Why would the teen birth rate plunge to “absolutely astounding” historic lows in the U.S.? The CDC’s [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] latest study shows that access to birth control may be the reason.
The NCHS [National Center for Health Statistics], the statistical arm of the CDC, wrote in the “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” that “birth among whites declined 35 percent between 2006 to 2014.” They also revealed:
‘From 2006-2014, the birth rate among Hispanic teens was cut in half, with the rate among non-Hispanic black teens down 44 %, thereby reducing the disparity between minority and white teen births.’
The CDC study shows that, for every 1000 teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19, there is a 64 percent decrease in birth rate. Girls between the ages of 10 and 14 have also seen a drop in birth rate of nearly 90 percent since 1991. The current rate of live teen births is down from 24.2 to 22.3 per 1000.
A representative of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, Bill Albert, told Reuters:
‘This nation has made remarkable, off-the-chart success on a pressing social issue that many of us considered unsolvable.’
It is important to note that teenagers are still having as much sex as ever, reproductive health experts say. According to a researcher with the Guttmacher Institute, Isaac Maddow-Zimet, sexual activity among teens has remained pretty much the same for the past decade. However, contraceptive use is what has made the difference.
The national healthcare policy has changed and broken down the uber-conservative wall against access to contraception for teens. A series of states have written laws that require health insurers to cover the cost of the range of birth control drugs and other options.
Recently, some states, such as Maryland, have also demanded that their health insurers provide a year’s birth control prescription at a time and also cover vasectomies for men. In addition, there are 21 states that allow minors to purchase birth control drugs without parental notification.
The news report below shares more information about the decrease in birth rates: