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Oregon's teen pregnancy rates hit historic low

By Wanda Moore
Published On: May 08 2014 10:21:16 PM CDT
Updated On: May 09 2014 07:46:43 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Wanda Moore talked to expert about the decline in teen pregnancies.

BEND, Ore. -

Teen pregnancies in Oregon and around the nation haveĀ  hit a historic low.

According to a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute, teen pregnancies in Oregon have dropped by almost 50 percent between 1990 and 2010.

Oregon has one of the lowest teen pregnancy rates nationwide. On a scale from 1 to 50, with 1 being the state with the highest teen pregnancy rate, Oregon is No. 37. New Hampshire and Vermont have the lowest rates, while New Mexico, Mississippi and Texas have the highest rates.

Some experts believe reality shows like MTV's "16 and Pregnant" are having an impact on kids. Others credit Oregon's sex education in public schools.

"There's much more access to comprehensive sex education, and far more access to birth control than we've ever seen before," said Stacy Cross, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, said Thursday.

About 5,800 teen pregnancies were reported in Oregon in 2010.

One of the biggest obstacles for teen parents is balancing school work and looking after their child.

Bend High School is offering help for teen parents to stay on track with their school work.

The Teen Parent Program is offering day care for the teen moms and dads. Bend High also is bringing in experts from the community to talk about sex education.

Mary Evers, teen parent coordinator at Bend High, thinks teen parents are often misunderstood.

"A lot of time, people say things about them and have these misconceptions about them," Evers said. "But from my perspective, they are some of the hardest working students we've got, and I'm really proud of them."

If you are a teen wanting more information on how to prevent unwanted pregnancies, or if you're a parent wondering how to have "the talk" with your teen - you can contact Planned Parenthood.

You can live chat through their website at http://www.plannedparenthoodchat.org/ , text them at 53634 or call them at (877) 4ME-2ASK.

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