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Teen Birth Rate Dropping More Quickly In NC

Pregnant woman.
Montse PB via flickr, Creative Commons

North Carolina's teen birth rate is down significantly as more of them wait to have children. 

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about four percent of North Carolina teens are having children.  That's down more than one percentage point since 2007. 

Elizabeth Finley works with the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina, which works with the state Health Department to reduce the teen pregnancy rate.  She says today's teens have been in sexual education classes and heard about contraceptives for most of their lives.

"They've grown up in an environment where safe sex has always been a concept, where the fear of HIV and AIDS has always been there," Finley says.

"And that's driven up condom use.  When condom use goes up, pregnancies go down.  And there are more ads on television about various forms of birth control."

The birth rate among teens and adults was down in the same time period, but Finley says the the drop in teen births is more significant because about 90 percent of teen pregnancies are unplanned.

Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
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