US Teen Birth Rate at New Low

Sex Education and Contraception Effective -- But More Work to Be Done


Kristen Glundberg-Prossor


Published: | Updated: 04.10.12

As the Northwest’s leading and most trusted provider of reproductive health care and sex education, Planned Parenthood works every day to prevent teen pregnancy.  A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Birth Rates for U.S. Teenagers Reach Historic Lows for All Age and Ethnic Groups, shows that teen birthrates have continued to decline across all ethnic and racial groups.

As the authors of the report note, these historic declines have most likely been driven by increased use of contraception and strong pregnancy prevention messages aimed at teenagers. 

But while the new study offers good news, it also shows there is still work to be done to further reduce teen birthrates, particularly the disparities experienced by African-American and Latino teens.

“What this data shows, plain and simple, is that we can reduce teen pregnancy rates through sex education and access to contraception. We know what works — now we have to make it work for more young people,” said Chris Charbonneau, CEO Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest.  “There are still disparities in communities of color, and many young people still don’t get comprehensive sex education or have access to contraception. This data is very good news, but we can’t rest until all young people have the information and services that are proven to reduce teen pregnancy rates.”






Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest is the region’s leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. We believe everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child, and that every child should be wanted and loved. Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest operates 28 health centers in Alaska, Idaho, and western Washington, providing medical services and sexuality education for thousands of women, men, and teenagers each year. Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.  We rely heavily on support from donors to help sustain responsible reproduction.

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