Planned Parenthood: parents key to lower teen birth rate

The CDC says the teen birth rate dropped to an historic low in 2012. Courtesy CDC.

SALT LAKE CITY – Teen birth rates in Utah and around the nation have dropped to historic lows, according to new <a href=”” target=”parent”>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures</a>. In Utah, the teen birth rate is down nearly 40 percent since 2001.

Annabel Sheinberg, education director, Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, said parents discussing sexual issues with their children is key in keeping teen birth rates down. She pointed to research that shows that teens who have “the talk” make different choices.

“There have been studies that show teens who report having good conversations with their parents about sex wait longer to begin having sex. And they are more likely to use condoms and other birth control methods when they do become sexually active,” Sheinberg said.

The CDC reports that in 2012, there were 305,000 births in the U.S. to mothers between 15 and 19. The agency says that is the lowest rate of teen births since the end of World War II.

Sheinberg said parents should reach out to their children on an ongoing basis.

“It’s not just about having one big talk, it’s about becoming more comfortable asking the questions and initiating the conversation,” she explained.

According to the CDC, the teen birth rate is half what it was in 1991.

The full CDC report is available at <a href=”” target=”parent”></a>.

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