Teen births are problematic for a lot of reasons. Pregnant teens are at greater risk of complications including preterm births, low birth weights, and infant death than women having babies in their 20s or older.
Fortunately, the national average of teen births is falling. Between 2007 and 2008, the teen birth rate fell nationally to about 4.2 percent of all births.
The study showed that areas with larger Hispanic and black populations have higher teen pregnancy rates, because both groups have a higher rate of teen pregnancies than whites. This is in large part because of the lack of proper education in schools — especially in the south.
Experts say that more comprehensive sex education, like that in California and the North East, is necessary to drive down teen pregnancy rates.
"This new CDC report makes it is crystal clear that a smaller percentage of teens are getting pregnant in states like California, New York and New Jersey that provide students with comprehensive, evidence-based sex education," said Leslie Kantor, National Director of Education, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "The report demonstrates that the surest way to reduce teenage pregnancy is to provide young people with comprehensive, medically accurate sex education, and doing so is especially urgent for African-Americans and Latino teens, who are getting pregnant more frequently than other young people."
The southern states need to get their act together and stop relying on antiquated sex-education policies. Talking openly with kids about sex is the only way we will be able to fix this national problem!
Tags: baby, south, teen pregnancy