Shocker: Teen Birth Rate Hits Record Low Because of Birth Control

And abstinence has nothing to do with it.

While sexual behavior among teens hasn’t changed much, the teen birth rate hit a record low rate in 2012 according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the birth rate among young women ages 15 to 19 fell 6 percent last year, to 29.4 births per thousand, the lowest rate in the 73 years the government has been collecting the data. The decline was across all racial and ethnic groups. [...]

“There is not much evidence of a change in abortion use and not much change in sexual activity” since 2003, says Santelli. For example, the percentage of high school kids reporting ever having sexual intercourse was about 54 percent in 1991, according to the CDC survey, declined through 2002, and then held steady at about 47 percent through 2011, the last year of available data.

“What we have seen is greater availability of much more effective birth control methods,” says Santelli. While condom use increased substantially in the 1990s and early 2000s among high schoolers, it actually declined slightly after that, according to the CDC survey.

Birth rates for women in their earlier 20s also hit a record low in 2012, while birth rates among women in their 30s and 40s increased.

If you want to limit the number of abortions and unplanned pregnancies, support access to birth control.

Attempting to ban abortion while simultaneously making it harder to obtain birth control, as Republicans in many states have done, certainly won’t help.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

    Women are in need of emancipation.

  • http://www.osborneink.com OsborneInk

    See, the point of this double-tracked approach — limiting access to birth control and abortion — is that we just don’t have enough shame in America anymore. The wingnuts just want to return to the good old days when sex meant getting pregnant and getting pregnant meant a woman had to hide her face.

    • muselet

      True, alas.

      Also, sex is pleasurable and pleasure is self-evidently evil and incompatible with Righties’ notions of virtue.

      –alopecia

  • Schneibster

    It’s time they stopped insisting on wrecking peoples’ lives because they claim their imaginary sky friend said to, and it’s time we stopped letting them get away with it.

    It won’t change until you see someone call deities “imaginary sky friends” on TV.

    People who have imaginary friends belong in mental institutions unless they’re children or have brain defects or injuries.

    And what it gets me to “be polite” is that I have to watch these people torment young girls for what they themselves do every night. I’m getting tired of “being polite” to idiots who have imaginary sky friends.

    And just to drive the needle home a bit, ever notice their imaginary sky friends are always old men?

  • Christopher Foxx

    If you want to limit the number of abortions and unplanned pregnancies, support access to birth control.

    No shit.

    If folks who claim to be opposed to abortions were really just opposed to abortions (as opposed to primarily being interested in playing dominance games), if they really wanted to make sure no “life” was ever ended, they they’d support birth control.

    But rather than make sure abortions aren’t necessary because the unwanted pregnancy didn’t occur, they want to be in the position to tell the woman what she has to do.

  • drsquid

    The last time that rate was the lowest it had been historically was 1999. I wonder what happened to make it go back up…