There is no question that people who feel affection for one another will seek to make that affection known in a variety of ways, perhaps most often in physical ways. To that end, a premise that is not as shocking as it once was is the fact that individuals are becoming more sexually active at younger ages, and teenage girls are becoming pregnant more often. So it comes as a major surprise that a recently published study shows that the numbers of both abortions and births within teenage pregnancy are dropping faster than ever.
Facts like this undoubtedly have more than one dynamic in place, but it is a refreshing fact to read about, nonetheless. According to the study from Guttmacher Institute, for young women aged 15 to 19 in the U.S., abortion rates peaked around 1987, whereas teenage pregnancy and births peaked from 1990 to 1992. Since then, all three categories have been gradually dipping, and have not seen anything close to an approach to their previous numbers.
At their respective peaks, for the average of every 1,000 women ages 15 to 19, over 100 women were pregnant, about 60 of those babies were born and about 40 of them were aborted in 1990. Even though the Guttmacher Institute study only has definitive results through 2010, the numbers across the board have been declining for two decades. According to rates in 2010, for the same metric of women, about 60 women were pregnant, 40 of the babies were born and 20 babies were aborted.
With such unexpected low numbers for teenage pregnancies, births and abortions, it is virtually everyone’s question as to why and how such changes are taking place. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compared data with the Guttmacher Institute, and they found that while teens closer to the ages of 18 and 19 are having sex more frequently, more are using contraception, allowing them to limit cases of pregnancy in the first place.
According to figures of industries that work with teenage pregnancy issues, such as Leslie Kantor of Planned Parenthood, as teenagers are becoming better educated and placed in front of resources that can help them make more informed decisions, pregnancies and their consequences are dropping. The studies released by both Guttmacher and the CDC revealed that these numbers are falling across all ethnic and age groups, pointing more clearly to the fact that education and knowledge in the hands of the people can lead almost directly to better decisions, including teenage pregnancy.
While these numbers across the nation were astonishingly similar in a general sense, New Mexico and Mississippi had the highest numbers, with 80 and 76 teenage pregnancies per 1,000 young women, respectively. New Hampshire had the lowest average, with only 28 pregnancies per 1,000 women.
As these studies continue to circulate and inform all types of people throughout the U.S., the question of why has yet to be provided with a fuller answer. Such behavior among teenagers could be attributed to different types of media providing diverse portrayals of what it is like to have a child at a young age, the information provided at schools in sex education classes, or other equally-influential factors. No matter what, the news of abortions, pregnancies and births dropping faster than ever among teenagers is sure to be a wonderful prospect to parents and teens alike.
By Brad Johnson