More data demonstrating once again that family planning and easy access to birth control works to reduce teen pregnancy, unwanted children, and abortions.
The numbers are part of a nationwide trend that mark a dramatic turnabout over the past two decades. In 1990, six out of every 100 American girls ages 15-19 gave birth — a number that was widely regarded as a public health issue demanding attention.
Experts credited the remarkable state turnaround to several factors, including policies aimed at preventing teen pregnancy, funding for adolescent health programs and increased access to contraceptives and abortions.
“I do think the policies and programs on teen pregnancy are working,” said Kelly Hardy, senior director of health policy for Children Now, which released the annual data for California. “But a bigger focus on children and adolescent health in general would help keep us moving in the right direction on teen birth and many other issues.”
In 1990, California’s teen birthrate was 71 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19. By 2012, it had dropped to 26 per 1,000, according to the 2014 Kids Count national report.