Babies Makin' Babies: Teen Birth Rates Through the Roof

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Babies Makin' Babies: Teen Birth Rates Through the Roof Babies Makin' Babies: Teen Birth Rates Through the Roof
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Babies Makin' Babies: Teen Birth Rates Through the Roof

by Siobhan O'Connor

January 9, 2009
Ruh-roh. Let the finger-pointing begin. New data has just been released showing teenagers are having more and more babies, with "significant increases" in 26 states. Last year, preliminary reports from the Centers for Disease Control showed the early data on the trend: For the first time in 15 years, there was an increase showing in teen birth rates nationwide. Now that the state-by-state numbers have been released (Mississippi takes the cake!), we have, what, a couple hours before the blame game takes off? No, actually, it's already begun! The pro-choicers are blaming  anti-contraception/abstinence-only education, and the pro-lifers are blaming Hollywood.Before anyone gets too worked up, though, let us get a little historical perspective, care of this Time magazine cover here, which is from 1985: the teen pregnancy "crisis" is nothing new. (Heck, even Time redid the story in 2005.) But how large will the baby-boom numbers grow? We'll see. Expect the debate to get hairier later this year, when abortion data is released for 2006, the same year the teen birth rate blew up.
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