National Campaign to Prevent Pregnancy
Monday, March 4, 2002
EMBARGOED for release: Tuesday, February 12, 5 pm EST Contact: Bill Albert, Director of Communications (202) 478-8510 (Washington, D.C.) — The overall teen birth rate in the United States declined to a record low in 2000 although teen birth rates in 11 states and among Hispanic teens increased between 1999 and 2000, according to data released today by the federal government. The overall birth rate for teenagers aged 15-19 declined 2 percent between 1999 and 2000 and has declined a total of 22 percent since 1991. The birth rate for Hispanic teens aged 15-19 increased one percent between 1999 and 2000. "This report makes clear that more teens are using their heads and protecting their hearts by increasingly saying "not yet" to sex and by using protection carefully when they do have sex," said Sarah Brown, Director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. "This is consistent with National Campaign survey data which clearly shows that teens respond well to a strong ‘abstinence first' message as well as information about birth control." "For those who have mistaken falling teen pregnancy and birth rates for final victory, this report is also is a clear shot across the bow," Brown said. "Despite a decade of decline, teen birth rates in the United States are still far too high and, as the rise in the teen birth rates in 11 states and among Hispanic teens makes clear, there is little room for complacency when it comes to preventing adolescent pregnancy." The 11 states that had an increase in their teen birth rate are: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Wyoming. The teen birth data was released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. For details on their report, please visit www.cdc.gov/nchs. About the National Campaign: Founded in 1996, the National Campaign is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with the goal of reducing the teen pregnancy rate by one-third between 1996 and 2005. For more information contact, Bill Albert, National Campaign Communications Director, 202-478-8510, or visit www.teenpregnancy.org.