Texas’ High Teen Pregnancy Rates


Jill at Feministe points out that Texas—which has, over the years, slashed funding for family planning and teaches abstinence—has the highest teen birthrate in the country, along with a very high rate of unintended pregnancies. According to the Houston Chronicle, 1.5 million women are “without help in avoiding unplanned pregnancies,” and that was before the latest round of funding cuts and clinic closings.

Meanwhile, Bitch | Lab has a response very much worth reading, noting that a lack of family planning resources may lead to unintended pregnancies across the board, but it isn’t the only factor leading to high teen pregnancy rates: “It’s not always lack of information. It’s lack of desire to want to avoid pregnancy. And it’s sometimes about a desire to want to get pregnant.” Among other things, she notes that teen pregnancy is culture specific—Latina teen mothers in particular are much less likely to say that their pregnancy was “unintended” than white and African-American teen mothers, according to various studies. I don’t really have a larger point here, I just thought both posts were interesting.

Fact:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn’t fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation so we can keep on doing the type of journalism that 2018 demands.

Donate Now