US Teen Births Rise for First Time in 15 Years

Some experts are blaming abstinence-only sex ed
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2007 5:30 PM CST
The teen birth rate has risen for the first time in 15 years.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Teenage births have risen in the US for the first time in 15 years, say government statisticians. CDC officials say it's too early to tell whether the data represent a statistical blip or a real trend. But some experts blame the spike on the administration's focus on abstinence-only sex education, which doesn't teach teens how to use condoms and other contraception, the AP reports.

"It's not rocket science," says a professor of maternal health. The new figures show 42 births per 1,000 women ages 15-19 in 2006. That's an increase of 20,000 teen births from the previous year. The report also showed an increase in births to unmarried mothers, but that result was an expected continuation of a trend, notes the AP.