October 20, 2014 — The teen pregnancy rate is at a historic low because teenagers have access to "more complete sex education and better access to and use of contraceptives" than in the past, according to a Charlotte Observer editorial.
Over the last 25 years, the teen pregnancy rate has been "cut in half nationwide and by more than half in some 20 states, including North Carolina." The editorial notes that "[t]he same percentage of kids are having sex, but dramatically fewer are getting pregnant," in part because more of them are "using contraceptives and using them correctly."
The Observer argues that it is "important to understand what's working, so we can continue it and not undercut it." For example, the North Carolina Legislature in 2009 "changed public schools' curriculum from abstinence-only to a more comprehensive education, including teaching about contraceptives."
The state Legislature "should get behind teen pregnancy prevention efforts," the editorial argues, adding, "Policymakers should help keep driving that number down to nearly zero by further empowering the teens themselves" (Charlotte Observer, 10/16).