Teen Pregnancy And Abortion Rates Reach Record Low Because Of Birth Control? You Don’t Say

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teen pregnancyKids in the red states may not being doing all that well with keeping that teen pregnancy rate down, but overall, the kids are all right! Moms and dads nationwide should pat themselves on the back because the teen pregnancy rate, as well as abortion numbers in teens, fell to a record low in 2008 — and primarily because kids are obtaining and understanding birth control.

The Guttmacher Institute reports that numbers haven’t been this low in teen births and teen abortions since 1972. There was a peak in teen abortions in 1988, but we’re down 59% since those days. However, high rates persist among non-white kids as Guttmacher reports that black and Hispanic teens are two to four times more likely to experience pregnancy and to have an abortion than white kids.

About a quarter of this “long-term decline” in births and abortions might also be due to reduced sexual activity in kids, the researchers posit. But Kathryn Kost, a demographer with the Guttmacher Institute, attributes these overall low numbers to responsible and effective use of birth control. Which means that accessible birth control coupled with fact-based, comprehensive sex education is a worthwhile endeavor for the sake of protecting kids. A birth control vending machine in colleges complete with condoms and Plan B is a pretty smart idea too, as is addressing safe sex in the home.

(photo: Shutterstock)