According to Reuters, there is a rise in teen pregnancy after a 10 year decline. The statistics show that in 2006, the overall teen pregnancy rate increased by 3 percent and the abortion rate increased by 1 percent, raising the rate to 7% total for teen pregnancies. For girls between the ages of 15 and 19, there were 71 teen pregnancies for every 1,000.
Teen pregnancy was the highest among black and Hispanic girls. Prior to 2006, there had been a gap between these groups, with blacks leading in teen pregnancy. This gap in teen pregnancy rates is now closed. The teen pregnancy rate among whites was still lower than both blacks and Hispanics. The states with the highest teen pregnancy rates were New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and Mississippi.
Why the Increase in Teen Pregnancy Rates?
Why was teen pregnancy up in 2006 after being down for 10 years? It is not yet known whether the increase in teen pregnancy in 2006 is going to lead to years of the rate being up, or if it is simply a â€œbad year.â€ Some are blaming the Bush administration for the increase, claiming that if abstinence-only programs had not been taught, there would not have been a raise in teen pregnancy. The decline of teen pregnancy rates that took place during the â€˜90â€™s occurred due to improved contraceptive use, according to Reuters. The Obama administration is gearing sexual education towards preventing teen pregnancy, rather than promoting abstinence only.
The mediaâ€™s portrayal of teen pregnancy may also have an affect on the increase, especially if it continues to rise or remains at an increased rate. Shows like MTVâ€™s â€œ16 and Pregnantâ€ and â€œTeen Mom,â€ as well as ABC Familyâ€™s â€œThe Secret Life of the American Teenager,â€ may glorify teen pregnancy. These shows, however, did not air until after 2006, so the increase in teen pregnancy rates will not be seen yet until the future.
What Can You Do to Prevent Teen Pregnancy?
If you are a parent, the best thing that you can do to prevent teen pregnancy is talk to your teen son or daughter about sex. Letting them know that there are methods of contraception available to them, such as the birth control pill or condoms, is very important. Making your child feel comfortable enough to talk about sex with you is one of the main keys to preventing teen pregnancy.
If you are a teen who is thinking about becoming sexually active or who is already sexually active, donâ€™t be afraid to talk to your parent about sex. However, if you do have a parent who is not open to talking about it, keep in mind that there is not an age limit for buying condoms and Planned Parenthood can provide you with contraception for a reduced cost without letting your parent know.