by Steven Ertelt
October 30, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The number of teen pregnancies in the United States declined by 36% between 1990 and 2002, according to new data from the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute. AGI says abortions didn’t lower the teen pregnancy rate because abortions dropped by a larger 37 percent per 1,000 teen girls during the same time.
Despite the decline in teen pregnancies, a companion report issued by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy finds teen childbearing in the United States cost taxpayers at least $9.1 billion in 2004.
The estimated cumulative public costs of teen childbearing between 1991 and 2004 totals $161 billion, the group said.
Authored by By Saul Hoffman, Ph.D., Professor of Economics and Department Chair at the University of Delaware, the new financial analysis is the first comprehensive national estimate of the public costs of teen childbearing in ten years.
The report also provides the first-ever state-by-state analysis of the costs of teen childbearing, which ranged in 2004 from $1 billion in Texas to $12 million in Vermont.
"This report makes clear that teen pregnancy and child-bearing have significant economic and social costs," said Sarah Brown, NCPTP’s director.
"Making further progress in reducing teen pregnancy will benefit taxpayers and the economy, as well as improve the educational, health, and social prospects for this generation of young people and the next," Brown said.
In addition to the teen pregnancy rate declining, the teen birth rate has also declined by fully one-third between 1991 and 2004.
Despite the decreases, Brown said the birth rate in the US is still four to five times the rate of most European nations and twice the rate of Canada.
The new data also show that teenagers in the foster care system are more at risk of becoming pregnant, and, likely, to have abortions as well.
By age 19, nearly half of young women in foster care have been pregnant compared to about one-fifth of their peers not in foster care, according to research developed by Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago.
Additionally, nearly half of teens girls in foster care who have been pregnant have had a subsequent pregnancy, compared to 29% of their peers outside the system.