New CDC Report on Historic Low in Teen Birth Rate Shows Sex Education and Contraception Work, Says Planned Parenthood


Rebecca Sunshine
Published: 09.09.13| Updated: 09.09.13

DENVER – A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that teen birth rates have continued to decline across nearly all ethnic and racial groups, reaching a historic low in 2012 — the lowest teen birth rate since 1940 (the year when teen birth data began being collected). The birth rate in the U.S. for teens 15-19 years old was down six percent in 2012. Since 2007, the teen birth rate in the U.S. has dropped almost a third (from 41.5 births per 1,000 teenagers 15-19 years to 29.4 births). Since 1991, it has dropped by more than half (from 61.8).

“This progress in reducing teen pregnancy is an enormous public health win,” said Vicki Cowart, president and CEO Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. “These declines show the continued importance of high-quality sex education and access to affordable birth control for adolescents like that being provided by the Responsible Sex Education Institute and PPRM.

“Colorado took major steps in the last legislative session as state lawmakers worked to advance policies that equip young people with the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy decisions through the passage of HB-1081 which strengthens existing guidelines for sexuality education by ensuring that Colorado’s youth receive comprehensive sex education, age appropriate, and culturally sensitive information.

“While the continuing decline in teen birth rates is welcome news, it is important to note that the U.S. still has the highest teen birth rate of any developed country and there are significant disparities among racial and ethnic groups. We need to continue working to ensure that all young people get the information and access to services they need to prevent both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.”

Planned Parenthood works every day to prevent teen pregnancy. PPRM’s Responsible Sex Education Institute provides sex education programs in schools and communities across our four-state region to more than 20,000 participants including parents.


Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains empowers individuals and families in the communities we serve to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health by providing high quality health services, comprehensive sex education, and strategic advocacy.  More than 120,000 women, men, and young adults annually visit our 30 health centers throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada, and Wyoming.  Since 1916, we have been the region’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care.  For more information about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, call 1.800.230.PLAN or visit for the health center nearest you.

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