In this new CDC report, the organization found that for every 1000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19, 20.3 gave birth in the year 2016. In 2007, the rate was twice as high, at 41.5.
But according to CBS, it’s not because teens are having less sex — it’s because they’re more likely to be using long-term birth control methods. Another recent study — published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in 2016 — showed that from the years 2007 to 2013, teen pregnancy rates dropped 36%. Eighty-six percent of teens were using at least one form of birth control, while 37% reported using two or more.
Interestingly, the report isn’t all good news. The CDC says that while the rate of unplanned teen pregnancy is down, it’s still much higher than that of other developed countries. Furthermore, with the new Senate proposed health care bill, this progress might come to a halt. Twenty-two million people could be left uninsured, meaning many women may no longer have access to affordable forms of longterm birth control. Additionally, cuts to Planned Parenthood could mean less access to contraceptive services overall…which will likely spell out more pregnancy.
Basically, if access to birth control is important to you, now is the time to be vocal and make it known to your representatives (and of course, donations to Planned Parenthood if you’re able are never a bad idea either!). Because teens deserve better — as do all women!