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The Washington Post just published initial findings from the National Center for Health Statistics that the teenage birthrate hit a record low:

The birth rate among U.S. girls aged 15 to 19 fell to 39.1 births per 1,000 teens in 2009, the most recent year for which statistics are available. That’s a 6 percent drop from 2008 and the lowest rate ever recorded in the nearly 70 years that the federal government has been collecting reliable data…

…The drop marked the second year in a row the birth rate among teens fell, meaning it has dropped for 16 out of the past 18 years. The 8 percent two-year decline strengthens the belief that a two-year increase during the preceding two years was an aberration.

Gee maybe abstinence-only sex education wasn’t as ineffective as Planned Parenthood, the Obama Administration and some Democratic members of Congress would have us believe. Before comprehensive sex education supporters try to pat themselves on the back, I’d like to remind them that funding for that just started in October.

Originally posted at American Principles in Action

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7 comments
  1. There may be all three kinds of lies in the report. Lies, Damnable Lies, and Statistics.

    First, birth rate is not the same as pregnancy rate. A reduction in the former does not imply the latter. Murdered babies in the womb do not count as born children. Even a reduction in the “abortion rate” does not guarantee that the pregancy rate is down. It is not at all clear that use of the morning after pill would be taken into consideration.

    Finally, these birth rates say nothing of the marital status of the teenager. If a 19-year old married woman has children, is this a bad thing?

    Is there any real meaning in these statistics?

      1. It is certainly better to emphasize chastity than promiscuity, mostly because it is right. But statistically it is virtually impossible to know what impact it has had, for the reasons aforementioned.

  2. Of course the one problem with your thesis is that the Washington Post article notes that the reduction is at least partially atributable to an increase in the use of contraception by teenagers. Combine that with the rise in the teen pregnancy rate during the federal government’s funding of abstinence only education and I don’t think you can really attribute this decline to anything. I’d be more interested to see localized data. If we compared the changes in teen pregnancy rates between areas which teach abstinence only with those utilizing comprehensive sex education there might be a conclusion to be drawn.

  3. Of course the one problem with your thesis is that the Washington Post article notes that the reduction is at least partially atributable to an increase in the use of contraception by teenagers. Combine that with the rise in the teen pregnancy rate during the federal government’s funding of abstinence only education and I don’t think you can really attribute this decline to anything. I’d be more interested to see localized data. If we compared the changes in teen pregnancy rates between areas which teach abstinence only with those utilizing comprehensive sex education there might be a conclusion to be drawn.

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