Although the rate of teen pregnancy is declining, in the U.S. teen pregnancy rate remains high. The CEO of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, Sara Brown believes teens are getting better when it comes to practicing safe sex.
"The teen birth rate last year went down nine percent," Brown told NPR. "That is the single-largest one-year decline that's ever been noted since we started counting, I don't know, in the Truman administration."
However with the rate declining, teen birth rate in America is still three times higher than other developed countries.
States such as Mississippi continue to struggle with alarming teen pregnancy rates. Approximately every single county has a teen birth rate that is higher the country's national average. Mississippi First, a group that advocates for the best policy solutions to revitalize the state's democracy, is working diligently to get school districts with the highest birth rate to adopt Abstinence Plus.
Brown does not believe that other developed countries have less teens participating in sexual intercourse; however, she does feel they are better at using contraception compared to American teens.
She also noted the correlation between teen motherhood and poverty. Though many health experts reason that a teenage girl who has a baby, young and out of wedlock may fall into poverty, new research now demonstrates that it is the lack of economic opportunity that leads teens to pregnancy.
According to Lydia Casmier-Derfler, a coordinator for the teen program at Mary's Center in Washington D.C., learning about contraception is only half of the strategy implemented to battle teen pregnancy. Casmier-Derfler along with her colleagues, believe keeping teens busy with college prep, tutoring and learning about financial management gives teens an alternative to hanging out on the streets.
In 2011, more than 100 teens participated in Mary's Center after -school program and not one became pregnant.