Teen pregnancy rate lowest in two decades
April 5th, 2011
03:57 PM ET

Teen pregnancy rate lowest in two decades

Shows like "Teen Mom" and "16 and Pregnant" have helped make teen pregnancy a topic of national conversation. However, the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the actual rate of teen pregnancies in the U.S. has declined to a record low.

In 2009, around 410,000 teenage girls, ages 15 to 19, gave birth in the United States. That's a 37 percent decrease from the teen birth rate in1991. Then, 61.8 births per every 1,000 females was a teen pregnancy. The rate has now dropped to 39.1 births per 1,000 women. Yet according to the United Nations, the rate of teen pregnancy in the United States is nearly nine times higher than in the majority of other developed nations.

In a press release attached to the new Vital Signs report, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the CDC, wrote that despite the steady reduction in teen pregnancies over the last two decades, "still far too many teens are having babies."

"Preventing teen pregnancy can protect the health and quality of life of teenagers, their children, and their families throughout the United States."

The Vital Signs report looked at data from 1991 to 2009 and found that in addition to the steady decrease in the rate of teen pregnancies, there's also been a decrease in the percentage of high school students even having sex. More teens are using contraception, too; the CDC says the percentage of students who had sexual intercourse in the past three months without using any type of contraception decreased from sixteen percent to 12 percent while the percentage of students using two forms of contraception (for example, a condom and birth control pills) increased from 5 to 9 percent.

Still, roughly 1,100 teenage women give birth every day. According to the CDC, that means one of every ten new mothers is a teenager. The majority are Hispanic or African-American, with respective birth rates nearly double that of white teenagers. Combined, all teen pregnancies cost taxpayers about $9 billion a year.

soundoff (324 Responses)
  1. KritterKat

    So, they're only looking at 15-19 year olds? I'm willing to bet the rate of 12-14 year old teen mothers has risen though. Schools in Europe have condom machines, but all our kids get in school are waste-of-breath abstinence messages.

    April 5, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Frederica

      Abstinence is the best policy for all time for everywhere for character and enduring well-being. A partial short-term result in USA is nothing. Mankind should never give up the best thing. Every child must be given a chance to strive for the best and encouraged to live it, never the opposite. Traitors and deserters never know the glorious, victorious joy.

      April 5, 2011 at 21:42 | Report abuse |
    • 2manyhorses

      Spot on!! Check out Sarah (abstinence only) Palin and her daughter...not to mention, Sarah herself was pregnant prior to wedlock. You can wish it all you want, but kids will and always have experimented – in spite of what they have supposedly been brainwashed into believing. Abstinence only "education" is a waste of time and money that results in unwanted babies being conceived due to lack of true education. Wake up, God Squad!

      April 5, 2011 at 21:57 | Report abuse |
    • Frederica

      2manyhorses, ??? It works with the majority of mankind.

      April 5, 2011 at 22:06 | Report abuse |
    • Frederica

      @the-, Jesus never says such thing. Why do Americans ridicule religious people? It's so unAmerican.

      April 5, 2011 at 22:18 | Report abuse |
    • PN

      Cnn would do mankind a good service by shutting down these boards. Why encourage this kind of discussions?

      April 5, 2011 at 22:24 | Report abuse |
    • Marlye

      @thes33k3r- LMAO! Someone should tell the hispanic girls in my town that teen pregnancy went down because they're completely oblivious to that news. They just keep having babies while still in Jr. High.

      April 5, 2011 at 22:55 | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      My understanding is that most 12-14 year old girls that end up pregnant didn't agree to intercourse. If the study is trying to learn about decisions that girls are making, you'd have to throw out cases where most of the time a choice wasn't made by the girl.

      April 6, 2011 at 00:39 | Report abuse |
    • echernando

      This news story is critically flawed. They use the term "pregnancy rate" when what they mean is "birth rate." While I am unaware of the statistics (or even if such statistics are available) I would venture a guess that Europe and certain other developed nations have a much higher abortion rate that the U.S. I would be curious if you added abortions to the birth rate if we would be that much higher or higher at all.

      April 6, 2011 at 01:01 | Report abuse |
    • AngryAsian

      One figure that will never be disclosed is just how high the abortion rates are increasing in this age bracket and younger. This article is pure rubbish to me considering these numbers are not taken into account.

      April 6, 2011 at 06:44 | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      Sorry people. Abstinence works. I managed to make it through high school just fine (graduated in 2003) on abstinence. Now, I've got a wife and 2 kids. I waited until I was ready. The absolute sure-fire responsible way to avoid teen pregnancy is through abstinence. Just because YOU didn't have the willpower to control yourself doesn't mean that it's not the right way to do it.

      April 6, 2011 at 07:29 | Report abuse |
    • Funnystuff888

      Not being able to get laid is not abstience...nice try though...Self control is easy when no one will even look at you...I find it a little weird that you waited so long, I bet you were an experienced gem on your wedding night...What a lucky girl you have there.

      April 6, 2011 at 08:07 | Report abuse |
    • Chris D

      @KritterKat Im pretty sure your wrong sense the AOC was that low back in the >1900. They married girls off at 13 back in the day so im assume that would raise the rate of pregnancy.

      April 6, 2011 at 08:09 | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy Jackson

      The only reason it has dipped is because of the popularity of skinny jeans in young males. Thats the new form of birth control in the U.S. 🙂 It's not because of abstinence

      April 6, 2011 at 08:14 | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      This just in, teen BJ rate higher than it has been in decades.

      April 6, 2011 at 08:26 | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      @funnystuff: no surprise there. I saw that "rebuttal" coming miles away. There were opportunities. I was a Varsity athlete, and I had plenty of dates. Believe it or not, but some of us can exercise control.

      Again, I stand by what I said. Abstinence works. You bet my wife was lucky. I showed her that I had self-control, and I gave her a gift that you will never understand. She also gave me a similar gift. I find it sad that you'll never know what that means...

      April 6, 2011 at 08:28 | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      @ Kyle – while I respect your decision to abstain until you were actually an adult, you cannot hold yourself up to be the model every teen should look up to. Many factors – from peer pressure to even home life – can influence a teenager's way of thinking. Teenagers have been having s3x behind their parents' backs forever now; what ticks me off is the hypocrisy of these parents who demand abstinence from their teens when they did not practice it during their own teen years.

      Yes, abstinence is something to be encouraged to teenagers, I wholeheartedly agree. It's not realistic, though. By providing thorough s3x education, teenagers who choose to have s3x will be better equipped to protect themselves from teen pregnancy and STD's. By excluding s3x education from schools we are sending teens into adulthood unprepared. We are withholding valuable information about STD's that could save their lives. Simply telling a teenager "Don't!" isn't going to solve the problem.

      April 6, 2011 at 08:47 | Report abuse |
    • Q-bo

      Yeah, they'd never let those abortion stats out!!! Oh wait... http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/Data_Stats/Abortion.htm

      April 6, 2011 at 09:55 | Report abuse |
  2. someoneelse

    The MAIN reason it's down is because we stopped listening to stupid religious people and actually educated kids about s_x and its responsibilities. The reason it is so far higher than other developed nations is the Bible belt, again linking to guess what?

    April 5, 2011 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Drew

      Wow. This shows how much you know about the subject. And your intelligence. Stupid religious people? Really?

      April 5, 2011 at 21:00 | Report abuse |
    • Frederica

      Religious people are the WISEST, especially the American Christians! God bless America because of Christians there.

      April 5, 2011 at 21:45 | Report abuse |
    • someoneelse

      Drew, prove that wrong.

      April 5, 2011 at 22:16 | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Us, someoneelse, it's not for Drew to prove you wrong. It's on your to prove yourself right and then he can try to find flaws in your statement.

      April 6, 2011 at 00:42 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      Hey Frederica - Are you aware that Evangelical Christians have the highest divorce rates of all religious groups in America? Yup, it's true. Also, atheists/agnostics have among the lowest. Funny that the non-religious are better at getting marriage right than those who claim to have invented it.

      April 6, 2011 at 01:14 | Report abuse |
    • Troll

      I applaud your efforts Frederika, Troll on.

      April 6, 2011 at 03:03 | Report abuse |
    • MNmomma

      So, where exactly is Europe's "Bible Belt"?

      April 6, 2011 at 03:56 | Report abuse |
    • realist

      I agree 100%, most educated non-religious people would never encourage a child to become a parent. The scary thing is, most of the babies being born to teen parents are going to repeat they cycle because they won't know any better, and who's going to care for them. Do you know how many 30 something year old grandparents live in the South???

      April 6, 2011 at 05:38 | Report abuse |
    • Stephen

      Stupid religious people – really. Preaching abstinence is stupid. Planned parenthood programs that inform kids also empowers them. Interesting that the religious people are campaigning to axe PP. Some stupidity knows no bounds.

      April 6, 2011 at 07:30 | Report abuse |
    • someoneelse

      @Hugo, I already did. I offered a reason that has been proved just by looking at census figures already (i.e. the high pregnancy rates in the Bible Belt) and as real s_x education has gone up and abstinence only programs have gone down, so has pregnancy (see article you obviously didn't read). Not too bright, eh?

      April 6, 2011 at 07:48 | Report abuse |
  3. Mook

    Shows like TEEN MOM are helping. It shows these young females how stressful like is when you have kids at a young age. Good job.

    April 5, 2011 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Summerkiss

    Good, trash will stop breeding more trash.

    April 5, 2011 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Frederica

      Humans are not trash. Everyone of us is created in God's image and we are His precious creation.

      April 5, 2011 at 21:48 | Report abuse |
    • someoneelse

      Wrong Frederica. People are not all born equal and many are born trash. We are also allowing the trash to populate... It's a sad state of affairs.

      April 5, 2011 at 22:17 | Report abuse |
    • Frederica

      Someoneelse, why don't you go to the moon to de-populate the Planet Earth? Anyone who cries overpopulation must go somewhere else first. Our planet can sustain billions more humans; the trashy lifestyle of richer humans is the sole problem.

      April 5, 2011 at 22:27 | Report abuse |
    • Trample

      Wow, Frederica, you really don't have a clue, do you?

      April 6, 2011 at 00:40 | Report abuse |
    • Yoda

      Frederica: Where do non-Christians fit in your religious world view?

      April 6, 2011 at 00:54 | Report abuse |
    • Sasha

      Fredericka: Please do something for me: print out your posts (especially the one about "the earth can support billions more people"). Keep it in a safe place; in 2 years, when you'll be asking yourself what to feed your children, dig it out and look at it. Then, please, if you have any defining personality traits, you will realize how wrong you were.

      In the meantime, please browse international news (not just on CNN, most other countries have news in English, so you'll be able to understand them). Listen to them and realize that we have been having food and water shortages for some years already and it is not getting better. Wake up.

      April 6, 2011 at 17:35 | Report abuse |
  5. gwfannot

    Could have been cause Clinton made them aware of the BJ

    April 5, 2011 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MNmomma

      You can't get pregnant if you only use your mouth.

      April 6, 2011 at 03:59 | Report abuse |
  6. SmashtheSTate

    Great, now let's just cut all the funding for Planned Parenthood so the rate can triple again over the next ten years.

    April 5, 2011 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NM

      Great point. Cut the funding for the the leading organization that has helped these women (girls) and men (boys) get contraception and these number will rise again. This data is solid proof that PP needs to be funded at the federal level. You'd think that the whole "Combined, all teen pregnancies cost taxpayers about $9 billion a year." thing would be enough to keep the funidng going.

      April 5, 2011 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Ummm.....Planned Parenthood is only a liberal organization that provides abortions-on-demand to stupid teenagers that get drunk and subsequently knocked up at those weekend parties. Ooops...I made an "innocent" mistake...but I can fix in one afternoon by just killing this baby! It's my choice! LOL. Wrong....your choice was when you decided to get drunk at that party and run around completely naked. Planned parenthood should be shut down...every one of them.

      April 6, 2011 at 01:26 | Report abuse |
    • JenBE

      @Jeff, you are so completely and utterly wrong. When I was 22 years old and found myself without adequate health insurance for several months, I used the services of Planned Parenthood to get the regular gynecological exam I needed to maintain my health. I didn't have much money at the time and anywhere else would have cost me too much, but Planned Parenthood was there with an affordable option that helped me immensely. No drunk party knock-up or abortion-on-demand involved.

      Please stop spouting off insulting remarks about something you clearly know nothing at all about.

      April 6, 2011 at 07:07 | Report abuse |
  7. Missouri Mam

    Irony Noted!?!

    The "great" state of Missouri has just decided to cut its family planning budget by 100% this year due to economic shortfalls. (Which translates into no more condoms or pills for teenagers or low income adult–married in many cases–women.) So, in someone's infantile mind, they have decided to "save" my tax money now for me and then spend it out the nose in a few years when the welfare numbers skyrocket because you we all know that those people aren't going to quit having $ex just because they don't have birth control.

    (And I am not putting down low-income women, I am however putting down companies like Wal-Mart that employ them but give them laughable benefits that don't affordably cover even there basic medical needs.)

    April 5, 2011 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Missouri Mam

      Don't know what happened, tried to reply to SmashtheSTate, sorry!

      April 5, 2011 at 18:48 | Report abuse |
    • NM

      Agreed. The logic just isn't there for cutting funding for any kind of family planning. But they will also likely cut programs designed to help care for the children of low income families. So in the end, what it boils down to is....no choice for terminating a pregnancy, bring a child into the world that can't be cared for, cut programs to help feed and educate said child, then wonder why said child repeats the behavior.

      April 5, 2011 at 18:57 | Report abuse |
    • riley

      I agree...its so short sighted to cut funding in this area knowing full well that the birth rate will rise and costs will then go up. I do see that Walmart and Target offer $4 birth control pills. Of course in the US we still need a rx from a doctor, even though Plan B doesn't require a prescription.

      April 5, 2011 at 23:37 | Report abuse |
  8. The Demon, Kia

    How come journalists never point out that the high point for teen births was the 1950s & 1960s? Teen pregnancy rates have plummeted since then, by more than half . . .. Why the weirdly short time comparison? Why only go back the last few decades? Does it make the 1950s less nostalgically golden to point out that teen pregnancy was the norm then? This seems so intellectually dishonest, to keep making it seem like teen pregnancy is some special problem of modernity instead of what it is, the trappings of a past that we want to leave behind . . ..

    April 5, 2011 at 19:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mary

      One difference is that many of the teenage births in the 50a and early 60s were to married women. It was much more common then to marry at 18 and 19.

      April 5, 2011 at 21:06 | Report abuse |
    • h4x354x0r

      @Mary: "It was much more common then to marry at 18 and 19." ...and then have a baby about 8 months later.

      April 6, 2011 at 02:19 | Report abuse |
  9. clark1b

    is the decrease a decrease in pregnancy rate ... or just the birth rate? How many pregnancies were ended by Plan B, or Next Choice?

    April 5, 2011 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • fembot

      Plan B doesn't end a pregnancy. It prevents it. If you are already pregnant Plan B won't do anything. You're confusing it with an abortion pill. It's not the same at all.

      April 5, 2011 at 19:43 | Report abuse |
    • kdw31

      The article clearly said birth rate, not pregnancy rate. You would have to look at statistics on abortion to determine if the decrease in birth rate is partially due to an increase in abortion. A quick search on the internet indicates that the rate of abortions among teenagers has dropped by 56% since 1988 (as of a 2006). I can't find any newer statistics without putting forth more effort than I really care to do at the moment

      April 5, 2011 at 21:49 | Report abuse |
    • riley

      Plan B prevents pregnancy. It does NOT terminate a pregnancy.

      April 5, 2011 at 23:39 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      Plan B and etc PREVENT pregnancy, they don't end it. The percentage of overall abortions performed on women who are minors is actually quite low.

      April 6, 2011 at 01:21 | Report abuse |
  10. Mary

    This is bad science- you are reporting that the teen pregnancy rate is the lowest in two decades, but your data supports that only the teen birth rate being lower. What has happened to the rate of teen pregnancies being ended by abortion?

    April 5, 2011 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jennifer

      Well, if not bad science, then certainly bad jounalism! I could find nothing in the article nor the CDC piece that addressed pregnancy rates - the data was all about teen birth rates. The headline claiming teen pregnancy rate is lowest in two decades is simply unsubstantiated. Buu CNN!

      April 6, 2011 at 00:49 | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      The phrase "teen pregnancy rate" is formally defined. Your lack of knowledge isn't the responsibility of the scientists. I agree this can be confusing, but they followed the rules. You are free to disagree with the rules, but before you do, you should learn the rules.

      April 6, 2011 at 00:50 | Report abuse |
  11. Jenna

    I have never understood why 18 and 19 year olds are put on the same paper as 14 year olds. Yes they are teenagers, but they are also adults, who can get married without a parents ok. I have known many 19 year old mothers who are married prior to getting pregnant. Why are we counting adults as a stigma of a high schooler? Im not saying all 18/19 year olds should be getting married and having babies, but I do think the statistics need to be fixed not to include adults. My son was born when I was 19, I was married, and had a good job. I easily afforded having my son, and my other children also.

    April 5, 2011 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Amy

      As a 22 year old I can honestly say at 19 I was not prepared for motherhood... and neither are most.

      April 6, 2011 at 08:20 | Report abuse |
  12. mary

    Not DESPITE shows like "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom." BECAUSE of shows like "16 an Pregnant" and "Teen Mom." These shows are having a huge impact on teenage girls in a way no course taught by adults could. I don't usually praise MTV, but they really should be awarded for this public service.

    April 5, 2011 at 21:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LEB

      I agree. Whatever insane things some of the girls of those shows have done with their money, MTV definitely does NOT glamourize teen pregnancy and parenthood. Rather, they do an excellent job of illustrating how much it sucks and how badly it ruins your life, your relationships, and any hopes and dreams you had for your future. I've been watching both "16 And Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" from day one, and any teen girl who watches that show and STILL wants to get pregnant probably would have gotten pregnant anyway, regardless of how many ways she was told it was a stupid idea.

      April 6, 2011 at 01:30 | Report abuse |
  13. Rick

    An ounce of prevention can prevent a lifetime of anguish and future generations of ne'er do wells. Planned Parenthood saved me from making bad choices and got me the info I needed to take the right steps. I never wanted kids and I've never regretted getting the fix.

    April 5, 2011 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Corvus1

    But just think of all those unborn babies that aren't being born to be eventually scr3wed over by the same people who fight for their right to live!

    April 5, 2011 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Frederica

    Um... can't we raise kids with virginity, both in mind and body, nowadays? They can exchange it with the exclusive depth of love, strongest sense of loyalty, dependability, rich appreciation of varieties of life, and a stable family of their own for lifetime.

    April 5, 2011 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris


      April 6, 2011 at 08:22 | Report abuse |
    • bob

      Never in the history of mankind has that happened, no reason to expect we could do it now since it has never been done ever.

      April 6, 2011 at 08:28 | Report abuse |
  16. 2manyhorses

    Have you ever had an independent thought? Have you ever stopped and really thought, at all? You are a mouthpiece of the God Squad; you even use their lingo. As such, it is very difficult to take you seriously.

    April 5, 2011 at 22:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Frederica

      @2m-h-, why can't religious people voice our opinions? A free country? Liers.

      April 5, 2011 at 22:07 | Report abuse |
    • someoneelse

      Because you never stop at voicing them. You force them on others. ALWAYS. Plus, your opinions are all stupid, but I still respect your right to have them.

      April 5, 2011 at 23:15 | Report abuse |
    • mr dog

      Clearly, you can. What's also clear is that other people can express their conflicting opinions in response to your.

      On a less formal note: we don't like hearing your dumb opinions because they have nothing to do with reality. It amazes me how surprised you "religious" people are when someone talking about the issue at hand minimizes or disregards your mumbo jumbo about this completely improvable, not to mention highly unlikely, super being and all the totally ambiguous and often dilusional rambling that comes with it.

      I don't often speak like this to "religious" people, but when they go around pushing their beliefs on people I get upset. It would be incredibly rude and out of place for me to just start talking about my atheist beliefs and how I think we should all live our lives. I really have no problem with what you believe. I can't judge you because, by golly, you could be right! But so could I. No one, and I mean NO ONE, knows the full truth about the origin of our existence, afterlife etc. No one can prove anything, so let people be.

      And finally, I hope you're not too offended. Have a wonderful life.

      April 5, 2011 at 23:22 | Report abuse |
  17. S1N

    You can thank the Trojan Man for this.

    April 5, 2011 at 22:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. lmmmr

    Hey, perfect time to defund Planned Parenthood.

    April 5, 2011 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • random

      Unfortunately it's top priority in the GOP's buget cuts

      April 6, 2011 at 05:13 | Report abuse |
  19. springthecat

    Wow. Frederica, if we are created in GOD's image, it doesn't say much for GOD. A bunch of inept, bumbling, selfish, arrogant, imperfect megaomaniacs fighting for control over the world's resources, while creating as many progeny as possible to compete for those limited resources in the name of the Lord. Dear lord, protect me from your followers.

    April 5, 2011 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. squishy

    Are there any statistics on how many teen boys IMPREGNATE?? I am always amazed at how reports and responses to them talk about "teen girls just continuing to have babies" as though they did it all by themselves. Once we begin holding males half accountable for unintended or unwise pregnancies, we might see some long-lasting changes.

    April 5, 2011 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Freq

      Wow Squishy! you just make too much sense, and we will have no more of that!

      Seriously though, you have a very good point. We put so much of the teen pregnancy blame on the girls that get pregnant but almost none on the boys.

      April 6, 2011 at 07:28 | Report abuse |
  21. B_C

    The worst thing about teen pregnancy, imo, is that it robs a young woman of the chance to choose her future when she gets a few years older and starts seeing the world as a bigger place. Instead of graduating high school with the option of getting a job, going to college or something she's already locked herself into her role. Mother.
    I know that some women overcome this, my hat's off to them, but it's got to be much much more difficult.

    April 6, 2011 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Purification

    We need the birth rate to be a lot higher apparently. That's why the US government allowing 50 million hispanics to come into this country. To me whats the different an American teen girl having birth and going on welfare or illegals? I rather have American babies. The US government have been doing propaganda on the American people for over 50 years trying to tell us to have less babies. Immigration = Genocide

    April 6, 2011 at 00:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MS

      Do you even know what genocide is? Hitler didn't kill Jews because Germans moved to Germany and decided to kill the Jews that were already there.

      April 6, 2011 at 00:33 | Report abuse |
    • someoneelse

      @MS, immigration can be genocide. Look to what China is doing in Tibet, consistently bringing in more Han Chinese.

      April 6, 2011 at 07:52 | Report abuse |
  23. Todd

    I am sure those morons the republican tea terrorist will say that the abstinence program is working.WRONG !You can not get pregnant with what most girls do today instead of intercourse. This just means the girls are going down on the guy instead of risking getting pregnant.

    April 6, 2011 at 00:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. mr.magooooooooooooo

    abstinence is only good at 70. After that its a serious health problem.

    April 6, 2011 at 00:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Trample

    De-fund Planned Parenthood and I would bet my bottom dollar it goes up.

    April 6, 2011 at 00:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. LEB

    Only 9% of teens are using two forms of birth control? Okay, that needs to be fixed, because it ought to be at least 90%!

    April 6, 2011 at 01:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Chris

    So did Obama "inherit" this, too?

    April 6, 2011 at 01:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Mary

    There is a huge difference between teen pregnancy rates and birth rates. A decrease in birth rates does not guarantee a correlation in a decrease in pregnancy rates. In any given year there are more pregnancies than births. This article is extremely misleading because it does not identify the difference between pregnancy and birth rates in the headline or first few sentences. Let's try being accurate for a change and quit spouting within certain ideological bounds.

    April 6, 2011 at 02:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mr dog

      Let's try not being an abortion-obsessed ignorant proselytizer.


      April 6, 2011 at 08:26 | Report abuse |
  29. Pilfer

    Interesting considering teenagers have access to more p0rnography and s3xual information than ever in history.

    Guess there is something to education – even if we have to let kids get it themselves.

    April 6, 2011 at 02:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Mustang

    So mr dog, you say no one has proven anything about our origin of existence, afterlife, etc. Have you ever read a Bible? I seriously doubt you have.

    April 6, 2011 at 02:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Reason

      @ Mustang. The fact that you do not realize how stupid your post is is hilarious to me. I don't think your church would approve of you participating in a free discussion group such as this. The devil's words are at play, in the form of thought and reason.

      April 6, 2011 at 04:18 | Report abuse |
    • Jenn

      That's your proof, the bible? Come back when you have real proof.

      April 6, 2011 at 06:15 | Report abuse |
  31. h4x354x0r

    As a side note (I know the article isn't about abortion or crime), the increase crime rates that started to rise in the early 70's (coinciding with the start of the "War on Drugs") continued to rise until the mid 80's, when it leveled off. Then rates started dropping in 1994, and have continued to drop since then. There is actually a VERY strong correlation between the legalization of abortion in 1973, and the decrease in crime rates that started in 1994, 21 years after abortion was legalized. Abortion is, statistically, the single most effective crime reduction strategy ever. Sad, but true. Contraceptive use achieves the same result too, but it's MUCH less expensive, and creates a lot less anguish.

    April 6, 2011 at 02:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Marcus68

    Sorry, CNN, but I don't believe your numbers. In my daughers HS there are more girls pregnent than last year, same story goes with people i know in other cities. It has increased not decreased.

    Having shows that promote teen pregnancy and all that BS doesn't help.

    April 6, 2011 at 02:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Reason

      @ Marcus68. I think the country might be a bit bigger than your daughter's HS and the areas your friend's live. The study is obviously not perfect as no study can be, but accept that with all possible prudence and move on. However, I am inclined to put more faith in a CNN study than your reports.

      April 6, 2011 at 04:27 | Report abuse |
  33. Bryan

    Teen birth rates have plummeted mostly because of the recession. Girls are being more cautious and likely being more careful because of the financial risks involved. In 2005-2007, teen birth rates increased for the first time in 15 years thanks to a baby boomlet. I would expect that teen birth rates will rise again as the economy picks up steam... nothing major.... but just more prospective mothers out there that believe they can do the job.

    April 6, 2011 at 03:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Reason

      @ Bryan. HA!!! Yes, I'm sure the reason less 14-19 years olds are getting pregnant is that they are insightful enough to see the economic perils of the world. I'm sure back in the good ole 90s, a 16 year old just figured they would start a website to make ends meet, to hell with condoms. Any teen that is smart enough to realize they can't afford a child in this economy is smart enough to know they can't afford one in any economy. It's not like 19 year olds have finished medical school and have 5 years of job security and a 401k behind them.

      April 6, 2011 at 04:39 | Report abuse |
  34. buddy

    Harsh as it is to say, reduction of teen births in any fashion (birth control, abortion) leads to a commensurate drop in crime rates. Do everything you can to keep your teen from getting pregnant. Sterilize your teen (reversibly) if you have to. The non-existent child will thank you when it doesn't end up getting shot in it's neighbors' bedrooms digging through drawers for gems, cash, and gold.

    April 6, 2011 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Annie

    in other news...Abortion clinics are recording record profits!

    April 6, 2011 at 03:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CW

      Ignorance will only get you so far, Annie. Someday, you may have to wake up.

      April 6, 2011 at 08:49 | Report abuse |
  36. Dr. Multicultralism

    Less white babies and more illegals. The genocide process must continue.

    April 6, 2011 at 04:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • moderate Texan mom

      For the record, nearly half of all abortions are done on black babies, when blacks represent only about 13% of the national population! Educate yourself and stop being a moron. Oh yeah...and I'm white. F-ing ID10T.

      April 6, 2011 at 08:34 | Report abuse |
  37. MoreLies

    I wonder if they surveyed the polygamist victims, teen and pre-teen wives in the Mormon circles...probably not.

    April 6, 2011 at 05:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CW

      You mean the 10,000 or so of them that make up 0.003% of the population? I'm sure that would have totally skewed the results.

      April 6, 2011 at 08:48 | Report abuse |
  38. BigMike

    Maybe in the hole U.S. but it's up 10% for Holyoke, Massachusetts for the 20th year in a row. Holyoke is the leading city in the state for teen mom's that are from the Hispanic Island that is the commonwealth of the U.S. The new kid mom's say this is the culture of the people and they will get no respect till they have a child. The young fathers are a no show and the new teen mom's have no clue who the dad's are. So the hard working people of this state reach in the pocket and hand out a place to live, money for nice shoes a free phone and what the heck a car and will even pay the heath insurance for the new teen mom's and kid's. Now I just cant understand what's wrong with this. Sounds like I didn't pay close attention to how one get's every thing free in the world when I was a teen.

    April 6, 2011 at 06:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carl

      Mike you hit the nail on the head ! I live here in western MA and Holyoke has big problems that just get bigger. When you drive in to Holyoke your welcome committee is two or three hispanic teen mom's with the baby's in tow on the corner hanging out on a school day. This is a culture of teen mom's teaching the next generation of teen mom's how to work the system and get every thing they deserve, Oh and the DSS love's it this insures a work place to hand out my tax dollars. I love living in the land of hand out's myself too.

      April 6, 2011 at 07:24 | Report abuse |
  39. Mike

    As mentioned by others, this statistic is completely meaningless as 'pregnancy rate' because it does not include abortions. It's just 'birth rate'. FWIW, I saw statistics last year that stated that abortions outnumbered births in 2009 in the US (and I suspect the rate is even higher for teenagers). (Morally I object to abortions especially since there are so many families looking to adopt infants but I'm actually pro-choice. I just wish that adoption was presented more strongly as an alternative for unwanted pregnancy)

    April 6, 2011 at 07:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • moderate Texan mom

      well said, Mike! I made the same post. As a high school teacher for 6 yrs, each class I teach has at least 1-3 girls in it that have had abortions. And that isn't just seniors....we're talking 9th and 10th graders too. It's a horrible tragedy for these teenage kids. For this, and several other reasons, however I am extremely pro-life because I strongly emphasize responsiblity and safe s-x and don't feel that a human unborn baby's life should be eliminated in a desperate act of the teen's parent and the teen to rectify the situation. Same goes for the desperation of the child's teen father and his parents as well. The good news is.....like you said...adoption IS on the increase for teens and the old mythical horrific stories about the process, the outcome, the future and the many hypothetical possibilities are dying off and teens are educating themselves on what adoption can really offer the unborn child. To me, this is the most responsible act regarding a teen's pregnancy. All things considered, for some of these unborn children, being raised by their (still a kid) parents would be more harmful than loving parents wanting to adopt them. On a related note, I have some gay friends who break down and get torn up when they hear of another one of their friends getting an abortion. They want to adopt so bad and it tears them up inside. Gay or straight parents......life is definitely the better option for our unborn human babies than being ripped into parts and sucked out onto a tray in some clinic. On the whole, excellent post Mike!!!

      April 6, 2011 at 08:37 | Report abuse |
  40. angela

    Our govt stinks. Now they r not funding this, medicaid, medicare and a million other programs. All I can say is go ahead cut my medicare and I will be protesting

    April 6, 2011 at 07:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Kyle

    What a ridiculous article. There is no data here. The pregnancy rate is not the same as the birth rate. Stop using them interchangeably!

    As far as people preaching that all teens will experiment, grow up! Teens can be responsible, too. I'm betting most of you were teenagers recently, and you're trying to justify your lack of self control. If you're a parent of a teenager saying that, then I feel sorry for the kids. Their own parents aren't willing to teach them the meaning of responsibility.

    April 6, 2011 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michael

      Not everyone has the same set of values. Unfortunately, not all kids are lucky enough to be born to responsible parents. Many children in this country grow up with abusive, neglectful, or absent parents. Many have parents that are physically there and shower them with money, but no real affection or sense of responsibility. Many kids are bounced around in state homes waiting to be adopted. I could go on and on here, but you see where I'm going right? There are far too many kids in this country who do not have the benefit of a loving family that they can talk to about their concerns, who will teach them a sense of responsibility. What about these kids?

      The point I am trying to make is not everyone is going to fit into your mold. IMO, if a parent wants their child exposed to abstinence-only education, they should place that child in a private school where they do not have to worry about the diversity of different families and teens their child will be exposed to.

      April 6, 2011 at 08:58 | Report abuse |
  42. Lisa Mitchell

    The GOP is going to "fix" that. Medicaid and planned parenthood, both of which in fact may need to be reformed, also provide vital resources to many who have no where else to get them. Reform them, please do, in the form of PREVENTION.

    April 6, 2011 at 08:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Nate

    An improvement is good, but it is an embarrassing number for our nation compared to our developed peers. One problem, however, with this statistic is that it includes teen pregnancies of women who are married. American women tend to married much younger than women in other developed countries. This is probably due to a greater economic optimism that, at least until recently, has existed in our country. Including these happily married teen pregnancies in the statistic is misleading. As an example, Utah, according to Census Bureau statistics has the one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation. Sounds bad for the epicenter of the conservative LDS church. Look at another statistic, however, and you see that Utah has the lowest rate of out-of-wedlock pregnancies in the nation. Combining the results you realize that women in Utah, on average, marry younger, often in their first year or two of college when they are 18 or 19 years old. If they have a child shortly after marriage, which they often do, on account of the importance the LDS church places on families then you have what is statistically a teen pregnancy, but is in reality a child being born into a stable two parent household with lots of opportunity for love, growth, and development.

    April 6, 2011 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Nate

    BTY – today, April 6, is Jesus real birthday. Not the December 25th date celebrated because it was an existing holiday easily adapted to the occasion.

    April 6, 2011 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • yikes

      Actually it's April 18.

      April 6, 2011 at 09:28 | Report abuse |
  45. moderate Texan mom

    All things aside, the ONE thing the article didn't discuss or factor in the "rate of births" is the abortion rate numbers for this age group. Having been a high school teacher for 6 yrs now, it is incredibly common with this age group.....and yeah...those abortions result in NO birth, so it would make the teen pregnancy rate seem lower. NOT! The article erroneously equates "teen pregnancy rate" with "teen birth rate", when they are NOT the same. What idiot wrote this article? ugh......

    April 6, 2011 at 08:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Old Fashioned

    Girls, keep your panties up; boys, keep your zipper up.

    April 6, 2011 at 08:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. sniffanus

    these teens don't seem to be getting laid enough.

    April 6, 2011 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Pat

    It's Obama's fault...

    April 6, 2011 at 08:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tony

      How is it obamas fault! He can not control the actions of teens. Its the parents fault.

      April 6, 2011 at 11:25 | Report abuse |
  49. barbara

    well i can't tell from the local high schools. hell even my 7th grader has a 8th grade classmate that is prego. if anything, people are using abortions like its the newest condom and that is probably what is really happening.

    April 6, 2011 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Charlie from the North

    So according to the GOP it is a great time to stop funding planned parenthood. Honestly where do these people come from?

    Oh I guess that is what our teens are discovering. hmmmm

    April 6, 2011 at 08:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mei

      Planned Parenthood is an ABORTION MILL industry that cares more about taking money than helping women. You really need to read things besides extremely liberal media to get the whole picture. Planned Parenthood does NOT help girls or women, it corrupts them. MOST girls/women who abort are REPEAT customers. They don't learn anything, they just remain as irresponsible as ever and worse since they are killing a baby for their own selfish reasons.

      April 6, 2011 at 08:56 | Report abuse |
    • Hintofgray

      And guess what, Mei? It's none of your business. Abortion is legal and your approval of it isn't needed. Prove that most of the women who have abortions at PP are "repeat customers". I'll wait while you find the statistics, and do make sure they're from a reputable, neutral source, honey. Don't even bother posting crap from anti-choice propaganda sites, as your sort usually do.

      I'm a taxpayer and I'll bet I pay more in taxes than you do. I completely support federal funds going to PP, and I don't care if women who go there for an abortion do so more than once or not.

      Stick that up your fundament.

      April 6, 2011 at 19:34 | Report abuse |
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