Alarming Report: Texas Has Highest Rate of Repeat Teen Births

By: Associated Press and KBTX Staff Email
By: Associated Press and KBTX Staff Email

A new report says that Texas has the highest rate of repeat teen births of any state at 23 percent. Child Trends, a nonpartisan national research group, said in its report that among 73 major U.S. cities in 2006, the latest year for which city-level data are available, Dallas had the highest repeat percentage of repeat teen birth at 28 percent.

Houston lead U.S. cities in girls under 15 giving birth. Among seven metro areas, Arlington had the lowest rate repeat teen birth rate at 19 percent, while Fort Worth's 25-percent rate was in a tie nationally for seventh-highest. Also making the list were San Antonio with 26 percent, and Houston and Austin, both with repeat teen birth rates of 24 percent.

The Hope Pregnancy Center Of Brazos Valley offers sex and abstinence education, pregnancy support, pregnancy classes among several other services. The center says their teen pregnancy numbers for 2009 thus far are slightly skewed. The center says the latest numbers only take into account one semester of college and high school, and not all clients report if they are attending school.

Brazos Valley pregnancy rates for 2009 thus far:
Under age 15: 4 clients
Ages 15-19: 175 clients
Ages 20-24: 247 clients
Over age 24:193 clients

Texas A&M University: 47 clients
Blinn College: 49 clients
Bryan High School: 19 clients
A&M Consolidated High School: 7 clients

Brazos Valley Health Status Assessment Supplemental Report ranked teen pregnancy as fourth on a list of six top issues that a panel deemed as most serious in Brazos County.

1. Poor Public Transportation
2. Illegal Drug Abuse
3. Alcohol Abuse
4.Teen Pregnancy
5. Population Growth
6. Poverty

The National Center for Health Statistics ranked Texas as third among 25 other states with the highest teen birth rates. The 2005-2006 reported among 26 states, the highest teen birth rates were in the South and Southwest.

1. Mississippi 68.4 percent per 1000
2. New Mexico 64.1 percent per 1000
3. Texas 63.1 percent per 1000

Statistics from a 2008-2009, State of Texas Children from the Center for Public Policy Priorities reported 10.5 percent of births from unmarried teens ages 13-19. In Brazos County 11.5 percent of all births were from unmarried teens ages 13-19.

Founder of Aggieland Pregnancy Outreach, Kim Schams says there is no easy fix for the teen pregnancy issue, but there are ways to reduce the number of instances teen pregnancy occurs. Schams says preventive measures begin within the family, and parents should focus on teaching children how much the consequences of sex outweigh the action. Schams said girls especially should be taught the benefits of unconditional love so that they won't have to seek ways to fill that void by having sex, or intentionally getting pregnant.


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