Teen Pregnancy Rate Climbs

teen pregnancy

For the second year in a row.

Government statistics show back-to-back increases in the number of American teens, ages 15 to 19, that are having babies.

The latest numbers tallied show that the national birthrate of teens ages 15 to 19 increased 1.4 percent from 2006 to 2007; that's on top of a 3.4 percent climb from 2005 to 2006, reports The Washington Post. These two increases reverse the previous 14-year decline.

The government had been spending a yearly $176 million to federally fund abstinence programs. However, this year Congress sliced that amount by $14 million.

Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association told WSJ that now is not the time to stop providing skills to teens that can help prevent them from having sex.

Others, such as James Wagoner of the group Advocates for Youth, told WSJ that "The United States can no longer afford to fund failed abstinence-only programs."

We're with Wagoner on this one. Something tells us the strategy isn't quite working. And throwing more, or even the same wads of cash at it, isn't going to make teen pregnancy numbers start to dwindle again. The question is, what will work?