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U.S. Teen Pregnancy Rate Reaches Historic Low: Planned Parenthood Calls for Continued Access to Contraception and Education
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics shows a 40 percent drop in the U.S. teen pregnancy rate from 1990 to 2008, the lowest recorded level since 1976. Pregnancy rates for women in their early 20s declined to the lowest level in more than three decades.
“Sex education and access to birth control have made a significant difference in pregnancy rates among teens and young adults,” said Leslie Kantor, vice president of education for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “But the teen pregnancy rate in this country is still far higher than it should be and we need to be particularly concerned about continued disparities in the progress that has been made.”
The report shows that although pregnancy rates have declined significantly for all teens, in 2008, rates for African-American and Latino teens were two to three times higher than rates for white teens.
Planned Parenthood is encouraging women to visit Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide the week of June 18 for information and access to birth control. Patients can receive information about the kind of birth control that’s best for them, as well as direct access to affordable birth control.
“We know how to reduce the teen pregnancy rate in this country: years of research shows that high-quality sex education, encouraging parents to talk with their children about sex, and ensuring access to health care services makes a measurable difference,” continued Kantor. “So when we see disparities like this, it means we still have work to do to ensure that all young people have access to the education and services they need to prevent unintended pregnancy.”
Planned Parenthood health centers provide birth control every day all across the country. Last year, Planned Parenthood health centers provided education to more than 1.1 million people and birth control to more than two million people.