Spotlight Exclusives

A Puzzling but Positive Trend: Teen Birth Rate Drops to All-Time Low

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Arecent analysisby the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a dramatic drop in teenbirths: 39 births per 1,000 for girls age 15 to 19, which is a 6 percentdecline from 2008. This surprising trend is causing much speculation about thereasons for the decline, but the bottom line is that it is a positive step inthe fight to reduce poverty.


Amongthose claiming credit is an unlikelysource in MTV for its hit show “16 and Pregnant.” MTV cites a recentpoll by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy,which found that 82 percent of teenagers who have watched “16 and Pregnant”credit the show with helping teens understand the challenges that come withteen parenthood and how to avoid it.


Today۪sWashington Post  summarizes additional speculation for thebasis of the teen birth decline ranging from the recession, to the amplifiedfocus on abstinence education through unexpected new spokesperson BristolPalin, to increased comprehensive sex education put in place by the ObamaAdministration.


Whateverthe reason, the result is a good one. The outcomes for babies born to teenmothers are bleak as described in a Spotlight commentary by Andrea Kaneof the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy: these babiesare more likely to be born premature, suffer poorer heath, drop out of highschool and live in poverty. Working with teens to delaypregnancy and finish high school should be a goal that everyone can get behindevenif there are disagreements about how to accomplish it.


Postedby Amy


Here at Out of the Spotlight, we offer a behind-the-scenes look at the latestnews and information essential to anyone working to fight poverty. From keypolitical appointees to clashes over policy, we cover the news that doesn۪talways make the evening news. Check out Outof the Spotlight for our take on the twists and turns of the latestpolitical developments and their impact on poverty reduction. Topics and ideasare welcome! Just contact or

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