Monday, October 27, 2008

Teen Pregnancies on Rise in Alabama

After years of decline, teen pregnancy rates increased in 2006 and 2007.

After nearly 10 years of steady decline, Alabama's teen pregnancy rate increased in 2006 and 2007, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

In 2007, there were 12,398 pregnancies among girls ages 10 to 19.

An increase in teen pregnancies in 2006 marked the end of a steady decrease in teen pregnancy rates. There were 57.1 births per 1,000 teens in 1996 and 37.5 births per 1,000 in 2005.

There were 39.7 births per 1,000 teens in 2007 and 39.6 in 2006. The number of teen births in Alabama increased by 106 between 2006 and 2007 and by 767 between 2005 and 2006, according to the ADPH.

"We need to be aware that teen pregnancy is interrelated to health problems we're seeing with infant mortality," state health officer Don Williamson said in a press release. "Also, we're concerned that risk behaviors seem to be increasing among our teenagers."

Parenting challenges? Counseling could help.

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