The Centers for Disease Control released a report on teen pregnancy today, indicating which states have the highest and lowest rates of live births per 1,000 teenage girls. The data show that the top five states in terms of teen pregnancy rates are Mississippi, New Mexico, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. More states in the southern and southwest U.S. complete the top ten and fifteen. Those states with the lowest rates New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, and other states in the Northeast and Upper Midwest.

Although the CDC says that black and Latino teens still have the highest rates, it is clear that teen pregnancy continues to be a nationwide concern; contrary to widespread belief about teen mothers, teen pregnancy is not exclusive to, or even concentrated in, states with large urban areas. The CDC also reports that teen pregnancy has fallen in every state in the country every year for the past three years, now reaching its lowest point since the 1940s. The agency sites three causes for the drop: pregancy prevention efforts and education, increased use of contraception, and a bad economy. It is unknown whether a recovery in the economy will undo all of the progress made in these rates. The United States has been successful in decreasing teen pregnancy rates, which is a good thing because statistically speaking, the children of teen mothers face more challenges than their counterparts with adult mothers. However, I can’t help but wonder how drops in teen pregnancy rates affect support for young women who do choose to have babies at a young age. There is nothing set in stone that says a teen mother can’t be a great one, and I worry that the stigma surrounding teen pregnancy might be as worthy of combatting as teen pregnancy itself. What do you think?

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  • Ocean Blue

    The stigma of teen pregnancy will never go away. Most teenagers are NOT prepared to take care of children.

    Furthermore, many people believe certain behaviors are only bad when girls/women do it.

  • CurlySue

    I think the stigma is there for a good reason. There’s really nothing that a girl can bring to her child as a teen that an older, married, more financially-prepared woman couldn’t bring ten times better. There are some things that are stigmatized for a reason. Drug addiction, alcoholism, teen pregnancy. It’s because these things have been proven to be both hurtful to the individual, those close to them, and their communities at large. Stigmas aren’t always a bad thing.

    • +1

    • chanela

      exactly. certain things are a stigma and “taboo” for a damn reason.

  • I am a proponent and advocate for teen pregnancy STIGMA! Let it stay! It is NOT right!!!!!!!

    However, I can’t help but wonder how drops in teen pregnancy rates affect support for young women who do choose to have babies at a young age.
    -Why are young women choosing to have babies at a young age?! What happened to their other priorities-education, careers?! Now, they are out sexing and deliberately getting pregnant, and you are here asking us where our support is?! My support is in young women getting an education, all other things will follow suit, at the right time. What kind of a conversation is this oo?! I am so shocked….

    2 DAYS ago, I listened in shock about an 11 year old contracting HIV/AIDS!!!!! What if the young lady is pregnant?! We are supposed to encourage this behavior by showing seeming support for teenage sex foolishness. You are alone on that one.

  • pink

    Not only do some teens do it; but these days a lot of celebs do it (have babies without being married). I don’t understand why anyone would want to have a baby by someone that’s not interested in marrying them. Plus….Kids need both the father, and mother in their life on a daily basis. And it sets a better example if the parties are married.

    • Josie

      Everyone isn’t pro-abortion so thats one reason. Not to mention that if we were to wait for this black and latino men to be “willing” to be a father, most of our eggs would just dry up. Lastly, teens see their parents do it themselves and feel that they are equipped with the ability to do it soon.

      If you were having sex as a teen then perhaps considering getting off of your high horse.

      Having an abortion doesnt make you a better person than keeping your baby (and no i’m not a teen mother).

  • teen pregnancy should not be celebrated.