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Teen pregnancies down in Michigan, study says

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Teen births in Michigan have dropped 40% over the past two decades, according to a recent report by the Michigan League for Public Policy.  

In 1992, about 18,000 Michigan teens had babies compared to 8,000 20 years later. That puts Michigan's teen birth rate of 24 per 1,000 slightly below  the national average of 27 teen births per 1,000 in 2013. 

"We have far fewer babies born to teen moms today, and we should be thrilled with this progress," said Alicia Guevara Warren, Kids Count in Michigan Project Director at the Michigan League for Public Policy and author of the report. "But we must not slow our efforts."  

According to Guevara Warren, funding for evidence-based programs, sex education, and access to birth control and health care have all helped reduce teen pregnancies.

"We're seeing fewer teens have sex," said Guevara Warren. "And we're also seeing the teens that are having sex use contraception at a higher rate."

According to the report, African-American and Hispanic Michigan teens have much higher birth rates than white teens. Still, an average of 4,440 babies were born to white teens in Michigan between 2011 and 2013 compared to 3,310 to African-American teens and 952 to Hispanic teens. 

Teen pregnancy also disproportionately impacts low-income communities, said Guevara Warren.