Thursday, October 21, 2010

Teen Pregnancy Thriving In South

In what should come as no surprise to most of us, the south is pumping out teen mothers at a higher rate than other regions these days.  The CDC reports "Despite nearly two decades of declining teenage birth rates, significant disparities in state-specific rates persist."

Common sense, supported by a statement from planned parenthood, suggests that sex education plays a major role:  This new CDC report makes it crystal clear that the teen birthrate is lower in states that provide students with comprehensive, evidence-based sex education.  The report demonstrates that the surest way to reduce teenage pregnancy is to provide young people with comprehensive, medically accurate sex education, and doing so is especially urgent for African-American and Latino teens, who are getting pregnant more frequently than other young people.

The rates are determine based on births per 1,000.  New Hampshire boasted the lowest teenage birthing rate (19.8), followed by Massachusetts (20.1), while Mississippi (65.7), new Mexico (64.1) Arkansas (61.8)and Oklahoma (61.6) round out the states with rates over 60.  The Guttmacher Institute recently released a report that reveals that all 5 of the states with the highest teen birthing rates stress abstinence only education.

The bible belt needs to get smart.  "Give me that old-time-sex-education lord, it's good enough for me!"         

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