Teenage pregnancy on the rise in the U.S.

First uptick in over a decade blamed on abstinence-only education

Numbers released today reveal a 3 per cent increase in the U.S. teen pregnancy rate in 2006, the first rise in more than a decade and a clear reversal from the downward trend that began in the 1990s. About 7 per cent of teenage girls got pregnant in 2006 compared with 12 per cent in 1990, when rates peaked. Data calculated by the non-profit Guttmacher Institute also show higher rates of births and abortions among girls aged 15-19. The Institute has linked the pregnancy uptick to the Bush administration’s doubling of funds allocated to abstinence-only sex education programs. Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association cried foul on the charge, noting that only a quarter of federal funding for teen sexuality programs went to abstinence in 2008.