Teen Births Decreasing Nationwide - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Teen Births Decreasing Nationwide

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The teen birth rate is dropping nationally and in Montana. That's according to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The teen birth rate now stands at approximately half of what is was in the early 1990's.

In the last year, the number of teenagers having babies in the United States has decreased.
According to a report released by the CDC from 2011 to 2012, the number of teens between the ages of 15 and 19 who are having children has dropped by six percent.

In other words, there are now 29 teen births per one thousand teenagers in the nation and Montana ranks even lower than the national average.

"In Montana, we have a slightly lower rate of 29 births of a group of 1,000 teens," said Stephanie McDowell.

Stephanie McDowell works for Bridger Care, a non-profit,  family planning clinic. She said there are several reasons for this decline.

"It could be a sign that teens are having less sex. It could be a sign that teens are using more contraception or it could be a combination of both," said McDowell.

McDowell said the peak of teen pregnancy was in 1970 and since then there has been a ripple effect of decreasing teen pregnancies.

"I think that the public awareness of teen pregnancy and how it affects us as adults and community members has become stronger," said McDowell.

McDowell said as the number of teen births declines, success for teens after high school tends to rise.

"More teens pursue secondary education, achieve employment and are able to plan for their families when they're better able to provide for children as adults," said McDowell.

McDowell said the decreasing trend of teens births will most likely continue.

"If the numbers still trend the way they have been the last couple of decades, we should see a decrease," said McDowell. "I think it's continuous work in education with our parents, our community and our teens."

Bridger Care offers a weekly clinic for teens. The clinics educate teens on their bodies and provide safe sexual health advice.

For more information on these clinics, click here. 

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