Editor’s Note: This story was originally to run in Saturday’s edition but was inadvertently left out. Here it is in its entirety.
UNION — Teen birth rates are declining in South Carolina and throughout the United States and the City of Union is urging continued efforts to ensure those rates continued to decline.
The city has issued the following proclamation proclaiming May Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. The proclamation cites both the progress that has been made in reducing teen pregnancies and the need for more efforts to achieve further reductions in South Carolina.
Whereas, teen pregnancies have far-reaching consequences that adversely affect the health, education and economic future of South Carolina’s young people,
Whereas, in 2014, more than 4,297 young girls, ages 15-19 gave birth in our state,
Whereas, teen birth rates in South Carolina decreased by 61% between 1991-2014,
Whereas, teen birth rates in South Carolina decreased by 10% between 2013-2014, the lowest teen birth rate for girls ages 15-19 ever recorded in South Carolina,
Whereas, however, the progress in teen birth rate reductions that saved South Carolina taxpayers an estimated $166 million in 2010 alone should not should not suggest decreases in investment and commitment to this issue.
Whereas, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month is an opportunity for parents, teens, educators, program providers, faith based organizations, local elected leaders and statewide policymakers to work together to reduce and prevent teen pregnancy in South Carolina.
Be In Therefore Resolved that Mayor Harold Thompson affirms on this day, May 17, 2016 its dedication to the future success of its young people and the prevention of teen pregnancy and is proud to declare May at Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month in the city of Union, SC.
According to the Centers for Control and Prevention website (www.cdc.gov) birth rates for US teens have reached historic lows in all age and ethnic groups. The website lists the following key findings of a study of birth rates for US teens:
• The U.S. teen birth rate declined 9 percent from 2009 to 2010, reaching a historic low at 34.3 births per 1,000 women aged 15–19; the rate dropped 44 percent from 1991 through 2010.
• Teen birth rates by age and race and Hispanic origin were lower in 2010 than ever reported in the United States.
• Fewer babies were born to teenagers in 2010 than in any year since 1946. If the teen birth rates observed in 1991 had not declined through 2010 as they did, there would have been an estimated 3.4 million additional births to teens during 1992–2010.
• Teen birth rates fell in all but three states during 2007-2010. Teen birth rates by state vary significantly, reflecting in part differences in the population composition of states by race and Hispanic origin.
The site further states that “teen childbearing has been generally on a long-term decline in the United States since the late 1950s. In spite of these declines, the U.S. teen birth rate remains one of the highest among other industrialized countries. Moreover, childbearing by teenagers continues to be a matter of public concern because of the elevated health risks for teen mothers and their infants. In addition, significant public costs are associated with teen childbearing, estimated at $10.9 billion annually.”
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.