Friday, December 7, 2007
NYT: Teenage Birth Rate Rises for First Time Since '91
Via the New York Times:
The birth rate among teenagers 15 to 19 in the United States rose 3 percent in 2006, according to a report issued Wednesday, the first such increase since 1991. The finding surprised scholars and fueled a debate about whether the Bush administration’s abstinence-only sexual education efforts are working.
The federal government spends $176 million annually on such programs. But a landmark study recently failed to demonstrate that they have any effect on delaying sexual activity among teenagers, and some studies suggest that they may actually increase pregnancy rates.
“Spending tens of million of tax dollars each year on programs that hurt our children is bad medicine and bad public policy,” said Dr. David A. Grimes, vice president of Family Health International, a nonprofit reproductive health organization based in North Carolina.