the VOA Special English Health Report.
than seven hundred thousand teenagers a year get pregnant in the United States.
The teen pregnancy rate has fallen thirty-eight percent since the early
And the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned
Pregnancy says the teen birth rate has fallen by almost as much. Six out of ten
pregnant teenagers in two thousand six gave birth.
nonprofit campaign says these changes have been driven by decreases in sexual
activity and increases in contraceptive use.
But it points to recent findings
that reductions in teen sex and increases in contraceptive use have leveled
off. And the teen birth rate is rising for the first time in fifteen years.
week, many Americans talked about the news that the seventeen-year-old daughter
of Sarah Palin is pregnant and will get married. Sarah Palin is the governor of
Alaska and the Republican nominee for vice president. Campaign officials said
the family released a statement because of claims on the Internet that the
candidate's baby son was really her daughter's baby.
there have been other reasons why teen pregnancy has been more of a subject of
national discussion lately.
movie "Juno" came out last December. A teenager gets pregnant and
decides to have the baby and give it up for adoption. This comedy about a
serious subject won an Academy Award.
past June, Jamie Lynn Spears gave birth. The TV star and sister of Britney
Spears was sixteen when she got pregnant. Many parents of her young fans were
not happy to have to discuss it.
out of ten pregnancies in teenagers are unplanned, compared to half of all
thousand one UNICEF report on teenage births in rich nations showed that the
United States had the highest rate. But, as a New York Times columnist just
noted, the United States did not have the highest rate of sexually active
teens. A few others had higher rates. Denmark had the highest. Yet its teen
birth and teen abortion rates were much lower than America's.
the debate over what to do about teen pregnancy is how to deal with sex
education. Some people argue for an expansion of "abstinence-only"
programs. These center on the message that young people should not have sex
until marriage. Other people argue that while this may be a good message to
teach, it should not be the only one taught in schools.
that's the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Caty Weaver. I'm Steve