Research and Reports
Pregnancy and birth rates among teen-age women in the United States have declined in this decade, according to a new analysis of statistics by the federal Centers for Disease Control.
The study, published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, says that the slight drop in the teen-age pregnancy rate between 1980 and 1983 is significant because it follows a six-year period during which the rate jumped by 8.2 percent.
From 1980 to 1983, the study says, the rate of pregnancies among women between the ages of 15 and 19 declined by 1.8 percent. In 1983, 87 of every 1,000 women in that age group became pregnant.
The birth rate among teen-age women also decreased during the period, according to the report, continuing a trend that had been evident in the previous decade, when the birth rate declined by more than 9 percent. In 1983, 52 of every 1,000 women in the 15-to-19-year-old age group gave birth--a 2.3 percent decline from the 1980 rate. In 1974, the number of live births per 1,000 teen-age women was 58.
The cdc researchers noted, however, that abortions had played a substantial role in the birth rate's 9 percent drop between 1974 and 1980. In contrast, they said, the reduced pregnancy rate seemed to account for the 1980-1983 drop. The rate of abortions among teen-age women remained stable from 1980 to 1983, according to the report.