New Data: Teen pregnancy on the rise, abortions too - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

New Data: Teen pregnancy on the rise, abortions too

WASHINGTON. - The teen years are a time of firsts: First car, first love and increasingly, first child.

A sexual and reproductive health think-tank called the Guttmacher Institute has released data that show the number of pregnant teens rose three percent in 2006, a reversal from sharp declines of more than 40 percent seen during the 1990s.

The Institute's Heather Boonstra says a focus on abstinence-only sex education in the 2000s simply didn't work, and suggests adding Birth Control 101 to sex ed.

"Programs that teach about both actually show to help teens delay sexual activity, help them to have fewer sexual partners and help them to use contraceptives more consistently," said Boonstra.

The new numbers echo previous data from the Centers for Disease Control, which found an uptick in the number of teens not only getting pregnant, but carrying babies to full term.

"An increase in teen birth rates could either mean that fewer teens are getting abortions, or it means that there are more pregnancies overall and what this data shows is that there are more pregnancies overall," said Boonstra.

The Guttmacher report shows a one percent increase in abortions in 2006.

The CDC is expected to release additional teen pregnancy data later this spring.

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