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Teen pregnancy rates hit 40 year low
February 9th, 2012
07:08 PM ET

Teen pregnancy rates hit 40 year low

Fewer teens are getting pregnant now, than at any point in the last 40 years, says a new report.

Researchers at the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive health think tank, say the pregnancy rate among teens is down 42%, from 116.9 pregnancies per 1,000 women in 1990, to 67.8 pregnancies per 1,000 women in 2008. This means about 7% of young women between the ages of 15 to 19 became pregnant in the United States in 2008.

"The 30-plus years of rates that we have, have been showing a very steady decline," said Kathryn Kost, a senior research associate at Guttmacher, and the lead author on the paper. "Rates now, from 2008 are at the lowest levels we ever seen since we started reporting them."

Kost also says the teen birth rate – the number of actual babies born to teenage moms - was down 35% as well; and the abortion rate among teens dropped almost 60% from its peak in 1988.

"What seems pretty clear is that increasing use of contraception is preventing these kids from getting pregnant in the first place," said Kost.

The report did show that racial and ethnic disparities still exist among teenagers.  Pregnancy rates among African-American and Hispanic teens were two to three times higher compared to white teens. Abortion rates among Hispanic teens were also twice the rate of abortions in whites, and  abortion rates among black teens were four times higher compared to white teens.

"Providing contraception or at least being able to ensure that everybody has access to it may help to reduce these disparities," Kost says.

The researchers believe that although the number of teens having sex is not declining significantly, awareness about contraceptives has turned the tide in the teen pregnancy numbers.

"It's clear that the largest share of the decline was due contraceptive use," she said, "both an increase in use, and increase in use of the most effective methods."


soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. Portland tony

    THANK (pardon the expression) GOD!

    February 9, 2012 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      God isn't doing this. It's people changing their actions. Teaching Abstinence Only hasn't worked so teaching Sex Ed and making condoms and other birth control methods available is what is making a difference.

      The problem in the past was that religious people wanted to avoid or control young people by restricting their access to birth control and magically thinking they would not therefore have sex. This does NOT work; young people *will* have sex, it's a human drive. No matter how we try to avoid it or don't want to think about it our children are human beings with sex drives.

      At last we are dealing with that fact. If a candidate with a religious bent gets into the White House again, we'll go right back to closed-mind stupidity again. Denial doesn't work and if reducing abortions is important to people then contraception must be available to girls and women. Period.

      February 10, 2012 at 10:06 | Report abuse |
    • Ethel

      Stop government sanctioned terrorism against medical marijuana patients. For God’s sake please STOP.

      February 10, 2012 at 10:21 | Report abuse |
    • Joanne

      Teen pregnancy down? Bet a lot has to do with the reality show Teen Mom...shows teens the reality of having a baby at a young age is all about.

      February 10, 2012 at 10:27 | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      Chartreux, that it true, sex is apart of life but when God created it, it wanted people to be married and be responsible. When you go against that rule, you pay the price and deal with it (when a woman has a child and married and divorce, she get more respect and more to gain than a woman or girl who just have babies for anyone). But again, I am agree people are making better decisions. Plus, CHILD SUPPORT and taking care of kid now is no joke for the pocketbook or wallet. If you can not handle it, keep your legs close; otherwise, deal with it and the outcome.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
    • T.Storm

      Chartreuxe, Yes,.... abstainance DOES work!

      February 10, 2012 at 14:50 | Report abuse |
    • PFPT

      The Teen Mom show helping with this trend is a very unintelligent comment. The article says that it is down 40% of the last THIRTY years. how long has Teen Mom be airing? 3? 4 years maybe? It obviously is not due to that but is due to a change in the educational approach (by both parents and schools) that is making the difference.

      February 10, 2012 at 15:04 | Report abuse |
    • gstlab3

      Their is no way this story is at all factual.

      The total number of these young women of child bearing age in this or any sub group are fewer in number than at any time in American post World War Two history.

      Fewer young women with the desire to become Mothers and Wives means fewer births.

      Duh!!!!!!!!!

      Now only the most well suited mature mates and people with lots of money can afford to even think about having children now days and the means for keeping ones self free of the work and time Motherhood and Fatherhood.,
      The massive amount of responsability "taking a pill is all it takes" to rid yourself of the job of raising the next generation while you're young enough to do it without the aide of daycare and nannys and public schools to raise them for you.

      This makes all the differance in these numbers..

      Do not be fooled.

      The number of births is down in all groups because of the bad economic situation.

      Only the most poor uneducated people usually immigrants are getting into the parenthood game early in life these days.

      Well fare too., if not for that bullcrap many so called unwed births and single Moms would sure be followed by their Fathers and the nessesary shotgun weddings.

      Spin it all you want CNN.

      nobody is having children without the cash or well fare check to do it for them

      February 10, 2012 at 20:46 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Good lord, G whatever, I hope YOU don't procreate, because you're obviously too stupid to be a decent influence on anyone. Grow the h2ll up and educate yourself, you moron. You write like you're 12.

      February 10, 2012 at 23:17 | Report abuse |
    • jane

      Jomm – And "kids" used to get married at 13 and die at 35. Now we get married in late 20s and live to be over 70. Not sure long term abstinence is realistic. Would I want my 12 year old kid having sex? Of course not. But, better teach about it and about the risks and risk mitigation methods. Or of course, just pretend its all ok and no one is having sex, getting stds and pregnant.

      February 10, 2012 at 23:24 | Report abuse |
    • smitvict

      If only the hispanics (who are mostly catholic) could figure out what contraception is. And have their church support its use. That would help address their teen problem.

      February 11, 2012 at 16:59 | Report abuse |
    • get real

      @smitvict – That's pretty ignorant. You seriously think Hispanic teens would obey the Catholic Church by not using contraception and then turn around and flagrantly disobey by getting an abortion? Pretty sure there's something else at work here. Unplanned pregnancy and abortion rates usually track with education issues.

      February 12, 2012 at 08:31 | Report abuse |
    • Lawls

      Dear gstlab3, who said:
      "Their is no way this story is at all factual.
      The total number of these young women of child bearing age in this or any sub group are fewer in number than at any time in American post World War Two history.
      Fewer young women with the desire to become Mothers and Wives means fewer births.
      Duh!!!!!!!!!"

      Please go pick up a math textbook and find the chapter on percentages. The article states "the pregnancy rate among teens is down 42%" and "the number of actual babies born to teenage moms – was down 35% as well"

      February 13, 2012 at 02:51 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      gstlab3, what you're feeling there? It's called denial.

      It's not just a river in Egypt.

      February 13, 2012 at 11:32 | Report abuse |
    • Drowlord

      You people don't read very well. This research is analyzing data from through 2008, when Bush was still president, and before the recession hit. If the data was current, you may have had a leg to stand on. However, over the continually declining rate of teen pregnancy during the 30 years up to 2008 (the last year that data was used in this study), we've had a continually-improving economy and mostly conservative presidents. This is almost certainly a reflection of better contraception knowledge and broader use of contraception.

      February 13, 2012 at 12:05 | Report abuse |
  2. TheRationale

    This is a great trend. Be safe.

    February 9, 2012 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. HWB

    This means that all teens should set aside part of their allowance or pay for contraceptives, just like their cell phones. It does not however mean that insurance policies or government should force policy holders / tax payers to fund them for the lazy. If the pay for their cell phone, then they pay for their contraceptives.

    February 9, 2012 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cindy

      Then don't complain whey you have to send them food stamps and a welfare check.

      February 9, 2012 at 21:34 | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      So only the lazy get pregnant unintentionally?

      February 10, 2012 at 12:21 | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      No JOhnny, lazy people are not the only one who get pregnant; however, if I get pregnat, I am going to take care of my kid and I will NOT expect somene else to it because I was the one who did it; otherwise, if you can not handle a being pregnant, keep your legs close. there is TOO much information out here for anyone to be claiming "I did not mean for this to happen". That is why that poster mean by being LAZY.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:58 | Report abuse |
    • tmc

      its healthcare not behavior management. contraception is covered in most health insurance policies. why should we expect poor people to pay for contraception?

      February 10, 2012 at 18:26 | Report abuse |
    • jane

      As a tax payer I would much rather pay $15-20 per kid per month for contraceptives then welfare for the kid's kids for 18 years and then their kid's kid's kids and so on.

      February 10, 2012 at 23:26 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Hey, Jomm, how do you explain the fact that a friend of mine had two kids, and with her husband decided that was enough. He had a vasectomy. A year later, she was pregnant, by him.

      Even vasectomies are not 100% effective.

      Learn to write, you moron. You are too stupid to post anything here or anywhere else.

      February 11, 2012 at 22:47 | Report abuse |
    • Oh Rearry

      By him eh? Sure about that

      February 12, 2012 at 10:23 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Yeah, dumbazz, I AM sure about it. By the way, Unreal, they're CATHOLIC.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:52 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      HWB, you're made many assumptions.

      1: All teenagers don't get allowances.
      2: They don't all have cell phones.
      3: They don't all have insurance to get health care. Some of them don't even have enough to eat. There's hunger today in America.
      4: Not every teenager can get a job, and many of them have to use their paychecks to help their parents pay for utilities, groceries and other bills. In this economy things are tough. Sex may be the only amusement a teenager can do. They should all be protected. Abstinence is unrealistic.
      5: Planned Parenthood's funding has been reduced. They can't serve as many teens or young women now as once they did, and because of the economic problems the need is greater than ever.
      6: All health insurance automatically covers VIAGRA and CIALIS. According to your logic, parity is necessary because sex is a luxury for men and women.

      February 13, 2012 at 11:45 | Report abuse |
  4. Dick

    Thank God. If this means humans are finally stopping breeding, there may actually be hope for the universe yet.

    February 9, 2012 at 20:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. irwin

    This is great news.

    I wish all teens would read my free online book: Teenagers say the darndest things at scribd.com. It will give them some real insight on why you do not need to rush into sexual activity. I think most teens will be very disappointed if they do.

    Good Luck,
    Irwin

    February 9, 2012 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Cindy

    Good news. And now the Republicans want to stop women and young girls from getting birth control. They really have started a war on women. Most poor girls have to get their birth control from Planned Parenhood because they do not have the money for it.

    February 9, 2012 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Concerned Citizen

    You need to stop living in the Rick Santorum fantasy land that believes people who do not have health care a driving BMWs, have children with cell phones, and toddlers with iPads. Religons complete apathy to the health crisis in this country, well beyond this contraceptive issue, has turned me away from faith. Where is the Catholic churches outrage that the richest country on Earth does not have healther care for millions of children? Where is the Religous Right's outrage that there are people living in a country with a 12 Trillion dollar GDP who are malnurished? If it makes you sleep better at night convincing yourself that all these people have cell phones and iPads than congratualtions, you're an idiot.

    February 9, 2012 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joyce

      I absolutely agree. Although its not the point here...having faith on God, is completely different from agreeing with "rules" made by the roman catholic church.

      Let's pray that in 5 years teen pregnancy rates go even lower. Hopefully one day, we'll all be able to buy any kind of birth control from vending machines.

      February 10, 2012 at 11:15 | Report abuse |
    • miscreantsall

      Excellent commentary!!

      February 11, 2012 at 08:15 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Joyce, prayer without works is useless.

      Let's pray and make sure those who get elected are the ones who will do the Will of the People rather than the Will of their own Party.

      February 13, 2012 at 12:07 | Report abuse |
  8. DC

    People used to take responsibility when creating life. They got married, started a family, and worked through their issues together. These days? No-fault-divorce and abortion-on-demand. Just pay up the alimony and child support and be on your merry way. You can try to evade personal responsibility all you want people, it's not going to make your life any easier or your conscience any clearer.

    February 9, 2012 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Balt

      I totally agree with you DC!!

      February 10, 2012 at 07:58 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Most teenage girls don't think they'll get pregnant when have sex the first time and some of them do fall pregnant then. It's pretty clear none of you have a clue how teenage girls think. They aren't taught anything by their parents on how to protect themselves and everything they know they learn from their girlfriends or from teenage boys. Ponder what kind of bad information they get from those sources.

      Sex Ed belongs in schools. Parents have demonstrated they're not willing, able nor are they capable of educating their children about sex at home. Kids are citizens. They deserve to learn about their bodies; operating manuals aren't included from the factory.

      February 10, 2012 at 10:20 | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      So they got married and acted "responsibly"...and were miserable with each other the rest of their lives and resented their children.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:23 | Report abuse |
    • Sydney

      Actually no, a lot of them didn't. That's why they used to have these things called orphanages – remember those?

      And the abortions used to happen anyway, just at home and with no medical care, and often killed the women.

      February 10, 2012 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
    • DianD

      Actually, we have become more responsible of our bodies. Using birth control methods has proven that women hold themselves more accountable for their choices.

      February 10, 2012 at 22:44 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Oh, nonsense. Girls used to get pregnant and give the baby up for adoption, or get an abortion. Or they married the teenaged father and had a truncated adulthood. Or they married the teenaged father and had a miserable life. Or, occasionally, they married the teenaged father and had a decent existence.

      Get real, honey. "Father Knows Best" and "Leave It To Beaver" weren't based on anything remotely resembling reality. If you are pretending otherwise, you're either stupid or ignorant.

      February 10, 2012 at 23:13 | Report abuse |
    • Mikey

      No people used to separate sex and marriage. Marriage was for economic or political reasons. Sex , at least for men was for enjoyment.

      February 13, 2012 at 09:37 | Report abuse |
  9. VinoBianco

    And yet, some people are against free contraception...rediculous.

    February 10, 2012 at 10:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt

      Free for who? Someone is paying for it.

      February 10, 2012 at 13:59 | Report abuse |
  10. mommyask

    People are taking responsibility by using contraceptives! My parents had me later in life and did not even want to discuss sex let alone help me get protection. As soon as my teenage daughter had a steady boyfriend, I took her to the doctor to have contraceptives prescribed. I would rather pay for birth control then pay for a child. Contraceptives along with sexual education are what is bringing down the teenage birth rates.

    February 10, 2012 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      You're a responsible parent. If there were more of you there wouldn't be much demand for abortion. Don't get me wrong, I'm Pro Choice. I started teaching my son about condoms when he was 10 years old. He was so embarrassed that he's nearly 24 now and he still hasn't had sex. (I think I broke him.) Still, he knows about safe sex.

      More parents should be like you. It's part and parcel of parenting. What's more loving that protecting your child from infectious disease and a long and painful death by STD?

      HIV still kills. The antivirals make many people desperately ill and in the end you die of AIDS. Slowly. Painfully.

      February 10, 2012 at 10:36 | Report abuse |
  11. AlwaysSpeak

    As a third year college student, I'm still in contact with many of the girl that I graduated high school with. The majority of them are pregnant with their third child. I can tell you from being surrounded by young teenage mothers that the birth rate among younger women is not going down. The way that young pregnant mothers look at it is that they already have one baby so they might as well just start the whole family. Birth control isn't the answer. Teaching these young women to respect themselves and their body is the solution. Young girls need to know that having sexual relationships at such a young age because you're in "love" is not how you keep a guy around.

    February 10, 2012 at 11:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tony

      Not giving them a welfare check for each kid would help deincentiveize them too.

      February 10, 2012 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
    • DianD

      So you determine that just because you are surrounded by teenage mothers this NATIONAL teen pregnancy rate figures must be incorrect? Good riddance. Abstinence is always the best option, but not every couple will opt for that, and they are actually acting responsibly when they opt for contraception. Anything that would keep welfare babies from draining the system, right?

      February 10, 2012 at 23:09 | Report abuse |
    • miscreantsall

      Hmmmmmmm, sounds like you may be surrounded by Mexican or Hispanic teens.

      One thing for sure, teen pregnancy is NOT down in numbers or percentages with the above group!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      February 11, 2012 at 08:21 | Report abuse |
  12. Spirit

    What about Asians?

    February 10, 2012 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Concerned in SoCal

    If the "Teen Mom" show is having such an impact they should broadcast it in SPANISH in Southern California. We still have an epidemic here, teem moms are getting younger and younger every year. We met a woman who was not even 30 yrs old yet and her 13 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER already has a child.

    This is a problem.

    February 10, 2012 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Tony

    I' m in healthcare, do not believe this.

    February 10, 2012 at 17:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MaryLand

      Your "belief" is irrelevant, dim bulb, unless you have stats that substantiate it.

      Get a clue, bonehead. Emptying bedpans doesn't make you a healthcare expert or a sentient being.

      February 10, 2012 at 22:40 | Report abuse |
  15. Little Hippo

    the problem with teen pregnancy is that they cannot provide for the child. they either go on government assistance or the grandparents are having to care for them. so if less teens are preventing those things from happening, good job. but there is nothing wrong with the act of having a child. it is nature. just the kids should think of the consequences of sex before doing so. b/c children are not toys and they will be prosecuted if the child dies b/c of their negligence

    February 10, 2012 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Older Sista

    Interesting survey the other day showed that most Canadian adults are Uncomfortable with teaching their own children about sexual matters and preferred that they be taught in school. American adults were quite uncomfortable with the schools teaching their children about sexual matters but preferred to do the teaching themselves. We taught our kids and our youngest is 25. No out of wedlock offspring, no STD's and no abortions. Some premarital sex? Yes. Ah me oh my. Life's not perfect.

    February 10, 2012 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jane

      How do you know that were no stds and no abortions? Is that something kids normally tell their parents?

      February 10, 2012 at 23:21 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Parents don't know enough to teach their children about sex. They're uncomfortable talking to their kids about sex. They also have a subconscious feeling that if they *don't* and they delay The Talk, their children will remain virgins forever. This is what we call Magical Thinking. It does NOT work. Their son impregnates a girl, their daughter falls pregnant, and everyone blames the girl for all. See how that happens?

      The true blame belongs to the parents. Let's have Sex Ed in school and less of this stupidity will occur. This is the 21st Century. We don't need to have things continue like this. It's wasteful of young lives and potential, to say nothing of the financial costs.

      Contraception is less expensive than abortion, and much less expensive than dealing with unwanted babies.

      February 13, 2012 at 12:28 | Report abuse |
  17. NOT Dow Jones Industrial

    This is fantastic news, and lets hope the trend continues. That said, there continues go be very, very disturbing parts to these stories, and that is the data is over two years old! What if the data swings the other way, and gets worse, significantly: we won't know about it for TWO YEARS! This is true for many social and health issues. The federal government needs to due much, much better in gathering and reporting such data. If it can do so for jobs and other economic activity, it damn well can do it for health and well-being data.

    February 10, 2012 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Nicole

    I have every intention of encouraging my future daughters and sons to use the most reliable forms of birth control as well as protection. If your body can physically make babies, and you aren't ready to raise babies, then you need to do what is possible to prevent making babies. Even if you don't intend to have sex for many years you need to be prepared, because, well, stuff happens. I would much rather deal with the fall out of my 14 year old having sex (which, face it, happens) than the fall out of my 14 year old getting pregnant or contracting an STD.

    Seriously, if every 13 year old had an IUD or another form of long term, low maintenance birth control just as a routine occurrence we could bring these numbers down to near 0. Our society needs to get over itself and realize teens making babies is more serious than teens having sex, and that even if you don't have birth control and comprehensive sex ed

    February 10, 2012 at 22:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nicole

      (cont.)...teens still have sex.

      February 10, 2012 at 22:03 | Report abuse |
    • Horatia

      Rape happens. How many times do we hear of young girls being raped at parties. A girl was raped a year ago in our community at a school dance. It can happen walking home from school. Its an unfortunate possibilty for every female. Twelve year old girls would be protected from pregnancy not just from having sex with a boyfriend, but from rape as well.

      February 11, 2012 at 03:41 | Report abuse |
  19. RIGHT & Y MIGHT THAT BE

    EVERYONES GAY

    February 11, 2012 at 05:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tkakes

      so true

      February 11, 2012 at 08:39 | Report abuse |
  20. Faith

    I would still bet abortion is one of the top methods of "birth control" among teenagers. But, we know this administration has no problem with that either.

    February 11, 2012 at 09:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MaryLand

      Nonsense. Statistics show that abortions have continued to decrease in numbers. Where is your evidence that teenagers use abortion as birth control? Where is your evidence that there are more than a fraction of a percent of women who do?

      People like you are part of the reason that some girls end up having abortions in the first place. You would deny them access to contraception and s#x education that includes information about contraception.

      February 11, 2012 at 12:26 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      That's a lie which has been perpetrated by anti-Choice people since abortion was made legal. Who could afford to have an abortion again and again? They are expensive, more expensive than birth control.

      Matthew 7:5
      You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brothers.

      February 13, 2012 at 12:32 | Report abuse |
  21. CH

    As a teacher, I find this hard to believe..

    February 11, 2012 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MaryLand

      If you're a teacher, you suck at it. Where's your study that proves teen pregnancy rates are not dropping? Or did you forget that anecdotes/= proof?

      February 11, 2012 at 15:35 | Report abuse |
  22. Firestarter

    I can't help but shrug my shoulders at this information. What is the significance? So someone can make assumptions that sex ed works? Statistics cannot account for all the unreported miscarriages and certainly do not reflect the numbers of 'teens' who have sex (even without contraception) and never get pregnant (or get other people pregnant). The only true facts being explored here are the racial differentiations. I'm truly interested in exploring the topic but with few premises and no conclusion – I'm unfulfilled. Now if we want to get provocative we could say maybe more kids are trying alternative (pregnancy proof) sexual options. Can we think of any? I sure can.

    February 11, 2012 at 16:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. COLIN

    I actually think we can attribute this to the white trash portrayed on MTV's Teen Mom. No one wants to end up like that.

    February 11, 2012 at 17:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob Karlson

      True

      February 11, 2012 at 17:58 | Report abuse |
    • Steve Troller

      Haha i agree

      February 11, 2012 at 17:59 | Report abuse |
    • Super Glue

      yepp

      February 11, 2012 at 18:00 | Report abuse |
  24. FOXLOSE

    it's possible

    February 11, 2012 at 18:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Rick Springfield

    Most likely a lot of infertility, not less sex or use of more contraceptives. Today's kids are subject to much more radiation than any previous generation. They embrace wireless technology that spans the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. Their phones now emit three kinds of EM at one time. They emit cell phone pulses, bluetooth transmissions, and wifi emissions at the same time. Where do boys carry their phones? is it on a large vinyl pouch on the belt? No, its in their front pocket next to the huevos. Imagine climbing a radio tower and staying near a transmitter antenna for a lengthy time. Well if you take the size of the spermatozoa and the size and strength of the cellphone's transmitter its the same thing. If that's not enough then how about all of the EM in a typical modern home. Everything now emits some kind of radiation.

    February 11, 2012 at 20:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MaryLand

      Oh, get a clue, you nut case. There's no evidence that anyone is less fertile than in generations past. What an idiotic assumption.

      February 11, 2012 at 22:43 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      That's the lamest argument on a thread of lame arguments. Teenagers are the least infertile of all ages of human beings, Rick. This sounds like something a 15 year old boy would tell his 14 year old girlfriend in order to persuade her to have unprotected sex...which could end in pregnancy.

      This is why Sex Ed must be taught in schools, to protect our teenaged daughters against insane troll logic such as this. Boys will try anything to get to have sex with a girl. Anything.

      February 13, 2012 at 12:37 | Report abuse |
  26. Critic

    The comments section should be full of cheering at this good news, especially since the rate of abortion is also down, but instead it's full of whinging.

    Whether it's contraception or abstinence, teenagers are making smarter decisions and avoiding getting pregnant. That is a good thing, PERIOD.

    February 11, 2012 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MaryLand

      Hear, hear.

      February 11, 2012 at 22:49 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Agreed, yet there are people complaining about the actions and behaviour of others. One can only presume that these individuals *claim* to be Christian. As such, should they not follow *all* the teachings of Jesus? Allow a quote from the New Testament (NIV):

      Matthew 7:5

      You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brothers.

      February 13, 2012 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
  27. kendallpeak

    Evidence does show that the pendulum is swinging. While young people may not totally abstain from premarital sex, they are starting to reject the secular teachings that one must be a complete tramp to find happiness. One to a couple affairs before marriage has been common through man's history, to fornicate like dogs in the street is a more recent event brought on by modern atheism/agnostocism.

    February 11, 2012 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MaryLand

      You are so ridiculous it's hardly worth a response, ken. How many teenagers are "fornicating in the streets"?

      Jesus, you sound like such a dolt.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:54 | Report abuse |
    • kendallpeak

      Maryland, that is what is called a figure of speech. It refers to extreme promiscuity. Young people have actually called it "hooking up". Sorry to have confused you, I will try to write in a manner that you may find easier to comprehend.There are actually very good reading classes at local community colleges.

      February 12, 2012 at 12:39 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      I can easily comprehend your crap, kenny. You don't get it. Women will continue to ignore the church and will limit the size of their families and the spacing of children. That doesn't make them "tramps" and they're "hooking up" with their husbands, you stupid git.

      February 12, 2012 at 13:18 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      I'd love to see your source of evidence that teenagers are having less s3x and abstaining more. Do be sure and account for ALL forms of s3x, including oral and an al, you sh!twit.

      February 12, 2012 at 13:21 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      What "secular teachings" are you referring to? In what universe do atheists and agnostics advocate 'extreme promiscuity'?

      February 12, 2012 at 13:24 | Report abuse |
    • kendallpeak

      Maryland, I can read from your rantings that you are in fact of the class of individuals society used to classify as tramp. Unfortunately, for you, your lack of morality makes intelligent discourse impossible. Fortunately, for you, there is always decent people there to clean up the flotsam left by people of your low calibre. Keep fornicating, keep taking pills and killing your children. As real men and women have made civilization and overcome the jungle, we have always known some of the jungle will still exist amongst us in the form of the trash culture.

      February 12, 2012 at 13:48 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      "There is always people"? Yeah, you're brilliant, Einstein.

      Your post is telling. You have NO evidence or proof of your claims. None. Thanks for admitting it. By the way, are just Michele? You sound about as ignorant.

      I have been married to the same man for over 30 years. I've never had s3x with anyone else since we married and my encounters before that were very few. I don't take birth control pills, dumbazz. I don't "fornicate".

      You have nothing and that's why you are going to disappear.

      Thanks for showing yourself to be a complete goober.

      February 12, 2012 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
    • kendallpeak

      Maryland, you sound as enlightened and as growing as the state you take your moniker from, I think you are both heading in the same direction.

      February 12, 2012 at 14:32 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      You don't 'think' at all, you lying sack. You make inane claims and then get pissy when you're called on it. You can't back up a single thing you posted.

      The proof is right here for anyone to see. Thanks for playing, troll.

      February 12, 2012 at 19:04 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Oh, kenny? Where are you, kenny?

      I saw your post on another thread in which you were soundly trounced as you've been here. You didn't even realize that Tom, Tom and I are one and the same, did you? You didn't even manage to figure out that I was female or that I'd been married longer than YOU have, and quite happily and faithfully.

      You're an idiot.

      February 12, 2012 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
  28. A guy overseas

    While I've not read the entire report yet (and I have deliberately skipped the offensively racist and crackpot comments above), one observable fact must be included. Despite progress in reducing teen pregnancy, the US STILL has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the developed world! (source: United Nations Statistics Division – Demographic and Social Statistics). Compare the pregnancy rates in, for example, Switzerland, Germany, and the Nordics to the US – the US rate is more than 5 times as high!! Why? Because the US is still caught in a theo-neo-con stranglehold, teaching failed policies of "abstinence-only" education and denying reproductive rights to young women. There can be no justification for this.

    February 12, 2012 at 07:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Billy

      Actually no loser, its because ghetto trash can't keep their legs closed. Those wonderful countries you mention don't have a ghetto underclass that only knows how to kill and breed.

      February 12, 2012 at 17:06 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Oooh, changing your moniker now, are you, kenny?

      Coward.

      February 12, 2012 at 19:07 | Report abuse |
  29. TheRedhead

    The people that think that abstinence is idealistic in today's society need to get a clue. Teens have had a high sex drive since the beginning of time, because that's when women's bodies can best bare children and the age that they used to start a family. Obviously people live a lot longer now and don't need to reproduce so early on in life. Today's reality is that most people want a career and don't want kids to interfere with this. College and career now, marriage and kids later. As a sixteen year old, I say that the ultimate reason for this drop in pregnancy rate (though i'm not happy with how long ago the survey was) is due to how easy it is to get contraception these days. Sex education also plays a role in this. I'm glad that society has advanced to the point where they aren't in denial about teens and sex. Ignorance gets society nowhere.

    February 12, 2012 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Abstinence was never realistic, even when it was the only method of birth control available, Redhead. Do some research on the history of birth control and you'll perhaps be surprised how many children were born out of wedlock in the past: more than there are now. There was a protocol to deal with it in 'good' society: a woman withdrew for a minimum of a season, then gradually reappeared at functions.

      In the lower classes she was shunned and she and her baby would starve. Cruel, but efficient way to deal with the population problem. The father? He got off scott free if he refused to acknowledge the mother or the child and it was completely up to him whether he did so or not. Of course if he did acknowledge having a connection with a lower class woman his reputation would be ruined or damaged. Of course, as it is now, all the trouble and responsibility lands on the mother.

      There's a great deal more but you should learn it for yourself. There were methods of birth control but when medicine came into the control they were made illegal for women to obtain. Women weren't in control of their own bodies nor were they in control of the number of children they had, even when pregnancy endangered their lives. Abortifacients were also available until men came to dominate medicine, then that was the end of that. Look it up, it's fascinating.

      When men began to control medicine the death rate in pregnancy skyrocketed. All the knowledge that midwives had was then lost. Midwives began to be persecuted because doctors wanted the income that came with birth, and the women began to be hunted down as witches.

      From that point on when a woman fell pregnant she would get her affairs in order. Each pregnancy was a potential death sentence. 'Till death do us part' was an average of 12 years.

      'The only thing new under the sun is the history you don't know.' Harry S Truman.

      February 13, 2012 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      Teenage girls' bodies are not best suited for pregnancy. They are not fully developed. And teenager girls who are pregnant have a great incidence of complications from it. A woman in her 20's is best suited for pregnancy, and for supporting the child she will bear.

      February 16, 2012 at 14:57 | Report abuse |
    • TheRedhead

      Thanks for the info, Char. Really interesting stuff! I'd like to think, though that when society as a whole was more religious that abstinence was more commonly accepted as a means of birth control.

      Alyssa, the difference in how easy it is for a teenager and a twenty-year-old to get pregnant is nearly nonexistent. It's all prime child bearing age until about thirty-two. Especially for a teenager who isn't going to grow much more.

      February 27, 2012 at 18:35 | Report abuse |
  30. ringo

    I attribute this to the trend towards anal sex.
    Very hard to get pregnant that way.

    February 12, 2012 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Teeny

    Yep, and there are still those who think contraception is immoral.

    February 12, 2012 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MaryLand

      Only if they're idiots. Like kendall.

      February 12, 2012 at 13:19 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      No, MaryLand, it's Mitt Romney who feels this way. He belongs to a sect of Catholicism that believes contraception should be illegal. Mel Gibson is in the same part of the Catholic Church.

      Mel Gibson was once quoted as saying, 'Having children is cheaper than using birth control.' He actually said that out loud. I went right off him when I heard that on tape. In the US it costs $200K to raise a child to age 18 now. What a marune.

      February 13, 2012 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      @Chartruexe, you mean Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney is a Mormon, not a Catholic.

      February 16, 2012 at 14:59 | Report abuse |
  32. Tim

    Abstinence works but to a certain point. its not that teens are not having sex ( trust me they are ) its the availability of condoms and birth control that is causing the drop of teen pregnancy.

    February 12, 2012 at 18:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MaryLand

      While that may be true in part, I believe that there is a correlation between better and more comprehensive s3x education and the drop in both abortion and teen pregnancy.

      February 12, 2012 at 19:06 | Report abuse |
    • MaryLand

      Too bad morons like kenny don't have any education or brains.

      February 12, 2012 at 19:15 | Report abuse |
  33. Bridget

    They didn't state in the article how much the decline in the population is a factor. There are less and less being born. Especially in the white population. So the numbers may not be displaying any kind of news, just logic.

    February 13, 2012 at 08:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      What possible difference does colour have to do with this change?

      It has more to do with the fact that Abstinence Only Sex Ed isn't being taught in schools now. That STOPPED when President Obama took office. Kids are now learning REAL SEX ED in school rather than the lies AOSE was teaching them.

      For example: AOSE taught them that condoms don't protect against HIV.

      LIE! Properly used, latex condoms DO protect against STDs and HIV, as well as HPV.

      For example: AOSE taught them that condoms have a high failure rate and don't protect against pregnancy.

      LIE! Properly used, latex condoms DO protect against pregnancy, and they also protect against STDs. Combined with the Pill or a barrier method (foam, cream spermicide), they can offer 100% protection against pregnancy.

      This is the program millions of dollars went to year after year, feeding disinformation to students. Is it any wonder kids wouldn't use condoms or other methods of birth control? After all the lies, none of them trusted any birth control.

      Thank you, President Obama. I don't want anyone lying to my kids, or yours.

      February 13, 2012 at 15:18 | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      There are not less and less being born. There are more and more being born.

      February 16, 2012 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
  34. John Smith

    Wow!!! Someone spouts off a statistic and a whole bunch of people jump to a ton of conclusions without a single shred of evidence. A fact, it just that, a fact. Quit trying to make more of it than is reasonable.

    Is the data accurate? Maybe. But, that doesn't mean that the downward trend shown up to 2008 is because of contraceptive use. It just means that fewer people got pregnant. Here are a few thoughts. Maybe more teens were infertile. Maybe more teens like oral sex. Maybe more teens are gay, or chose to be (troll). Maybe they just abstain from having sex and the few that are having children are just having more children to make up for those who aren't. Theorize all you want. The data doesn't tell us the whole picture. :-) Cheers!!!

    February 13, 2012 at 08:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Straw man argument. Teenagers have the lowest incidence of infertility of any age.

      Fail.

      February 13, 2012 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
  35. GiveRepublicansAChance

    Give the republicans a chance as they want to remove contraceptions from schools, churches and Universities. I am sure if they succeed they can get more pregnancies up and help HIV and STD's growth too. I mean I am sure telling two young people after they have consumed alchohol and are alone and get the urge they will just say no I would rather talk or possibly play scrabble or something as their hormones rage......
    Why Do We Let Republicans Play the Role of G O D when they are whine about socialism and giving to the poor. Do they not see the increase in births will require some to use social service type funding.

    February 13, 2012 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Matrix

    They are trying to make the case that contraception is the reason, but I doubt that. Although a complete absence of contraception would cause the numbers to rise. Teen pregnancies are down, but the number of teens claiming to be virgins into adulthood is rising.

    So, what are contributing to this? There are several things 1) easy access to *stuff* online, 2) expanding waistlines make people less attractive to others, 3) teens are involved in more and more activities and have less and less time for relationships, 4) technology has made face-to-face interaction less necessary. Also, it seems more teens are involved in more distant relationships.

    February 13, 2012 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MaryLand

      Where are you getting this "information"? Do you have a source you can cite to back up these 'theories'?

      February 13, 2012 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Incorrect. Fewer and fewer are retaining their virginity now.

      Where did you get your information? It's so completely wrong.

      February 13, 2012 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
  37. Shelbs

    Women and men of all ages (but especially teens) need the opportunity to recieve a frank and truthful education about their sexual health and decisions, as well as access to various forms of birth control. What people DO NOT need is religous conservatives legislating morality and sticking their noses in the private lives of others. It is also the responsibility of parents to have frank discussions about sex with their children and set positive examples. Hopefully this study is a positive sign and not a statistical anomoly. If you don't want your kids out having sex; set limits and curfews, keep and eye on where they are and who they spend their time with. That may not be enough to stop them outright, so make sure they also know the importance of birth control and have a strong sense of self respect in the all to likely event they are involved in a sexual situation. I think its up to each family and each individual as well to take responsibilty for sexual health. What I really can't stand is the religous right constantly trying to legislate morality and shove outdated beliefs down the throats of American citizens...it clearly doesn't work...What does work? Education, prevention, discussion, and responsibility; not denial.

    February 13, 2012 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Bryan Kirchoff

    What seems unexplored in this article is that we apparently had the same teen pregnancy rates forty years ago, when the Pill was just a decade old (and probably not nearly so available to kids) and Roe vs Wade had not yet happened. So, what were teens doing back then that they managed to achieve the same rate of pregnancy without the expense and risks of a nationwide family planning program? Or, more accurately, what were they not doing, thanks to a less relativistic sense of right and wrong and clear guidelines from adult society? In short, if abstinence doesn't work, then why are we going to huge expense just to get to teen pregnancy rates we had four decades ago?

    Bryan Kirchoff
    St. Louis

    February 13, 2012 at 22:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MaryLand

      Here's a clue, Rip van Winkle: plenty has changed in 40 years. Catch up.

      February 13, 2012 at 23:21 | Report abuse |
  39. Bryan Kirchoff

    I also note that numerous people want conservatives to "get out of the bedroom"...while at the same time demanding that conservatives' taxes pay for what goes on there.

    Bryan Kirchoff
    St. Louis

    February 13, 2012 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Vicky

    Perhaps some of you should learn about Catholicism and Hispanics before making ignorant comments. Most teenagers I know have sex even when they are Catholic, and that does not mean they did not go to University. Many get pregnant, but I do think that sometimes people say they did not mean too, when the truth is they wanted it. When you do not stop yourself to wear a condom, when you know you will forget to take the pill each day, yet you have sex. That is knowing you are ready to have a baby, and if they choose to do that, they should not expect the government to take care of their needs.

    February 14, 2012 at 02:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Timmy

    It's all thanks to all gm foods you've guys been eating. It's been proven that it reduces fertility big time in various studies

    February 14, 2012 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. AvgAmericanGirl

    Dear Everyone on this Feed,

    Most of you don't have a clue and speak in vast generalizations. To throw off all your stereotypes and general ideas about young women in this country, I wanted to share with you a little bit about myself....I am a 23 year old graduate student. I am in a long-term committed relationship of 5 years and guess what; we have sex! We are in no position to have children right now, hence we use birth control in order to avoid bringing an unplanned child into the world, for the benefit of ourselves, the child, and society. I come from an upper middle class WHITE family. I have insurance, however, contraceptives are not covered. You know what I do? I go to Planned Parenthood. In no way am I ashamed to admit this, and I humbly make the trip there every couple of months to utilize their services and get birth control. And yes, after every visit I leave a donation.

    So to all of you harping about how its Catholics, Hispanics, the poor.... ugh, its not! Have you ever actually been to a planned parenthood? Where do you all get your facts? Its ridiculous. I don't know what my point was anymore, but damnit, stop generalizing and blaming one group for something. This article should be celebrated. It means were moving in the right direction. Hooray – we've done something right!

    February 16, 2012 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Matthew

    I think with all the talk of teenage p's... teenagers have partly been peer pressured into not getting knock up. It's not cool. So... they are educating themselves. Some of these children have the resources and brainpower to ask questions, seek information, and to use condoms. Because no one wants a baby if it ain't cool. (Thank... Glee and other tv programs.)

    that's just my 2 cents.

    February 26, 2012 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
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  46. torex

    Most studies show there have been a major decline in teen sexual activity, over 40 % more virgin teens than 1990, thats why the pregnancy rate is declineing..abstinence works

    May 13, 2012 at 07:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. torex

    http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/resources/pdf/FastFacts_SexualBehavior_ContraceptiveUse_NHBlacks.pdf this links to the statistics, that proves the cause of the decline is abstinance

    May 13, 2012 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
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