Statement from the Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
May 1, 2016
Over the past few days, many national media outlets (CDC, NPR, NBC) have been reporting on a recent survey of census data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found dramatic declines in teen birth rates among Hispanics and Blacks over the past decade. It’s been reported that nationally, birth rates among Hispanic teens have declined by 51 percent while birth rates among Black teens have declined 44 percent since 2006.
The good news is that fewer and fewer U.S. teens, regardless of ethnicity, are becoming pregnant . Experts note a range of reasons from increased access to more effective contraception to a trend of fewer teens having sex and the increase in readily available information on the internet to help teens make healthy decisions. The bad news is that while Texas has seen a decline in the overall percentage of teen births, our state has not seen the same kind of progress as almost every other state in the union. According to data from Texas’ DSHS Center for Health Statistics, overall teen births have declined over a similar time frame by 27% while births to Hispanic teens have declined 24% and births to Black teens have declined 34%.
Though we applaud all progress related to supporting healthy adolescent development, Texas continues to struggle when it comes to preventing teen pregnancy and ensuring that all youth, regardless of ethnicity or geography, grow into healthy adults with the tools and information they need to succeed. The Texas Campaign is committed to reducing teen pregnancy across Texas. We believe that preventing teen pregnancy is an adult issue and will continue to work with individuals and communities throughout the state to shine a light on this complex issue.