File under yet another reason the Senate's latest health care bill could be extremely damaging: teen pregnancy rates have hit a record low. And the reason? Many teens are using long-term birth control methods.
According to a new report by the CDC, for every 1000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19, 20.3 gave birth in 2016 - compared with 41.5 in 2007. It's not because teens are having less sex, either - instead the CDC is attributing the declining pregnancy rates to the fact that teens are increasingly likely to use super-effective long-term birth control methods like the IUD or implant.
Teen mothers are more likely to miss out on educational opportunities and deal with poverty and pregnancy complications, so this is amazing news. It's also important to note that the number of pregnant teens in the U.S. is also still much higher than in other developed countries - but these declining numbers are a good start.
Considering IUD insertion can cost up to $1,000 without insurance according to Planned Parenthood, this new data also serves as a friendly reminder that it's more important than ever to support women's (and especially young women's!) access to low-cost, easy-to-access contraception. If the numbers are any indication, access to effective birth control is key for women who wouldn't be able to support an unplanned pregnancy.