State health officials say there were an estimated 12,398 pregnancies in Alabama to girls ages 10 to 19 in 2007 for a rate of 39.7, which nearly matches the 2006 rate of 39.6.
State Health Officer Don Williamson said the problem is especially troubling because teen pregnancy has a direct impact on
other areas where the state is struggling.
Infant mortality rates are significantly higher for teen mothers
than adult women.
The 2007 rate was 13.8 for teens compared to 9.4 for adult mothers.
Health officials say teen mothers are less likely to obtain
adequate prenatal care and to complete high school or attend
Children of teenage mothers are at greater risk for premature
birth, low birthweight, poverty and welfare dependence.