Pregnant teenager Bristol Palin, VP Candidate Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter, and teenage mother Jamie Lynn Spears, singer Britney Spears' younger sister, have put teen pregnancies in the spotlight.
Many people questioned the newsworthiness of Bristol Palin's pregnancy. Barack Obama said it is a private matter, and families should be "off limits."
Newsworthy or not, the girls have shed a light on an important issue: teenage pregnancies in the United States. Here are some numbers.
For the first time in 15 years, the overall teenage birth rose in 2006, according to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The teen birth rate had been steadily declining since 2001.
According to the Alley's House website, the United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the western industrialized world. Alley's House is a Dallas non-profit corporation that provides free services and support to teen mothers.
According to the Texas Department of Health Services, 1 out of every 11 eighteen-year-olds get pregnant. Every ten minutes, a teenager gives birth. Every 48 minutes, a teenager has an abortion.
According to cnn.com, the birth rate for teenagers ages 15-19 rose 3 percent between 2005 and 2006.
Teen pregnancy costs the US at least $9 billion annually and Texas $1 billion annually, according to Alley's House.
The website also says that teen mothers complete less school, are more likely to have large families, and more likely to be single parents.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times