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Adolescent Health Services: Missing Opportunities
for 10 percent of all births each year in the United States. Birth rates among adolescents increase with age. For example, adolescents aged 19 were nine times more likely to give birth than those aged 15. In 2004, there were more than 1 million births to mothers aged 20–24, approximately half of which were second- or higher-order births (Martin et al., 2006). There are substantial racial and ethnic differences in birth rates among adolescents aged 10–19. Hispanic and non-Hispanic black adolescents have the highest rates, followed by American Indian and Alaskan Native adolescents; Asian/Pacific Islander adolescents have the lowest rates (Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, 2007). The birth rate among those aged 20–24 also varies by race and ethnicity. Hispanics in this age group have the highest birth rate, followed by non-Hispanic blacks, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, whites, and Asian/Pacific Islanders (Martin et al., 2006).
Paralleling the decline in birth rates, rates of induced abortion among adolescents aged 15–19 declined during 1990–2002 (Ventura et al., 2006). In 2002 there were a reported 21.7 induced abortions per 1,000 adolescents aged 15–19, down approximately 50 percent from the rate in 1990 (Ventura et al., 2006). The rate of induced abortions among adolescents under age 15 decreased 51 percent between 1991 and 2002 (Guttmacher Institute, 2006).
Among adolescents aged 15–19, the reported proportion of pregnancies that ended in abortion was higher among non-Hispanic blacks than among either Hispanic or non-Hispanic whites (Ventura et al., 2006). Rates of induced abortion among adolescents increase with maternal age: 6 percent of all abortions in the United States are to those aged 15–17, while 12 percent are to those aged 18–19 (Jones, Darroch, and Henshaw, 2002).
Fetal Loss Rates
Rates of fetal loss among adolescents declined during 1990–2002 (Guttmacher Institute, 2006; Ventura et al., 2006). In 2002 there were a reported 11.8 losses per 1,000 female adolescents, down approximately 30 percent from the rate in 1990 (Ventura et al., 2006). Rates of fetal loss among adolescents increase with maternal age. Hispanic females aged 19 tend to have higher fetal loss rates than females of other ages and ethnicities.
Finding:Pregnancy rates among adolescents aged 13–19 have decreased since 1990; declines have been seen among all racial and ethnicgroups, although the rate of pregnancy among Hispanic adolescents has