Teen Pregnancy, Contraception, Abortion
The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate of all
A sexually active teen who does not use contraception
has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within one year.
Most very young teens
have not had intercourse: 8 in 10 girls and 7 in 10 boys are sexually inexperienced
at age 15. Most young people begin having sex in their mid-to-late teens, about
8 years before they marry; more than half of 17-year-olds have had intercourse.
Nearly 2/3 (64%) of sexually active 15-17-year-old women have partners
who are within 2 years of their age; 29% have sexual partners who are 3-5 years
older, and 7% have partners who are 6 or more years older.
6 in 10
teen pregnancies occur among 18-19 year olds.
9 in 10 sexually active
women and their partners use a contraceptive
method although not always consistently or correctly.
million teens become pregnant each year; 78% of these pregnancies are unintended.
of pregnant teens receive inadequate prenatal care; babies born to young mothers
are more likely to be low-birth-weight, to have childhood health problems and
to be hospitalized than are those born to older mothers.
80% of babies
born to unmarried teens who dropped out of high school are now living in poverty.
In contrast only 8% of children born to married high school graduates aged 20
or older are living in poverty.
Teens who give birth are much more
likely to come from poor or low-income families (83%) than are teens who have
abortions (61%) or teens in general (38%).
At current rates,
43% of American women will have at an abortion by age 45.
of teen mothers have a second child within 2 years of their first.
year 3 million teens - about 1 in 4 sexually experienced teens - acquire a sexually
transmitted infection. Approximately half of all new HIV infections in the US
occur among young people under age 25.
Since 1980, abortion rates among
sexually experienced teens have declined steadily, because fewer teens are becoming
pregnant, and in recent years, fewer pregnant teens have chosen to have an abortion.
Birth rates during 1991-1996 declined for teens in all racial and ethnic
Experts estimate that as many as 50% of teen pregnancies could
be averted by using Emergency Contraception.
New study shows a "significant" increase in sexual content on
TV over the last 2 years. The number of episodes with sexual content increased
from 56% in the 1997-1998 season to 68% of all episodes in the 1999-2000 season.
Resources: Alan Guttmacher Institute,
Advocates for Youth, National
Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, Washington
State Department of Health, Kaiser Family Foundation.
when do we have to agree with people to defend them from injustice?"
- Lillian Hellman
Feminist Women's Health Center