The Teen Pregnancy Rate Has Dropped 50 Percent in Two Decades

A new report finds teen pregnancy, birth, and abortion rates at a historic low.

National Journal
May 5, 2014, 6:29 a.m.

Teens are get­ting smarter about sex.

About 6 per­cent of fe­male teens (ages 15 to 19) be­came preg­nant in 2010, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased Monday by the re­pro­duct­ive health non­profit, the Guttmach­er In­sti­tute.

That’s down 15 per­cent from two years pri­or, and a de­crease of 51 per­cent from the highest level in 1990.

Older teens — those 18 to 19 — made up 69 per­cent of teen preg­nan­cies. This age group had a sub­stan­tially lower rate of preg­nancy des­pite a high­er por­tion re­port­ing that they have had sex, which the re­port says is likely due to more ef­fect­ive means of con­tra­cep­tion and im­proved us­age.

The teen birthrate fell 44 per­cent from its peak rate of more than 6 per­cent in 1991, to less than 4 per­cent in 2010.

The teen abor­tion rate is the low­est since it was leg­al­ized 40 years ago, and 66 per­cent lower than its highest point in 1988. The pro­por­tion of teen­age preg­nan­cies that ended in abor­tion de­clined from 46 per­cent to 30 per­cent since 1986.

The re­port found that al­though preg­nancy rates de­clined sig­ni­fic­antly across ra­cial and eth­nic groups, large dif­fer­ences in preg­nancy, birth, and abor­tion rates per­sist.

The preg­nancy rate de­clined more than 50 per­cent in the past two dec­ades among non-His­pan­ic white teen­agers, black teen­agers, and His­pan­ic teen­agers, yet it re­mains more than twice as high for blacks and His­pan­ics as for non-His­pan­ic whites. The abor­tion rate for His­pan­ics is al­most twice that of non-His­pan­ic whites, while the rate for black teen­agers is more than three times as high.

Teen preg­nancy rates de­clined in all 50 states between 2008 and 2010, but sig­ni­fic­ant dif­fer­ences re­main across state lines.

States with the highest preg­nancy rates in­cluded New Mex­ico, Mis­sis­sippi, Texas, Arkan­sas, Louisi­ana, and Ok­lahoma, which ranged from about 7 per­cent to 8 per­cent. Those with the low­est rates were New Hamp­shire, Ver­mont, Min­nesota, Mas­sachu­setts, and Maine, which were all be­low 4 per­cent.

More than half of teen­age preg­nan­cies — ex­clud­ing still­births and mis­car­riages — ended in abor­tion in New York, New Jer­sey, and Con­necti­c­ut.

Mean­while, the states with the low­est pro­por­tions of teen preg­nan­cies end­ing in abor­tion ten­ded to be states that now have the most re­strict­ive anti-abor­tion le­gis­la­tion: South Dakota, Kan­sas, Ken­tucky, Ok­lahoma, Utah, Arkan­sas, Mis­sis­sippi, Neb­raska, and Texas. In each of these states, less than 15 per­cent of teen preg­nan­cies ended in abor­tions.

The au­thors of the re­port cite sev­er­al factors that likely ac­count for the dis­crep­an­cies among states: demo­graph­ics, avail­ab­il­ity of sex edu­ca­tion and con­tra­cept­ive ser­vices, and over­all at­ti­tudes to­ward sex and early child­bear­ing.

Read the full re­port here.

What We're Following See More »
34 STATES MUST SIGN ON
Scott Walker to Lead Effort for Constitutional Convention
8 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"A national group says its campaign to convene an unprecedented U.S. constitutional convention to balance the federal budget has a new leader: former Republican Gov. Scott Walker. The Center for State-led National Debt Solutions on Monday announced Walker will serve as its national honorary chairman. It marks one of the first efforts by Walker to re-enter the political fray since his November election loss to Gov. Tony Evers. In 2017, Wisconsin became the 28th state to request an Article V convention — so named for the article of the U.S. Constitution that sanctions the process." Thirty-four states must sign on to trigger a convention.

Source:
WOULD ALSO LIMIT MONTHLY PAYMENTS
Administration Aims to Cap Student Borrowing
10 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"The Trump administration on Monday proposed placing limits on federal student borrowing programs as part of a series of initiatives to amend the Higher Education Act. ... A number of the proposals seek to change the borrowing and loan repayment process. A senior administration official said the White House wants to institute a limit on loans through the PLUS program, which graduate students and parents of undergraduates use to help pay for college or trade school."

The official did not say what the loan cap would be, but that it could vary by program rather than by institution.

The administration is also calling for Congress to simplify loan repayment programs, in part by condensing five income-driven repayment plans into one plan that would cap monthly payments at 12.5 percent of the borrower's discretionary income.

Source:
HE PLANNED TO LEAVE MID-MARCH
Rosenstein Not Leaving DOJ Yet
1 hours ago
THE LATEST
"HE HAS STAYED OUT OF A LOT OF PEOPLE'S WAY"
Mulvaney Likely to Become Trump's Permanent Chief of Staff
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The White House plans to drop the word 'acting' from Mick Mulvaney’s title, officially making him President Donald Trump’s third chief of staff, according to four current and former senior administration officials...'He has stayed out of a lot of people’s way,' said one senior administration official. No one is saying he is killing it but staying out of people’s way has helped.'"

Source:
MANAFORT STEERED HIM WORK IN UKRAINE
Prosecutors Weighing Whether to Charge Greg Craig
18 hours ago
THE LATEST

A long-running federal investigation into former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig "is reaching a critical stage, presenting the Justice Department with a decision about whether to charge a prominent Democrat as part of a more aggressive crackdown on illegal foreign lobbying." Federal prosecutors in New York have transferred the case to Washington. ... The investigation centers on whether Mr. Craig should have disclosed work he did in 2012 — while he was a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom — on behalf of the Russia-aligned government of Viktor F. Yanukovych, then the president of Ukraine. The work was steered to Mr. Craig by Paul Manafort."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login