Study: Black Teenage Pregnancy Rates Drop Dramatically

Unwanted pregnancies among African-American youth are down by 51 percent.

It’s not often that we hear good news when it comes to the reproductive health of Black teenagers. But a recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gives us just that. It found that teen pregnancy has dropped dramatically among Black teens.

Researchers from the CDC found that between the years 1999-2009 unplanned pregnancy rates among African-American teens dropped by a whopping 51 percent and 40 percent for Latinos.

Why the decline?

"Research suggests that more teens are delaying initiating sex, waiting longer to have sex," said Rachel Jones, a senior research associate with the Guttmacher Institute, who was not associated with the study, wrote CNN.Com. Jones added, "More teens are using more contraceptives and using more effective methods of contraception."

This study also found that abortion rates were at an all-time low dropping a little more than 30 percent.  

What’s ironic is that despite these signs of progress, the public believes otherwise. A recent survey conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unintended Pregnancy found that nearly half of Americans thought teen pregnancy was getting worse over the years, says the Washington Post.

One thing to keep in mind though: While this recent news is optimistic, the racial disparity gap is still steep. Teen pregnancy rates among African-Americans and Latinos are almost double those of their white counterparts. When it comes to abortion, our rates our still the highest: 31.8 abortions per 1,000 Black women aged 15–44 years and 90 percent of those women were single.

Obviously, there is more to do. Perhaps Obamacare, given that it requires insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved forms of birth control for women, could get us greater access to the contraception that we need.

Learn more about forms and methods here.

BET Health News - We go beyond the music and entertainment world to bring you important medical information and health-related tips of special relevance to Blacks in the U.S. and around the world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter. 

(Photo: Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune/MCT /Landov)

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