Panama City - The Centers for Disease Control has released the latest statistics for teenage births, and numbers for Florida are down 19%. They're down as well in Bay County.
According to the most recent statistics Florida logged the second-highest drop in teen birth rates in 2009, right behind Arizona. But the director of the Pregnancy Resource Center Denise Miller says those number don't translate into a lower pregnancy rate.
"Abortion pills, the morning after, Plan B...These are more readily available to the client for her to go to another organization or agency, pick that up and no one even knows that she's pregnant," Miller said.
In 2007, Miller's center helped four thousand girls. Shortly after variations of he morning-after pill became readily available, the numbers dropped to about two thousand a year. Bay County Health Department Officials admit Miller's assessment may be right. But they say they also offers services that could have contributed to the lower birth rate.
"Our school health nurses do go into high schools and we teach anatomy and physiology, sexuality, birth control methods to high school students," Community Health Nursing Director Kerry Hunt said.
Bay County's birth rate for mothers 13 to 17 only dropped a tenth of a percent in 2009 according to three year averages. But Hunt says the number of Bay County's teens mothers between 15-17 , who've had second babies, has improved, dropping nearly 4%. The number of overall births in Bay County is also slightly down.
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