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Planned Parenthood Statement on New CDC Report Showing Drop in Teen Birthrate for Third Year in a Row
Statement by Leslie Kantor, Planned Parenthood Federation of America Vice President of Education, on New CDC Report Showing Drop in Teen Birthrate for Third Year in a Row:
“Planned Parenthood is heartened by the news from the Centers for Disease Control that the teen birthrate has dropped nine percent between 2009 and 2010. The teen birthrate has fallen for the third straight year, and is now at a record low.
“Much of that decline is likely due to increased contraceptive use among sexually active teens. According to the Guttmacher Institute, hormonal contraceptive use among sexually active teens increased 10 percentage points over the last two years, to 47.5 percent, in 2010.
“It’s common sense that birth control reduces teen pregnancy. Yet, too many politicians are out of touch, and continue to attack birth control and promote ineffective abstinence-only programs.
“This news comes on the heels of a recently released University of Georgia study showing that states with policies that more strongly emphasize abstinence have higher rates of teen pregnancy and teen birth. In contrast, states with policies that support comprehensive sexuality education have lower teen pregnancy and birthrates.
“While the decline in the teen birthrate is welcome news, there is still work to be done. Nearly 750,000 teens become pregnant every year.
“We know the keys to reducing teen pregnancy are investing in comprehensive sex education programs and increasing access to contraception among teens who choose to be sexually active.
“That’s why sex educators like those at Planned Parenthood are poised to make tremendous progress in reducing teen pregnancy. For the first time in American history, the federal government has ensured that funds will be used primarily by states and community organizations that provide evidence-based sex education to reduce teen pregnancy. The Obama administration’s allocation of $155 million for evidence-based sex education represents a true turning point in the history of sex education in the United States.
“In addition, President Obama’s new health law will greatly expand access to affordable birth control, since it includes a benefit that requires new health insurance plans to cover birth control with no co-pays. All women should be able to access this historic new benefit, and attempts to limit it would be a blow to efforts to improve maternal health and reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies.
“Planned Parenthood is the single largest provider of sex education in communities across the United States. In addition, every year, Planned Parenthood physicians and nurses see 575,000 teenagers who come to our health centers, and millions of American teenagers seek medically accurate information on Planned Parenthood’s website, www.plannedparenthood.org”.