Immigration Crackdowns Credited for Record Drop in Hispanic Teen Pregnancy

Immigration Crackdowns Credited for Record Drop in Hispanic Teen Pregnancy

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A new report states that the economy and immigration crackdowns are credited for a significant drop in teen pregnancies among nearly all US States.  

This week the Centers for Disease Control released data indicating that  every state except West Virginia and North Dakota showed significant drops over the past 5 years. 

The Hispanic teen birth rate dropped the most of all groups, from 75 to 49 births per 1,000.

Hispanic women have been part of that trend, possibly due to the economy and to illegal immigration crackdowns in some states that reduce the number of young Hispanic females entering the country from Mexico and other nations, John SantelliColumbia University professor of population and family health told the AP.

Despite the substantial decrease noted in the report, Texas still has the highest rate nearly 43,000 in 2011, and among those, 1/3 were Hispanic teens.

Other notable findings include:

  • Mountain states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and Utah saw decreases by 30% or more
  • Hispanic teen birth rate dropped by at least 40% in 22 states
  • The overall drop in Hispanic birth from 75 to 49 per 1,000 births lowers their teen pregnancy rate to the rate of Blacks, which is 47 per 1000
  • Whites continue to have the lowest teen pregnancy rate at 22 births per 1,000
  • The South continues to be the region with the highest teen pregnancy rate, led by Arkansas and Mississippi, each with rates at 50 per 1,000. 
    • The majority of the teen pregnancies in Arkansas are to white moms.
    • The majority of the teen pregnancies in Mississippi are to black moms.
  • Hispanic rates continue to be higher than that of blacks and whites in states with the largest Hispanic populations: California, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Georgia.
Notwithstanding this last fact, experts say that the big drop in Hispanic teen births, possibly due to immigration crackdown, suggests that the impact new immigrants had on the nation’s high teen birth rate is less. 
 
Second and 3rd generation families are having more influence as they become assimilated in American customs and practices.
  
“There is more attention on education, career, and the future,” Dr. Janet Realini, head of Healthy Futures of Texas, a San Antonio-based organization focused on preventing teen and unplanned pregnancies told the AP.
 
Chief Program Officer of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Bill Albert says geography, politics and policy alone cannot be to credit for the drop. 
 
 “Credit goes to teens themselves who are clearly making better decisions about sex, contraception, and their future,” Albert told the AP.
 
Other experts also credit parents for being more open and willing to talk to their children and teens about sex more so these days than years past.

 

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