Yesterday, the Kansas’ state health department, KDHE, released teen pregnancy data from 1991-2010 so that legislators, policy-makers and the public can monitor “emerging concerns” and “progress in reducing adolescent and teen pregnancy”.
Overall, fewer Kansas girls now get pregnant during their teen years than did 20 years ago. The report also notes, “While Kansas has exceeded the national targets for teen pregnancy, the state’s birth rate for females aged 15-19 remains higher than the national rate.”
Hmm, that last statement needs a bit of parsing: Kansas is seeing lower rates of teens getting pregnant, but–
in contrast to national statistics– an unborn child of a teen mother in Kansas has a higher chance of being born!
That affirmation of life is good news for pro-life Kansans, apart from concerns about the struggles of young single mothers and the statistical hurdles of children without stable, two-parent homes.
As of 2010, 86% of Kansas moms, aged 19 and under, choose life with 13% obtaining abortions. The KDHE report charts the decreasing teen pregnancy rates, breaking out data by race and age groups.
In the analysis of 15-17 year-old Kansas teens in 2010, 14 out of every 1,000 White young women of that age become pregnant, down from 34 per 1,000 in 1994; similarly, 45 in every 1,000 Black women that age (down from 110 in 1992), and 50 per 1,000 Hispanics (down from 100 in 1992).
The significantly higher pregnancy rate for teens aged 18-19 also dropped over the past twenty years; measured as a rate per 1,000, it decreased from 107 to 64 for Whites, from 238 to 126 for Blacks, and from 230 to 140 for Hispanics.
Again, these are total pregnancies as reported to physicians and clinics, while the birth certificates tell another story: babies of White and Hispanic teen moms have generally a better chance of being born in Kansas than they did 20 years ago. In other words, less abortion
An unborn baby with a Kansas Hispanic mother 15-17 years old, has a 93% chance to be born, compared to 75% of similar moms in the early 1990’s. 82% of White Kansas moms age 15-17 choose life, a big improvement over the 2/3 figure a generation ago. Unfortunately, Black Kansas moms aged 15-17 is one sector where decisions for abortion have not decreased. In 2010, these moms only choose life 79% , lower than their 88% average in 1992.
As for Kansas teen moms aged 18-19, those who are White have moved slightly from 88% to 89% in choosing life over abortion while Hispanic moms age 18-19 choose life 90% of the time, improved from a past rate of 79%. Again, the sector of Black moms have not reduced abortion decisions: 82% Black moms in this age group choose life, decreased from a past rate of 86%.
What has changed over 20 years in Kansas to encourage decisions for Life?
- more pro-life education,
- more free pregnancy help centers,
- more pro-life representation in the Statehouse enacting protective & informative laws and
- the closure of at least 8 abortion businesses, leaving only 3 clinics in operation.