Statement by James Wagoner on new data showing first increase in U.S. teen pregnancy rates
WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It appears that the dramatic decrease in teen pregnancy rates in the United States over the last fourteen years has come to a screeching halt. This unwelcome development should not come as a surprise since the dual factors that contributed to the success over the last decade -- the decline in sexual initiation and more effective use of contraception including condoms -- have both leveled off since the late 90's.
Since a number of studies have placed the majority share of the credit for declining rates with more effective contraceptive use, it is reasonable to raise serious concerns about the $1.5 billion dollars the government has spent over the last decade on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that prohibit information about the use of contraception including condoms.
We will never prevent teen pregnancy by censoring information about contraception and investing in programs that have been proven not to work. A lion's share of the blame for this negative development must rest squarely with the President who has championed failed abstinence-only programs and the Congress that funded them.
Advocates for Youth is a national, nonprofit organization that creates programs and supports policies that help young people make safe, responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.
SOURCE Advocates for Youth