U.S. Teen Pregnancy Rates Down, Texas Rates Up

ABILENE, Texas - Teen pregnancy rates declined in the US, while more teens in Texas are getting pregnant. The Centers for Disease Control indicates the U.S. as a whole is showing a downward trend in teen pregnancies. Four point five percent of teens are mother, according to 2008 data.

Texas is in the top ten states for having the most pregnant teens, rising seven percent to more than 44,000.

?We see a lot of minor patients that come in that are pregnant or requesting pregnancy testing and the result is positive,? Kristin Staples, West Texas Planned Parenthood Clinic Manager, said.

Planned Parenthood said Taylor County is following the Texas trend.

A 2010 teen birth rates report indicates for every 1,000 teenage girls in Taylor County, 67 are pregnant.

Planned Parenthood thinks education is key to reducing teen pregnancy rates.

?They're not educated in the pregnancy itself and in the options that they have about birth control or they don't know anything about STDs,? Staples said. ?They're just uneducated about it. The school district is abstinence only. I think it needs to start with the parents, the education does, and then it needs to go through with the patient to make an educated decision on what's best for them."

Abilene Independent School District said in a statement ?We are teaching what we believe our community is in favor of us teaching, which is abstinence based education."

Planned Parenthood told us they provide counseling after a patient takes a pregnancy test. If the test is positive, then each patient is given the option to continue with the pregnancy, look at adoption plans or choose abortion.

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