Photo: Teen pregnancy
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday released the most recent figures for teenage pregnancies, which historically have been higher among Hispanics.
The report says that one in four teen births in the United States is to a girl between the ages of 15 and 17.
The CDC says that despite the efforts to prevent pregnancies among girls 15-17, members of this age cohort are still delivering 1,700 babies per week.
“This month’s edition of Vital Signs found that in 2012 more than 86,000 babies were born to teenagers between 15 and 17 years of age,” the CDC’s Carla Galindo told Efe.
Researchers found that the birth rate per 1,000 teenagers 15-17 fell from 51.9 percent in 1991 to about 17 percent in 2012.
Despite the fact that among Hispanics the birth rate also declined in recent decades, the index remains higher that among other groups.
In 2012, the birth rate per 1,000 teenagers 15-17 was 25.5 percent among Hispanics, 21.9 percent among non-Hispanic blacks, 17 percent among American Indian/Alaska Natives, 8.4 percent among non-Hispanic whites and 4.1 percent among Asian/Pacific Islander teens.
The CDC emphasized the need to continue with developing initiatives that deal with racial and ethnic disparities in teenage pregnancy rates with “culturally appropriate interventions and services.”
“We’re advising adults and relatives to speak with the youngsters at an early age about making decisions on personal and sexual relationships and the use of contraceptives to prevent these pregnancies,” Galindo said.
Researchers found that more than 80 percent of teenage girls had not received any formal sexual education before they had their first sexual relationship.
May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, during which health authorities are seeking to raise awareness about the consequences of becoming pregnant among young people.