U.S. Teen Pregnancy, Birth and Abortion Rates Decline; District Still Led One Statistic in 2000 despite Drop

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 20, 2004 | Go to article overview

U.S. Teen Pregnancy, Birth and Abortion Rates Decline; District Still Led One Statistic in 2000 despite Drop


Byline: Cheryl Wetzstein, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The nation's teen pregnancy, birth and abortion rates fell in 2000, marking a steady decade-long decline, a study released yesterday said.

A report by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said teen pregnancy statistics dropped 28 percent from 1990. According to the study, the 2000 pregnancy rate was 83.6 pregnancies per 1,000 teen girls, ages 15 to 19. In 1990, teen pregnancies peaked at 116.9 per 1,000 teens.

The 2000 teen birthrate fell to 47.7 births per 1,000 teen girls, significantly down from the peak birthrate of 61.8 births per 1,000 teens in 1991. And the teen abortion rate for the same year was 24 abortions per 1,000 teens, which is down slightly from the 1999 rate of 24.7 abortions per 1,000 teens.

"We hope that today's news documenting a decade of progress in reducing teen pregnancy in the United States is greeted with praise for teens themselves and a growing recognition that when teen pregnancy declines, we all gain - overall child and family well-being improves, the U.S. work force is stronger, school performance gets better and poverty is directly attacked," said Sarah Brown, director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

Pregnancy data are computed by combining national birth data and estimated numbers of abortions and miscarriages. Due to difficulties in gathering abortion data, pregnancy reports lag about two years behind birth reports.

Also in 2000, about 33 out of 100 teen pregnancies ended in abortion, down from 1990, when roughly 40 out of 100 teen pregnancies were terminated.

These numbers are all very good news, said Adrienne Verrilli, spokeswoman for the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. …

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