Chicago Tribune (MCT)
NEW YORK — News of a cluster of at least 17 pregnant teenagers at a small Massachusetts high school recently made headlines around the world, but it came at a time when teen pregnancies and abortions in the United States actually are at their lowest points in 30 years.
Pregnancies — whether they end in birth, miscarriage or abortion — among women ages 15 to 19 dropped to 72.2 per 1,000 women in 2004, down from a peak of 117 per 1,000 women in 1990, according to the latest data compiled by New York's Guttmacher Institute, which focuses on reproductive health research, policy analysis and education. While some 700,000 women ages 15 to 19 become pregnant every year, the rate has declined 36 percent since it peaked in 1990.
The rate of abortions among teens also plummeted, to 19.8 per 1,000 women in 2004 from a high of 43.5 per 1,000 in 1988.
That's the good news.