Teen pregnancy rates in Texas at historic low

Teen pregnancy rates in Texas at historic low

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Teen pregnancy and childbearing are at historic lows. According to the organization, Power to Decide, between 1991 and 2016, teen birth rates declines by 67% nationwide and in Texas, 60%. 

Gloria Toti with Heartline Women's Center said she gives credit to education.

"There's a lot of sex education happening in school's," Toti said. "There's a lot of education happening on a wonderful little thing called Google."

Toti said it is as simple as asking "siri" a question nowadays to get the info teens need. 

"There's a lot of information out there so I think information is power," Toti said. "So young individuals have now realized the ramifications of that three letter word, sex." 

In Texas, Toti said it is the push for abstinence that is made the biggest difference. Kristy Rose, director of health services for Lubbock Cooper ISD said while it is limiting in the classroom, they are working on optional programs. 

"We're working on a parent night for Lubbock Cooper," Rose said. "So I think a lot of schools offer things if your parents are wanting more they can come and get more education for their kids." 

Toti said parents should not be afraid to approach their kids even at a young age. 

"Education starts in the home," Toti said. "At this point, children deserve to be taught at a very young age, and I heard you can even start teaching children as early was fifth grade."

At Lubbock Cooper, basic sex ed classes are part of the sixth grade health curriculum and a more complex class for ninth graders. 

"Kids are getting exposed younger also with the internet, you know maybe accidentally finding something," Rose said. 

Rose said they do talk about different forms of contraception in the ninth grade class but the main focus in on abstinence.

"A big play is the community," Rose said. "Yes, I think that sexual education can always be improved on. However, you have such a vast difference between someone no even knowing what sex is and someone being exposed." 

Rose said overall Lubbock Cooper has very low numbers of teen pregnancies but have the resources available for students dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.

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