weight and of being born prematurely.
• At the age of two, children born as the result of unplanned pregnancy have significantly lower cognitive test scores when compared to children born as the result of an intended pregnancy.
• The majority of children from an unplanned pregnancy are born to unmarried women. Children born outside of two-parent married families are more likely to be poor, drop out of high school, have lower grade-point averages, lower college aspirations, and poorer school attendance records.
• One of the most obvious, additional consequences of unplanned pregnancy is abortion—in 2001 there were approximately 1.3 million abortions in the United States
The CDC confirms this data in a report analyzing the national abortion numbers in 2002. The findings are that the number of abortions increased from 1973 to 1990 and then had a steady decline. The numbers coincide with the average teenage pregnancy chart shown below.


It is felt that sexuality is on the rise amongst teens. A report from Mom Logic.com surveyed 500 children from around the country between the ages of 12-17. The findings were shocking as 1-in-5 children reported seeing students having sex at school. A 15-year-old from Seattle reported that one couple would have sex at lunch not far from where they ate especially if the girl had a skirt on. Another student reported being disgusted at having to dodge a used condom in the school hallway.
It seems that pregnancy education and prevention are still greatly needed in American schools.
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One Response

  1. Im 24 weeks pregnant, I dont really count in months.

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