Historic downturn in teen pregnancies

Kids today, eh?

A report today says teen pregnancy is at an all-time low, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Rates fell significantly for all race and Hispanic-origin groups between 2008 and 2009, with declines ranging from 4 to 6 percent (for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and AIAN teenagers). The rate for Hispanic teenagers aged 15-19 fell 10 percent in 2009 to 70.1 births per 1,000, the lowest rate ever reported for this group in the two decades for which rates for Hispanic teenagers are available. The rate for API teenagers dropped 10 percent. Rates for all groups reached historic lows, the report said.

It’s not all happy news. A survey said one third of the teenagers surveyed said “it doesn’t matter whether you use birth control or not, when it is your time to get pregnant, it will happen.”

Why are teens not getting pregnant in such high numbers as before? One expert says it’s the economy.

“I’m not suggesting that teens are examining futures of 401(k)s or how the market is doing,” said Sarah Brown, chief executive of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “But I think they are living in families that experience that stress. They are living next door to families that lost their jobs.”

  • They sure don’t make it easy to figure out the abortion rate in that data. It seems safe to assume that fewer pregnancies would lead to fewer abortions, but I’d like to see the numbers that support or refute that assumption.

  • GregS

    A couple of things.

    – The birth rate decline for all ages except the 40-44 age category which speaks more to medicine and the ticking of time than to attitudes.

    – While there was a decline in unmarried pregnancies, there was also a decline in married pregnancies – which as Ms. Brown suggests, points more to the economy.

  • GregS

    “It seems safe to assume that fewer pregnancies would lead to fewer abortions”

    Not really, the teen pregnancy rate skyrocketed after contraception and abortion were legalized.