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Written by:  Katherine Kopp
Date: January 1, 2012

Despite the popularity of reality shows about the lives of teen mothers, data recently released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show teen birth rates declined three years in a row. The birth rate for 15- to 19-year-olds fell to 34.3 births per 1,000 teens in 2010, the lowest birth rate for that age group in almost 70 years. This reflects a 9 percent decline from 2009.

Bill Albert, a spokesman for the nonprofit National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy based in Washington, D.C., called the decline "truly extraordinary progress on an issue that people once considered intractable," in a statement released by the organization.

Albert and other experts at CDC and in the field attribute the decline to a variety of factors, including lower rates of sexual activity, greater use of contraception, and a higher incidence of physicians educating and offering teen mothers long-term birth control methods such as IUDs and hormonal implants, which can prevent a second unintended pregnancy.

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