Teen Birth Rates Down, Abstinence Credited

Teen birth rates in the U.S. have recently declined after increasing in 2006 and 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The 2008 numbers show the rate declined by two percent among girls 15-19. The largest decline occurred among 18- and 19-year-olds, at four percent.

Valerie Huber, executive director with The National Abstinence Education Association, said, “A positive trend begun a decade ago can continue.  We should redouble our efforts to help teens avoid all the consequences of sexual activity, including teen childbearing.”

President Obama eliminated all funding for abstinence-centered education in his 2011 budget.

However, due largely to Sen. Orrin Hatch’s efforts, Congress reinstated a third of the original funding for five years in the health care reform law.

“(The) announcement provides Congress an opportunity to make a course correction by again placing a priority on the risk-avoidance abstinence-centered message,” she said.

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