Well we have confirmation that in fact, teen birth rates are going up, for the first time in 15 years! In fact, there were significant increases in teen birth rates in 26 states!
On Wednesday the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the 2006 statistics reflecting:
There were 21,000 more teen births in 2006 than in 2005;
The low birthweight rate is the highest in 40 years (8.3%);
The preterm birth rate also rose in 2006 to 12.8%;
Mississippi has the highest teen birth rate in the United States (68 births per 1,000 teens);
Texas (63 per 1,000) and New Mexico (64 per 1,000) have the next highest rates; while
New Hampshire has the lowest rate (19 per 1,000).
The national average in the United Sates is 42 births per 1,000 teen women - which is absolutely terrible! I have to say that it about time to end the continually increasing federal funding for abstinence-only health education that does not teach teens how to use condoms and other forms of contraception.
The health of these teen parents and their babies is at risk. There are so many other things these young people could be focused on - something has to be done!