U.S. teen birth rates have been decreasing steadily throuhgout most states across racial and ethnic groups from 2007 to 2009. However, it is still shockingly high compared to other “developed” nations. The United States still leads.
I am shocked at how high the black teen pregnancy rate is compared to other races still.
The CDC reported that in 2009 that black teens ages 18 to 19 had the highest pregnacy rates (97.5 per 1000), compared to whites second (46.1 per 1,000), Hispanics third (41.0 per 1000) and Asian pacific fourth (25.7 per 1,000). From 2008 to 2009, Hispanic teens saw the biggest drop at 11 percent.
As we know, Teen childbearing carries significant risks. Babies born to teenage mothers are more likely to be of low birth weight or preterm than infants born to older women, and they have a higher risk of dying during infancy, the report says.
The good news according to the report is that younger teens, ages 15 to 17, saw a 7 percent drop in birth rate from 2008 to 2009. The 6 percent decline reported for older teens, 18 to 19, was the largest single-year decline since 1971-72 and also a historic low for that age group. Woot!!
Dr. Lawrence B. Friedman, a professor of pediatrics and director of the division of adolescent medicine at the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine attributes this decline to better safe sex education and alternatives to intercourse. “That doesn’t mean decreases in sexual activity, but just alternate intimacies that teenagers are discovering or rediscovering,” he told Medical News Today. “There is also increased use of effective contraception.”
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What an eye opener. The president’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPPI), the CDC is partnering with the Office of Public Health and Science (OPHS) to reduce all rates significantly by 2015. Thank goodness the focus is on those groups with the highest rates. The purpose of this program is to demonstrate the effectiveness of innovative, multicomponent, communitywide initiatives in reducing rates of teen pregnancy and births in communities with the highest rates, with a focus on reaching African American and Latino/Hispanic youth aged 15 to 19.
For all those who insist on criticizing the president whenever he does something specific for the black community because they say he is favoring his own race, I hope they would take a step back and back off because 96 pregnancies per every 1,000 teens is a startling statistic that any president, regardless of race, should work on curbing!!
Please and Thank you!