(Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
State teen pregnancy rates have been released indicating that New Mexico has the highest rates of teen pregnancies in the United States. However, the statistics showed that teen pregnancy and teen abortion rates have declined across the nation, and the rate of teen abortions hit their lowest levels since the legalization of abortion in 1973.
The information has been released from the reproductive rights agency, the Guttmacher Institute, and surveyed pregnancy and abortion rates among teenagers aged between 15 and 19 years of age in the year 2008.
The report indicated that New Mexico was the state with the highest rate of teen pregnancies and that New Hampshire had the lowest rate in the country. In New Mexico, 93 out of 1,000 teens became pregnant, where as in New Hampshire only 33 out of 1,000 teens became pregnant
Mississippi, Texas, Nevada, Arkansas and Arizona were the other states in the top six for teen pregnancy rates.
Statistics released in the report indicate that across 16 states the rate of teen pregnancies did increase between 2005 and 2008, however, across the entire United States the rates of teen pregnancies declined.
Guttmacher senior researcher Laura Lindberg said in a statement: "There are a few key factors driving the long-term declines in teen pregnancies. It is now the norm for teens to use contraceptives at first sex, which creates a pattern of continued contraceptive use down the road."
She added, "Additionally, teens increasingly use the most effective birth-control methods, including hormonal methods and long-acting contraceptive methods like the IUD. By contrast, there has been less change in teens' levels of sexual activity."
The statistics for the United States as a nation showed that teen pregnancies hit a 40 year low in 2008.
The national teen pregnancy rate was 68 pregnancies per 1,000 teens, a 42 percent decline from the peak rate of 117 pregnancies per 1,000 teens in 1990, according to Guttmacher.
It was also revealed that the teenage abortion rates also declined in line with the lowering rate of teenage pregnancies. The statistics revealed that in 2008 teen abortion rate hit 17.8 abortions per 1,000 women - the lowest since the legalization of abortion in 1973.
The teen abortion rate was highest in New York state, with 37 abortions per 1,000 teen women in 2008. It was lowest in South Dakota, where five out of every 1,000 teens had an abortion that same year.
The teen pregnancy rates for 2008 in the United States can be seen by clicking here.
The full Guttmacher report can be seen by clicking here.