Amarillo Teen Pregnancy Rates - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

10.19.06

Amarillo Teen Pregnancy Rates

The United States has the highest teenage pregnancy rate of all developed countries. Each year almost 750,000 teenage women from fifteen to nineteen years old become pregnant in the US.

In Potter and Randall counties teen pregnancy has grown by 6 percent. Last year 292 teenage girls gave birth. This year 199 teenagers have given birth.

At one point these counties were considered having the highest teen pregnancy rates in Texas.

Mark Miracle, clinic manager at Northwest Texas Hospital says that not only has teen pregnancy risen in the Amarillo area, health officials are seeing an increase in sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents: "Any kind of contraceptive that a girl or boy might use will not protect either one of them from sexually transmitted diseases with the rise in gonorrhea, chlamydia; the AIDS rate [has doubled] in Potter and Randall counties and the [rise of] Human Papaloma Virus."

According to statistics concerning the Amarillo area, one in every ten teen girls runs the risk of becoming pregnant; one in five is already sexually active.

Miracle believes that the teenage girls' risk of pregnancy is affected by early sexual activity because it impacts the young women emotionally, physically and anatomically. 

Even though the United States leads other developed countries in teenage pregnancies, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy says our country is at the lowest rate in thirty years.

Research suggests that both increased abstinence and changes in contraceptive practices are responsible for recent declines in pregnancy.