ThinkProgress notes that teen pregnancy has continued to go down, continuing a long-term trend. That’s a good thing, of course. But the states that require ignorance-only sex education (that’s a phrase I saw recently for abstinence-only, and I’m totally stealing it from now on) tend to have considerably higher rates than those who require comprehensive sex ed.
This is the lowest national rate for teen birthssince the Centers for Disease Control began tracking it in 1940, and CDC officials attributed the decline to pregnancy prevention efforts. Other reports show that teenagers are having less sex and using contraception more often. Studies have backed this up. Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found that teenagers who received some type of comprehensive sex education were 60 percent less likely to get pregnant or get someone else pregnant. And in 2007, a federal report showed that abstinence-only programs had “no impacts on rates of sexual abstinence.”
Here are the ten states with the highest rates of teen births (births per 1000):
New Mexico (66)