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Michigan follows U.S. trend of declining teen pregnancies

Teen births in the United States hit a historic low last year, according to preliminary data.

The new data is part of a long-term trend.

The number of teen births are half what they were in 1991.

Jane Zehnder-Merrill is with the Michigan League for Public Policy.

The group advocates for policies that help children.

She says teen births are also dropping in Michigan, mainly because schools and health groups are making it a priority.

"The stakes are so high now if a young person becomes a parent at 16, 17, 18 years old," says Zehnder-Merrill.

She says federal money pays for most of the effort to prevent teen pregnancy in Michigan.

And those programs are now mainly "evidence-based," meaning they have to show they are effective.

She says the state is also reaching out more to teens who have already had one baby.

The goal is to help them avoid having more kids before they finish school and get job experience.


Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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