Decline in teenage pregnancy due to use of contraceptives, study suggests

The New York Times (9/1, Bakalar, Subscription Publication) reports a new study published in the Journal of Adolescent health found the “sharp decline in American teenage pregnancy and birthrates in recent years was driven exclusively by the use of contraceptives.” The study of a “nationally representative sample of more than 3,000 women ages 15 to 19” in 2007, 2009 and 2012 concluded “that sexual activity in the last three months of each time period did not vary — about one-third of the young women had had sex during that time.” However, the “percentage of teenagers who reported using contraception increased to 86 percent from 78 percent, and the share using more than one method increased to 37 percent from 26 percent.” Laura Lindberg, a research scientist with the Guttmacher Institute, said, “The long-term decline in teen pregnancy and teen births has been brought about by teenagers making considered and responsible decisions.”