U.S. Teen Pregnancy Rate at Lowest Level in Nearly 40 Years
Rates Down Among All Racial and Ethnic Groups; Disparities Persist
Teen pregnancies have declined dramatically in the United States since their peak in the early 1990s, as have the births and abortions that result. “The recent declines in teen pregnancy rates are great news.” says lead author Kathryn Kost. “However, the continued inequities among racial and ethnic minorities are cause for concern. It is time to redouble our efforts to ensure that all teens have access to the information and contraceptive services they need to prevent unwanted pregnancies.” A large body of research has shown that the long-term decline in teen pregnancy, birth and abortion rates was driven primarily by improved use of contraception among teens. Continuing decreases in teen pregnancy more recently may be driven by increased use of the most effective contraceptive methods as well as dual method use. In sum, teens appear to be making the decision to be more effective contraceptive users, and their actions are paying off in lower pregnancy, birth and abortion rates.
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