Preventing Teen Pregnancy

Last Editorial Review: 5/3/2002

It is important to talk with your teenager about birth control and STD protection. This month is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. Some activities to prevent teenage pregnancy include surveillance, behavioral research, and demonstration projects:

  • The United States has the highest teenage pregnancy rate of all developed countries.

  • About 1 million teenagers become pregnant each year; 95% of those pregnancies are unintended, and almost one third end in abortions.

  • Public costs from teenage childbearing totaled $120 billion from 1985-1990; $48 billion could have been saved if each birth had been postponed until the mother was at least 20 years old.

  • Birth rates during 1991-1996 declined for teenagers in all racial and ethnic groups.

  • Birth rates among teenagers vary substantially from state to state; some states have rates almost three times higher than those of the states with the lowest rates.

  • 13 community partnerships in 11 states are implementing comprehensive, integrated youth programs to prevent teenage pregnancies and related problems.

  • 8 nongovernmental organizations are supported to assist states to develop and implement strategies to prevent pregnancy among teenagers.

For more information, please visit the following Centers:

Portions of the above information was provided with the kind permission of the Centers For Disease Control.

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