October 19, 2016 – Teen Pregnancy


Anchor lead:  The teenage pregnancy rate in the US continues to fall, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Good news!  The birthrate among US teenagers dropped to an all time low in 2015, data from the National Center for Health Statistics at the CDC reports.  Maria Trent, an adolescent medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, says progress has been made in a number of areas.

Trent: People have been working hard on multiple fronts to lower the teen pregnancy rate in the United States.  Adolescents have increased access to contraception.  I think more people, young people may be deciding that they don’t want to have sex or they’re more proactively using condoms. And then finally I think that we’ve realized that teen pregnancy is connected to a number of other social determinants and so the harder we work to keep our young people busy, and healthy and in school, and we talk to them about healthy relationships, all of those things have worked together.   :30

Trent notes that the US still enjoys the highest teen birth rate among industrialized nations, so a lot more work remains to be done.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.