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Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention: Then and Now

Group of teen students with teacherThe United States has enjoyed an unprecedented decline in teen birth rates over the past decade, with births to American teens dropping more than 40% in the past decade.

Several factors have influenced this laudable trend:

  • use of more evidence-based programs and interventions,
  • increased access to more effective methods of contraception, including long-acting reversible contraceptives, and
  • promotion of more comprehensive, holistic approaches to improve teens’ health and well-being.

Funding from key federal agencies has helped the field to conduct focused, comprehensive public health work, which has led to the present low rates and created room for innovation.

Supporting the Nation's Most Vulnerable Youth

The Administration for Children and Families' Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) is a key contributor to building evidence and stimulating innovation. FYSB, which provides funding to any state willing to apply, has used a variety of funding streams, including the Personal Responsibility Education Program, the Title V State Abstinence Education Grant Program, Competitive Abstinence Education, Sexual Risk Avoidance Education, and the Personal Responsibility Education Innovative Strategies Program. This support has allowed states to provide a greater focus on their most vulnerable populations and integrate adulthood preparation subjects, thus promoting a more holistic approach that empowers all youth to become healthy adults.

One Goal. Many Partners.

Other federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of Adolescent Health, also support adoption of evidence-based programs, activities for pregnant and parenting teens, and innovative multicomponent communitywide initiatives for reducing teen pregnancy.

By using evidence to improve prevention messages, increasing access to effective contraception, and supporting healthy youth development, agencies can support young people and lead to healthier outcomes.

Page last updated: September 29, 2016