BY YURI RESETOVS
The United States government bet on the wrong program to cut down on teenage pregnancies and birth rates. Numerous studies show that teen pregnancies are highest in states where abstinence-only education is standard. The rates dropped in nearly all states and across all racial and ethnic groups.
Released Tuesday, a report by the National Center for Health Statistics showed that the teenage birth rate for American teenagers fell 9 percent from 2009 to 2010. The average national level is 34.3 teenage births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 19. This is the lowest rate in 65 years, since 1946.
Mississippi, again, has the highest rate with 55 births per 1,000 girls, while New Hampshire has the lowest at just under 16 births per 1,000 girls.
Texas Governor Rick Perry defended abstinence education in Texas, saying “it works” while statistics rate it with the third-highest teen pregnancy rates in the country.
Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found that teenagers who received some type of comprehensive sex education were 60 percent less likely to get pregnant or get someone else pregnant, while a federal report showed that abstinence-only programs had “no impacts on rates of sexual abstinence,” reports Amanda Peterson Beadle for ThinkProgress.
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