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: