Advertisement

Archive for Thursday, December 6, 2007

Teen birth rate increases after years of decline

December 6, 2007

Advertisement

— In a troubling reversal, the nation's teen birth rate rose for the first time in 15 years, surprising government health officials and reviving the bitter debate about abstinence-only sex education.

The birth rate had been dropping since its peak in 1991, although the decline had slowed in recent years. On Wednesday, government statisticians said it rose 3 percent from 2005 to 2006.

The reason for the increase was not clear, and federal health officials said it might be a one-year statistical blip, not the beginning of a new upward trend.

However, some experts said they have been expecting a jump. They blamed it on increased federal funding for abstinence-only health education that doesn't teach teens how to use condoms and other contraception.

Some key sexually transmitted disease rates have been rising, including syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. The rising teen pregnancy rate is part of the same phenomenon, said Dr. Carol Hogue, an Emory University professor of maternal and child health.

"It's not rocket science," she said.

The new teen birth numbers are based on the 15-19 age group of women, which accounted for most of the 440,000 births to teens in 2006. The rate rose to nearly 42 births per 1,000 in that group, up from 40.5 in 2005. That translates to an extra 20,000 births to teen mothers.

In 1991, the peak year for teen births, there were nearly 62 births per 1,000.

The new report offers a state-by-state breakdown of birth rates overall. Many of those with the highest birth rates teach abstinence instead of comprehensive sex education, according to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

And research has concluded that abstinence-only programs do not cause a decrease in teenage sexual activity, Planned Parenthood officials added.

Comments

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 1 month ago

Fewer abortions mean more births. I'm sorry these teens are having sex, but it's very heartening that more of them seem to bee keeping their babies.

thanksforcoming 7 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, let's just throw it out and turn our backs to the problem. Probably could have been worded better, you are right. That doesn't mean people do not need to hear about it though. Information = Knowledge = Awareness.

Lorrah 7 years, 1 month ago

If we were allowed to teach kids about contraceptives, the rate would probably be lower.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 1 month ago

Reality Check,

We're all sick of the tired argument that to be pro-life means one has to support tax payer-funded government handouts. That's like saying because you are pro-abortion, you absolutely must be in favor of the death penalty. No one's telling you pro-aborts you have to be in favor of the death penalty.

Erin Parmelee 7 years, 1 month ago

Well, I'm sure this increase has nothing to do with the big push for abstinence only programs over the current administration (sarcasm intended).


SettingTheRecordStraight (Anonymous) says:

Reality Check,

We're all sick of the tired argument that to be pro-life means one has to support tax payer-funded government handouts

STRS, if you don't support it, what is your solution to a 14 year old with a baby? How does that 14 year old now provide for that child, care for that child, and get an education so they can set a good example for that child? I'm not trying to goade you, this is a legitimate question. I'd like to know your thoughts on how we, as a country, or we as parents, support a child raising a child.

badger 7 years, 1 month ago

I'll second HodgePodge's question, and add in another:

Sure, adoption is an option for healthy white babies. But upper-middle-class people with the money to adopt are more likely to adopt a Russian or a Chinese baby than a black or Hispanic one born in America.

So, what about a pregnant black 14-year-old from a poverty-stricken area? She's got no job, no prospects, a substandard public education, and little chance of finding good adoptive parents for her baby. Should she dump it into the child welfare system to be raised by the state, or try to raise it herself with no education or source of income?

It's not as easy as "There are thousands of parents wanting to adopt," because those thousands of parents mostly want babies who look more like them.

bugmenot 7 years, 1 month ago

That's the whole goal of republicans - lots of kids growing up without access to education or good, involved parents. That's how you get enough people who are stupid enough to vote Republican and wave the git-r-dun banner.

Tammy Yergey 7 years, 1 month ago

We cannot force morals (i.e. abstenance) onto others, especially teenagers. If we know that teens are having sex, birth control should be mandatory, not just an option. Teenagers having babies creates a burden on the families and society as a whole. And of course it is bad for the teen and the baby. I wonder if there has ever been a study done on child abuse among teenage moms???? It would have to be a huge mental and emotional toll. Look at the young mom who stabbed her kids in the bathrooom of the convenience store last week. Maybe she had other issues, but I'm sure being a young mom didn't help.

shockchalk 7 years, 1 month ago

Reality Check needs a reality check. Same for you badger. Right here in Lawrence there are several white families who have adopted african-american children......not Russian or Chinese, who by the way, still deserve a place for their children. Most of the pro-life people I know are just as concerned with these babies AFTER they are born as they are when they are in utero. If you and the other anti-life whiners would start adopting, it would help.

The fact is that a lot of people consider adoption and they realize they can't afford it. It isn't because they want a baby that looks just like them.

Erin Parmelee 7 years, 1 month ago

shockchalk (Anonymous) says:

Reality Check needs a reality check. Same for you badger. Right here in Lawrence there are several white families who have adopted african-american children::not Russian or Chinese, who by the way, still deserve a place for their children. Most of the pro-life people I know are just as concerned with these babies AFTER they are born as they are when they are in utero. If you and the other anti-life whiners would start adopting, it would help.

Okay, but this doesn't answer the question I posed......

Confrontation 7 years, 1 month ago

"Right here in Lawrence there are several white families who have adopted african-american children:"

Oh! Well, that just solves the problem, right? You know of several whites who adopted black kids in Lawrence, and that means it must be a national trend and there shouldn't be any unwanted non-white babies. Thanks for solving the nation's problems with your wonderful statistics.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 1 month ago

I just love babies, Agnostick. Whether they are born or still developing in the womb.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

If children keep hearing not to do something how else will they know if they don't try it. Kinda along the same lines as the "Reffer Madness" film. Once children discover what they have heard is not completely true what can be expected.

More information with substance: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/birth-control-pregnancy/birth-control.htm

Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

Teens having sex has been going on maybe for centuries....

Erin Parmelee 7 years, 1 month ago

I'm not going to get an answer am I? Well, that figures. I will say this though--it's awfully easy to espouse opinions. It's apparently a bit harder sometimes to back them up.

kansas778 7 years, 1 month ago

A child that is injured while a fetus can bring a suit against people that were negligent in causing this harm. Third parties owe the fetus a duty of care, and every child has the right to be begin life in an unimpaired physical and mental condition. For example, if someone is driving negligently, and this causes them to get into an accident with a pregnant women, not only can the woman bring a suit against the driver for damage to her car, her medical bills, pain and suffering etc., if the child suffers an injury, like say a broken leg, or brain damage, the child can bring suit against the tortfeasor as well.

What if the child dies as a result of the injury, and is thus not born alive? Some jurisdictions hold that the child must simply have been viable, which means they could survive outside the womb. With today's increasingly sophisticated technology, the time when a fetus can survive outside the womb has been pushed back earlier and earlier, so that now, even a 24 week old fetus could possibly be viable. Third parties owe a fetus a duty of care even earlier than that, as is the case when the mother takes a pharmacuetical product that is marketed for pregnant women, and it causes cancer and sterility in the child. The father is held to this same standard of care to not injure the fetus. In fact, the only person in the world that owes the fetus no duty whatsoever to care for it is....the mother?

shockchalk 7 years, 1 month ago

Confrontation...........I was just replying to a ridiculous post........much like yours. I never stated I was soliving the worlds problems with made up statistics. Just addressing a blatent lie from another poster. You should be able to relate to lies, you just wrote a few.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 1 month ago

My mother and father married in 1939. She was 16, he was 27. Today that would be considered a scandal, and my father would have been labeled a child molester. 13 months later she gave birth to my older sister. Now we expect young adults (because that's what they are) to stay single until their mid twenties, but not have sex. in addition, male and female bodies are reaching puberty earlier, whether because of animal hormones or just better nutrition. Minds, and even hearts can say they shouldn't have sex, but sometimes those biological yearnings are stronger. We've extended childhood longer than any other period in history, but we can't do anything about the fact that our bodies have really reached adulthood. Teaching these young adults to wait as long as they can, but then providing them with the means to keep from getting pregnant is the responsible thing to do. Then we wouldn't have to worry about unwanted babies and abortions. Too much energy and money is being put into forcing women to be baby making machines, and not enough into taking care of the babies we have. And that includes those who live on this forum 24/7. They certainly don't have time to take care of their families, let alone adopting any babies. They are too busy telling others how to run their lives. That being said, I need to go take care of my family. I'll jump in some other time when I get out early from school.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.