Studies - General Research

Adolescent Pregnancy, Adolescent Birth, Adolescent Abortion(AFH, Spring, 2003)

The Decline in Adolescent Pregnancy, Birth and Abortion Rates in the 1990s: What Factors Are Responsible? by The Physicians Consortium (formerly the Consortium of State Physicians Resource Councils), 7January1999 — http://www.physconsortium.com/pdfs/teen_birthrate_01_07_99.pdf

NUMBER OF TEEN ABORTIONS IN 1999 LOWEST SINCE ROE, 1973 According to the AGI data, there were 835,930 pregnancies among girls ages 15-19 in 1999 — 475,745 of which ended in birth, 240,940 of which ended in abortion, and slightly more than 119,000 ended in miscarriage. Because of the difficulty in gathering the abortion data needed to calculate pregnancy data, the AGI data lag about 2 years behind birth data reports. In 1973, there were 231,900 abortions in this age group. The fewest teen abortions were 191,000 in 1972. "What I find most encouraging is that the abortion rate for teens is lower than it has ever been since abortion became legal," said O’Bannon of NRLC. "That means that fewer teens are seeing abortion as any kind of solutionÂ…

And that bodes well for the future." According to the data, there were 85.6 pregnancies for every 1,000 girls ages 15-19 in 1999, 27% lower than the record high of 116.9 pregnancies per 1,000 teens in 1990. Also, there were 24.7 abortions for every 1,000 teen pregnancies, the lowest rate since 1973, when the rate was 22.8 abortions for every 1,000 teen pregnancies. AGI researchers attributed about one-fourth of the decline in the teen pregnancy rate to increased abstinence among teens and the remainder to changes in behavior, including increased use of long-lasting contraceptives, such as Depo-Provera.

A study published in the spring issue of Adolescent and Family Health Journal said that among unmarried girls, abstinence accounted for the entire decline in births and 67% of the drop in teen pregnancies could be attributed to teen abstinence (between 1991-1995, the preg rate per 1000 girls fell from 116 to 93), while contraceptive use was responsible for the remainder, said Joanna Mohn, M.D. (NJ), lead author of the study. Pro-life groups say that more parental notification laws have also led to the decline in teen abortions. The law in TX is credited with reducing the number of teen abortions by 30 percent.

Mohn and her colleagues found that the number of teens who said they had abstained from sex in the past year rose from 53% in 1991 to 56% in 1995. "Our research was much more sophisticated than all previous research on the subject. We took into account important statistics on girls who are married as well as those who had not been sexually involved for more than a year." The AGI report data consists of statistics from AGI, HHS’ National Center for Health Statistics, the CDC and the Census Bureau. The Alan Guttmacher Institute is named for a former Planned Parenthood president and is affiliated with that abortion advocacy group. ["An Analysis of the Causes of the Decline in Non-Marital Birth and Pregnancy Rates for Teens from 1991 to 1994", Adolescent and Family Health, Sprg/03; national data compiled by pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute, AGI; prolifeinfo.org; Pro-Life Infonet, Washington Times; 13May03; Life Dynamics News, 5/03]