Good news from the preliminary birthrate data for 2012: Teen births are down to yet another historic low, births to women in their early 20s also fell to an all-time low, the rate of cesarean sections is stabilizing after years of increasing, and fewer babies were born preterm or at low birth weight.
Teen mothers are far from a random swath of the teen population who wind up in poverty because of a few particularly fast swimming sperm. Rather, they are likely to be in poverty already.
Teen birth rates fell to an historic low in 2011 thanks, in part, to new policies that make it easier for teens to access contraception.
Does the decline in abortion rates indicate better reproductive health choices and outcomes for women? And if so, how do we continue to build on this success?
Logic tells us that for the teen birth rate to go down without the abortion rate going up, fewer teens have to have sex or more teens have to use contraception. Data tells us that it’s a little bit of both. But what policies, programs, social issues, and cultural shifts are behind this?
Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the latest teen birth rates which found that fewer babies were born to teen mothers in 2010 than in any year since 1946.
Data released today show that the teen pregnancy rate is down 42 percent from its 1990 high with rates declining among all racial and ethnic and age groups. Researchers credit young people—and their effective contraceptive use—with these declines.
The teen birth rate dropped by 9 percent and this good news is almost exclusively due to teens changing their contraceptive habits for the better.