Nearly 3 in 10 teen girls become pregnant at least once by age 20 and fully half of all pregnancies in the United States are reported by women themselves as unplanned. Not too good.

By posting some intemperate thoughts about sex, love, relationships, pregnancy, childbearing, the media, public policy, our dogs, and other topics, we hope to spark a two-way discussion about how best to bring down the high rates of teen and unplanned pregnancy in this country. And who knows…from time to time, we might even offer up a few cogent thoughts that will be helpful.

Latest Post

State and Local, Teen Pregnancy
August 20, 2014

Between 1991 and 2013, the teen birth rate fell by 57%, declining 36% just since 2007. That’s not new news—it was published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention back in May—but today CDC has released a new report taking a closer look at this astonishing trend. 

One of the most jaw-dropping findings? This decline since 1991 “translates into an estimated 4 million fewer births to teenagers from 1992 to 2012.” Additional findings include:

  • Declines in the teen birthrate are somewhat more modest when looking at just unmarried teens—falling by 40% since 1991.
  • The odds of having a teen birth in the first place have fallen more sharply than the odds of having another birth among those who are already teen mothers.
  • The picture across states shifts a bit once you adjust for differences in race/ethnicity, with some southwestern states gaining ground and some midwestern states losing ground.
  • Compared to numerous countries across western and eastern Europe, the U.S. teen birth rate is among the highest, topped only by rates for Bulgaria and Romania.

The report also reviews the bidding on why teen childbearing is such an important social concern, noting that it is associated with higher risk of low birthweight and preterm delivery, infant mortality, limited educational attainment for the mother and teen childbearing in the next generation, not to mention significant public spending (an estimated $9 billion in 2010 alone).

Authored by: Kelleen Kaye

Kelleen Kaye is the Senior Director of Research at The National Campaign. Before joining The National Campaign, she spent 12 years as senior analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, where she developed and oversaw studies on a wide variety of issues related to family formation, poverty and public assistance. She also has worked for the National Opinion Research Center, the New America Foundation, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution. She has served on several advisory committees including the Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics and the Interagency Working Group for the National Survey of Family Growth. She has received the Vice President’s Hammer Award for her work on the Fatherhood Initiative and the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award for data analyses related to Hurricane Katrina.

Kelleen received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Wisconsin and a Masters degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan.

Other Recent Posts

Data Joke
August 18, 2014
Authored by: Cara Finley

Cara Finley is the Manager of Research and Evaluation. In this capacity, she is responsible for developing research briefs and resources, providing technical assistance related to evaluation, and evaluating Campaign efforts.

Before joining The National Campaign, she conducted research and evaluation in both the non-profit and private sector related to maternal and child health, and provided training and technical assistance to both community-based organizations and military personnel. Cara received a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology and biology from the University of Michigan and a Masters degree in Public Health from George Washington University.

If you’re a data-watch nerd like us, you’re probably just as impatient with the lag time in teen birth data as we are. Well, fret no more! A Vital Stats transition that has been more than a decade in the making will soon begin. So, by the time we ring in the New Year, all 50 states and the District...
Federal Funding, Public Policy, State and Local, Teen Pregnancy, Teens
August 13, 2014
Authored by: Jessica Sheets Pika

Jessica Sheets Pika is the Director of Communications at The National Campaign. In that capacity, Jessica is the community manager and content strategist for The National Campaign’s award winning websites, (the Campaign’s corporate website) and (the Campaign’s teen website). She curates and writes content, manages consultants and content contributors, handles both sites’ social media presences, and develops new activities and content areas for both sites. In addition, Jessica handles press initiatives, spearheads the design and creation of new National Campaign materials, and provides general communications and editorial guidance to all program areas of the Campaign.

Jessica joined The National Campaign in 2006 and has more than 10 years of experience in the non-profit healthcare world. She received a Bachelors degree in Communications and Political Science from Wake Forest University and lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, her adorable son, and their dog, Cora.

For the first time in decades, the non-marital birth rate in the U.S. has been declining, according to a new report out today from the National Center for Health Statistics. The report also includes some findings from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) showing the intersection between non-...
20-Somethings, Contraception, Unplanned Pregnancy
August 12, 2014
Authored by: Liany Elba Arroyo

Liany Elba Arroyo is the Director of Partnerships at The National Campaign where she identifies strategic partnerships that strengthen initiatives to prevent teen and unplanned pregnancy.  In addition, she manages the Latino Initiative Advisory Group and the Personal Responsibility, Religion, and Values Advisory Group.  

Prior to coming to The National Campaign, Liany spent over 13 years working in the government and non-profit sectors developing programs and promoting public policies that aimed to improve the health status of Latino communities across the nation.  Most recently, Liany was the Associate Director of the Education and Children’s Policy Project at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), where she worked on advancing NCLR’s education priorities and policies affecting Latino children and youth.  Liany has published several pieces on children and Latino health and has been cited by Spanish and English media, including The New York Times, Newsweek, and Univision.

Originally from Bridgeport, Connecticut, Liany currently resides in Landover, Maryland with her husband and daughter.  She holds a BS in psychology from Wellesley College and an MPH from Columbia University.

Today’s youth face challenges that my peers couldn’t imagine.  Anything they say or do can be seen by millions across the world at the push of button on a smart phone.  They are navigating adolescence at a time when the world around them is changing faster than it takes them to upload a new Vine...
Latino Initiative, Parents, Teen Pregnancy, Teens