Across the United States, fewer girls aged 15 to 19 are are having babies. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control. A report published last year shows that in 2015, teen pregnancies hit a historic low for a birth rate of 22.3 per 1,000 women ages 15 – 19 years old. In New Hanover County, the teen pregnancy rate is slightly lower than the national number: just over twenty 15-19-year-old girls out of a thousand gave birth in 2015. In Pender County, the rate is slightly above the national rate at more than 25 per 1,000 girls. And in Brunswick County, the rate is even higher. More than 36 girls per thousand, ages 15 – 19, had babies in 2015.
The CDC report says the reasons behind the drop in teen pregnancy are not clear, but more teens may be delaying or reducing sexual activity, and more of the teens who are sexually active may be using birth control than in previous years.
On this edition of CoastLine, we talk with two local experts who work with this population to help both the young parents and their new babies.
Donna Robey-Sullivan is a Founding Director and the current Treasurer of Samara’s Village, a nonprofit in Brunswick County that supports teens who become pregnant and optimize healthy outcomes for mom, dad, and baby
Annie Adams is a Teen Parent Specialist with Communities In Schools in New Hanover and Pender Counties.
Samara's Village - http://www.samarasvillage.org/
Communities In Schools Cape Fear - http://www.ciscapefear.org/