Teenage Pregnancy Prevention: Statistics and Programs

  • Solomon-Fears C
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Abstract

In 2014, U.S. teen births accounted for 6.3% of all births and 13.9% of all nonmarital births. The birth rate for U.S. teenagers (ages 15 through 19) increased in 2006 and 2007 after a steady decline since 1991. However, in each of 2008 through 2014, the teen birth rate dropped below the 2006 teen birth rate, reversing the two-year upward trend. Although the birth rate for U.S. teens has dropped in 22 of the past 24 years, it remains higher than the teen birth rate of most industrialized nations. Preventing teen pregnancy is generally considered a priority among policymakers and the public because of its high economic, social, and health costs for teen parents and their families. The Adolescent Family Life (AFL) program, created in 1981 (Title XX of the Public Health Service Act), was the first federal program to focus on pregnancy among adolescents. It was created to support demonstration projects that provide comprehensive and innovative health, education, and social services to pregnant and parenting adolescents, their infants, male partners, and their families. From 1998 to 2009, federal teen pregnancy prevention efforts in the AFL program and in general relied heavily on using abstinence-only education as their primary tool. The appropriation for the AFL program was $16.7 million in FY2010 and $12.4 million for FY2011. The AFL program has not received any funding since FY2011.

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Authors

  • Carmen Solomon-Fears

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