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More Teenagers are Using Contraception

A Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study released last week shows that not only are more teenage girls using contraception but also that girls are choosing more effective types of contraception. 60% of the teenagers between 15 and 19 years old are using birth control methods that are rated as highly effective methods. The study defined highly effective methods as the pill, patch, vaginal ring, IUD, arm implant, and contraceptive shot. Condoms are considered only moderately effective.

In an earlier report, the CDC reported that the teenage birth rate dropped to an historic low, dropping 9 percent between 2009 and 2010. The birth rate for 2010 was the lowest since 1946. The report partially credits the increase in contraception usage for this trend. The rate of pregnancies for girls 15 to 19 has dropped by 44% between 1990 and 2010. The CDC reports that in the mid-90s, less than half of teenage girls were using highly effective methods. Today, in the states where teenagers were more likely to use the pill the teenage birth rate is either lower than or equal to the national average. These states also have the fewest restrictions on obtaining birth control.

The study released last week was conducted between 2006 and 2010. 2,300 teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19 were surveyed.

Media Resources: Washington Post 5/3/12; New York Times Blog 5/3/12; CBS News 5/3/12; Feminist Daily News Wire 4/11/12

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