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 Mississippi has highest teen birth rate, CDC says

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PostSubject: Mississippi has highest teen birth rate, CDC says   Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:08 pm

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ATLANTA – Mississippi now has the nation's highest teen pregnancy rate, displacing Texas and New Mexico for that lamentable title, according to a new federal report released Wednesday.

Mississippi's rate was more than 60 percent higher than the national average in 2006, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The teen pregnancy rate in Texas and New Mexico was more than 50 percent higher.

The three states have large proportions of black and Hispanic teenagers — groups that traditionally have higher birth rates, experts noted.

The lowest teen birth rates continue to be in New England, where three states have teen birth rates at just half the national average.

It's not clear why Mississippi surged into first place. The state's one-year increase of nearly 1,000 teen births could be a statistical blip, said Ron Cossman, a Mississippi State University researcher who focuses on children's health statistics.

More than a year ago, a preliminary report on the 2006 data revealed that the U.S. teen birth rate had risen for the first time in about 15 years. But the new numbers provide the first state-by-state information on the increase.

The new report is based on a review of all the birth certificates in 2006. Significant increases in teen birth rates were noted in 26 states.

"It's pretty much across the board" nationally, said Brady Hamilton, a CDC statistician who worked on the report.

About 435,000 of the nation's 4.3 million births in 2006 were to mothers ages 15 through 19. That was about 21,000 more teen births than in 2005.

Numerically, the largest increases were in the states with the largest populations. California, Texas and Florida together generated almost 30 percent of the nation's extra teen births in 2006.

Some experts have blamed the national increase on increased federal funding for abstinence-only health education that does not teach teens how to use condoms and other contraception. They said that would explain why teen birth rate increases have been detected across much of the country and not just in a few spots. [my emphasis added]

There is debate about that, however. Some conservative organizations have argued that contraceptive-focused sex education is still common, and that the new teen birth numbers reflect it is failing.

Other factors include the escalating cost of some types of birth control and their unavailability in some communities, said Stephanie Birch, who directs maternal and child health programs for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

Glowing media portrayals of celebrity pregnancies don't help, either, she said. "They make it out to be very glamorous," said Birch, who cited a calculation by Alaska officials that teen pregnancies were up 6 percent in that state in 2006.

In Mississippi, there were about 68 births for every 1,000 women, ages 15 through 19 in 2006. The New Mexico rate was 64 per 1,000; Texas was 63.

The national birth rate for females in that age group was about 42 per 1,000. New Hampshire, with a rate of 19 per 1,000, was the nation's lowest.

A variety of factors influence teen pregnancy rates, including culture, poverty and racial demographics. For those and other reasons, kids in mostly white New England likely would delay child birth, said David Landry, a researcher at the Guttmacher Institute, a New York-based organization which supports abortion rights and gathers research on sexual and reproductive health.

"It's more costly for youth in the Northeast to have a teen birth than for youth in the South, in terms of opportunities they'll miss," he said.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090107/ap_on_he_me/med_teen_births

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PostSubject: Re: Mississippi has highest teen birth rate, CDC says   Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:05 pm

Yeah I saw that on Yahoo this morning. Thats so messed up. I will never understand why girls my age or younger would want or think they are ready for a baby. Then there are the idiots that just don't think and have unprotected sex or don't protect themselves properly I can't really feel bad for. When you think your ready to go that far with someone you should be smart enough to protect yourself so things like that don't happen.
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PostSubject: Re: Mississippi has highest teen birth rate, CDC says   Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:12 pm

Yep, good old abstinence only education. Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Mississippi has highest teen birth rate, CDC says   Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:31 pm

Alot of these births will probably continue in the future,unfortunatly.The legislation that was passed December 19 will make things much harder on alot of teens and adult women,unfortunatly.


Other factors include the escalating cost of some types of birth control and their unavailability in some communities, said Stephanie Birch, who directs maternal and child health programs for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.


HHS Regulation Jeopardizes Women’s Health

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final regulation on December 19, 2008 that will significantly expand the rights of individuals and institutions to refuse to provide health care information and services that offend their religious beliefs or moral convictions. In so doing, the new rule could dramatically undermine access to reproductive health care information and services. The regulation will make it easier for providers to refuse patients vital health services, and make it harder for patients to learn about their health status and options. The new regulations will make it especially difficult for some 17 million low-income women to get the family planning services and information they need to prevent unintended pregnancy. In finalizing the regulation, HHS ignored an avalanche of comments from the medical, legal, women’s and other communities and from its own EEOC urging a rejection to the proposal.

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PostSubject: Re: Mississippi has highest teen birth rate, CDC says   Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:38 pm

If they feel like they want to have sex, they should at least be safe about it. For some reason, this really doesn't surprise me. I have family there and a lot of my teen cousins have been pregnant or have given birth.
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PostSubject: Re: Mississippi has highest teen birth rate, CDC says   Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:06 pm

The abstinence-only thing certainly has a lot to do with this. My school had abstinence-only sex ed, and I remember having a lot of arguments with people about what contraceptives actually work well. It is really scary what a lot of people will come to believe if they don't have any information given to them on these issues. A lot of girls I knew thought that the rhythm method was effective and that they weren't at any risk of contracting STD's if they were just sleeping with other girls.

To some extent I feel that it isn't just the fault of the education system though. With all of the resources available online (or even at school or city libraries), teenagers could easily look up info on good contraceptives and how to avoid contracting STD's. However, I know that a lot of teenagers sadly don't have the drive to do this.

Then, even with proper information, these things can still be difficult for teenagers. A lot of my friends can't talk to their parents about sexuality, and therefore can't ask for help paying with birth control or for regular visits to a gynecologist. For a lot of teenagers, affording good contraceptives isn't feasible unless they ask their parents to help defray the cost.





On a different note, I'm pretty pissed about the new HHS regulations. Not only is it s disgusting assault on reproductive rights, but the way it is defined is so loose that it could easily affect people with other health issues, such as HIV/AIDS patients. It is just terrible.
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