Data shows teen pregnancy down overall
Published 12:15 am Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Despite being ranked fourth in the state for teen pregnancies in 2012, data released through Kids Count paints a much more promising picture of the county’s teen pregnancy issues.
Nearly two years ago, data was presented to the Children’s Policy Council of Covington County showing that there were 93 teen pregnancies in 2012 and 75 teen births for a rate of 33.6 per 1,000 teen females.
According to data from the Center for Health Statistics, two pregnancies were terminated by abortion, and there were an estimated 16 fetal losses.
Data presented in the 2015 Kids Count shows that the rate has improved from 36.6 births per 1,000 teen females in 2003 to 21 births per 1,000 in 2013.
This number is for births to all females age 10-19.
Data also shows that the percentage of births is down for unmarried teens age 10-19 for all races.
The rate for births in teens aged 15-17 has also declined.
In 2003, it was 44.5 births per 1,000 and in 2013 it was 22.6 births per 1,000, according to Kids Count data.
The 2013 data is the most recent available.
Children’s Policy Council Director Susan Short said teen pregnancy is something the community should be concerned with.
“Teen pregnancy is one of the hardest things a young girl can go through,” Short said. “Our area is fortunate to have an agency such a Sav-A-Life. I know of many situations and girls that they have helped through the years as well as the many youth that they have influence for the better with their abstinence programs in our schools.”
Short said programs like this need to be available every year for grades six through eight.
“One of the most discouraging aspects of teen pregnancies are that the children born to teen mothers are more likely to become teenage parents themselves,” she said. “Just some of the problems are: children born to teen parents are 50 percent more likely to repeat a grade in school, have health problems, drop out of high school, be jailed during their youth and be unemployed as an adult.”
Short encouraged parents to talk to their children.
“Many parents don’t want to have a talk about such a topic with their children,” she said. “But parents must take a stand and discuss this topic if they truly care about their children and future grandchildren.”