Overview: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is committed to continuing efforts to prevent out-of-wedlock teen pregnancies and to encourage adolescents to remain abstinent. President Bush and Secretary Thompson are committed to promoting abstinence education programs and dissemination of information on promising approaches. HHS programs are built on the belief that the most effective programs are community-driven and support the involvement of parents and other adults in young people's lives. By focusing on abstinence and personal responsibility, HHS hopes to help young people develop their abilities to make the choices that will lead to a successful future. President Bush's budget for fiscal year 2003 provides an additional $33 million in funding for abstinence education, fulfilling the President's promise to increase abstinence funding to $135 million.
HHS directly funds teen pregnancy prevention programs in nearly 2,234 communities -- about 47 percent of all communities across the country. HHS provides significant funding for abstinence education and other programs to prevent teen pregnancy and disease. In addition, HHS funds a wide range of health and human services programs through state block grants, including those that provide health and social services to teenagers that further pregnancy prevention goals. HHS is committed to building public-private partnerships, improving research, evaluation and data collection, and disseminating information on innovative and effective practices.
After rising steadily from 1987 to 1991, the birthrate for teens aged 15-19 declined for 10 straight years, from a high of 62.1 per 1,000 teens aged 15-19 in 1991 to a record low of 45.9 in 2001, according to preliminary figures. The birthrate for young teenagers aged 15-17 fell 8 percent from 2000 to 2001, reaching 25.3 births per 1,000 teenagers. All 50 states had a decline in their teen birthrates between 1991 and 2000, with 10 states...