Teen Birth Rates Falling – At What Cost?

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Holy Hormones Journal: Good news on the teen pregnancy front – however if you read my blog post from earlier this week, have we traded pregnancy prevention for the rise in STD’s?

I am sure the economy plays somewhat into the decline in birth rates – but really question whether or not teen girls are thinking about that at all. And teen boys? Well, when sex drives them – the economy if they have concerns at all – plays a distant second to more urgent physical needs.

The concern for me is placing teen girls on LARCs -(long-acting reversible contraception) at an early age and in at least the state of Washington, without parental consent. Earlier this year I wrote a blog about Seattle schools placing 1,300 girls on hormone contraception; IUD’s implants, and injections without parental knowledge. That prime piece of legislation was passed without a lot of people noticing.

If we are not aware, that type of legislation can move across the country.

I guess the question is are we more concerned about teen birth rates than the health of our children? Pregnancies no longer kill…. STD’s do. There are no long-term – or even short-term studies for the matter (at least that I am aware of) of the safety of LARC’s on teen girl’s health. Menstrual health advocates have been sounding the alarm over synthetic hormone birth control for decades – calling it the largest uncontrolled experiment in medical history. Now we are subjecting our daughters to this type of contraception. And without parental consent? What will the outcome be for their fertility?

Once again, birth control and the medical and pharmaceutical industry are now controlling women’s bodies. PERIOD.

We have to do a better job of educating our children about what is really at risk.

Why is the teen birth rate falling?

 

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The teen birth rate in the U.S. is at a record low, dropping below 25 births per 1,000 teen females for the first time since the government began collecting consistent data on births to teens ages 15-19, according to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Nonwhite and younger teens have led the way in declining birth rates in recent years. Since the most recent peak in 2007, the birth rate among all teens has dropped by 42%. The declines among Hispanic (50%), Asian or Pacific Islander (48%) and black (44%) teens have outpaced this national average, while the decline among white teens (36%) has been somewhat more modest. Birth rates among younger teens ages 15-17 have also fallen faster – dropping by 50%, compared with a 39% decline among older teens ages 18 and 19.

Although the teen birth rates among blacks and Hispanics have fallen faster than among whites, the racial disparity in teen childbearing remains wide.  Hispanic and black teens ages 15-19 had birth rates at least twice as high as the rate among white teens in 2014. Asians and Pacific Islanders had the lowest teen birth rate – less than half the rate among whites.

The peak for teen births was 96.3 per 1,000 in 1957, in the midst of the Baby Boom, after having risen dramatically following the end of World War II. But the composition of teen mothers has changed drastically since then. Back in 1960, most teen mothers were married – an estimated 15% of births to mothers ages 15-19 were to unmarried teens. Today, it has flipped: 89% of births are to unmarried mothers in that age group.

The teen birth rate has been on a steep decline since the early 1990s, and that trend accelerated during the recession of 2007-09 and the years following, reversing a brief uptick that began in 2006. What’s behind the recent trends? One possible factor is the economy: A Pew Research Center analysis tied the declining birth rate to the flailing economy. And birth rates for teens fell faster than they did for all females ages 15-44 from 2007 to 2014 (42% and 9% declines, respectively).

What else is contributing to the decline in teen birth rates? Less sex, use of more effective contraception and more information about pregnancy prevention.

 

Read full article…

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.