Teen Pregnancies in the U.S. Hit a Record Low

On average, the United States’ teenage age birthrate is nine times higher than it is in other countries.  But, this rate has been at a record low for the past couple of years. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, a branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of births in female teens ages 15 to 19 has fallen 44% since 1991. The rate also fell 9% between 2009 and 2010; there were less teenage mothers in the year 2010 than any year since 1946. The new average number of births for females in this age range is 34.3 per 1,000 teenage girls.

According to the study, this percentage also applies to a reduction based in racial, ethnic and age groups. Hispanics typically have the highest rate of teenage mothers, but even they saw a drop in the year 2010. Rates dropped 12% for Hispanic and American Indian or Alaskan Native groups individually.

It still holds true, though, that states in the south and southwest have the highest rates in the nation, the highest rate belonging to Mississippi, with 55 births per 1,000 teenage girls. Kentucky has the seventh most teenage mothers, at 46.2 births per 1,000 teenage girls.

Sex education has a lot to do with this new trend. In recent years, schools put a large emphasis on teaching about teens being sexually active and advocating the use of condoms.

Contraception, such as the birth control pill for females, has grown in popularity with teens as well. Doctors are being urged to prescribe teenage girls with the pill as soon as they become sexually active. This ensures that teens will have access to the best forms of protection.

Recent talk about how difficult it is to be a teen mom and the responsibility required for the job has also lead to the decline in the teen birth rate.

Likewise, U.S. legislation has played a role in the trend. The Affordable Care Act, which was passed in 2009, helps removes cost barriers to the many forms of contraceptives available.

Another form of legislation that is working to lower the national birth rate in teens is Obama Care, which is a national health care plan that aims at reforming the American health care system. The main goal of the plan is to regulate the health insurance industry and reduce health care spending.

A study was recently done in St. Louis that stimulated Obama Care. The study gave 9,000 women free contraceptives. The amount of pregnant teens in this stimulation dropped from 34 per 1,000 to 6. Based on this study, if Obama Care ends up being passed, it has the potential to drastically decrease the birth rate in US teens.

Even though the media may emphasize teen pregnancy in shows like MTV’s Teen Mom, statics show that this occurrence is actually decreasing. This is due to more available contraceptives, increased awareness and better sex education. If this trend continues, the teen pregnancy rate could become close to nonexistent.