Although teen pregnancy rates have been dropping since the 1990s, rates within the United States are still higher than most other industrialized countries, particularly among black and Hispanic teens. In 2011, the teen birth rate decreased 8 percent, to 31.3 births per 1,000 females; in 1991, the birth rate was as high as 61.8 births per 1,000 females. The majority of teen births are unplanned, and teens account for 18 percent of the women having abortions in the United States. Babies born to teens are at increased risk of complications such as prematurity and are more likely to be raised in a single-parent home and require federal assistance such as Medicaid. It is also well documented that these babies are more likely to grow up ...

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