How’s abstinence-only working out for TX?

Posted on 11 Apr 2012 at 11:30am

March 2012 protest against Gov. Rick Perry refusing federal money for Planned Parenthood.

A new study was released by the Centers for Disease Control ranking states for teen pregnancy rates. The states with the lowest rates — New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut — are also states with marriage equality. Next in line is New Jersey, one of the first civil union states. States with the newest marriage equality laws — New York, Washington and Maryland — ranked ninth, 11th and 13th for the lowest teen pregnancy rates. Iowa was four places behind Maryland.

Texas didn’t win the prize for highest teen pregnancy rate — or having the most heterosexually active teens who were taught abstinence only in public schools. That distinction goes to the state’s perennial competitor for top ranking in areas like fewest insured, highest divorce rate and worst schools — Mississippi.

In fact, Texas ranked only as the fourth-highest teen pregnancy state. In addition to Mississippi, New Mexico and Arkansas also had higher rates. But Texas did beat out No. 5 Oklahoma. Really? We can’t do better than Oklahoma in preventing teen pregnancy? Well, no. Not the state taking the lead in depriving Planned Parenthood of funding and the city with the organization that thinks breast cancer is a political rather than a health issue.

The difference isn’t insignificant between top and bottom states. The rate of teen pregnancies in New Hampshire is 15.7 per 1,000 teenage girls. The Texas rate  is 52.2 pregnancies — more than three times the number of teen pregnancies than New Hampshire per thousand.

So is there a correlation between same-sex marriage and low teen pregnancy rates? Probably. States where heterosexuals are secure enough about their own sexuality pass marriage equality laws. In states where people are comfortable with sexuality, they teach it in school and teach teens to not get pregnant. In states like Texas, we teach abstinence only. Three times as many teens ignore that lesson compared to states that teach sexuality without encouraging teens to partake.

After the jump is the complete list with the rankings:

Ranking of state with the pregnancy rate per 1,000 teenage girls:

1. Mississippi 55

2. New Mexico 52.9

3. Arkansas 52.5

4. Texas 52.2

5.Oklahoma 50.4

6. Louisiana 47.7

7. Kentucky 46.2

8. West Virginia 44.8

9. Alabama 43.6

10. Tennessee 43.2

11. South Carolina 42.5

12. Arizona 42.4

13. Georgia 41.4

14. Kansas 39.2

15.Wyoming 39

16. Nevada 38.6

17. Alaska 38.3

17. North Carolina 38.3

19. Indiana 37.3

20. Missouri 37.1

21. Montana 35

22. South Dakota 34.9

23. Ohio 34.2

24. Colorado 33.4

25. Idaho 33

25 Illinois 33

27. Hawaii 32.5

28. Florida 32

29. California 31.5

30. Nebraska 31.1

31. Delaware 30.5

32. Michigan 30.1

33. North Dakota 28.8

34. Iowa 28.6

35. Oregon 28.1

36. Utah 27.9

37. Virginia 27.4

38. Maryland 27.2

39. Pennsylvania 27

40. Washington 26.7

41. Wisconsin 26.2

42. New York 22.6

43. Minnesota 22.5

44. Rhode Island 22.3

45. Maine 21.4

46. New Jersey 20.3

47. Connecticut 18.9

48. Vermont 17.9

49. Massachusetts 17.1

50. New Hampshire 15.7

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