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Study: West Virginia Ranks In Top 10 Of Teen Pregnancies
Written by Andrew Forgotch
Last updated on February 06, 2013 @ 7:45PM
Created on February 06, 2013 @ 6:30PM
 
The teen pregnancy rate in the Mountain State is on the decline. That's the good news.
 
The bad news is that the Mountain State ranks among the top ten in the country for children born to teenage mothers. That's according a recent study by West Virginia Kids Count, a group that takes a look at what kids need.
 
The latest numbers from Kids Count show that 45 out of every 1,000 girls in West Virginia will have a baby before she's out of her teens.
 
The national average is about 35 out of 1,000 girls.
 
Margie Hale, the Executive Director of West Virginia Kids Count, said the most striking numbers are the differences between every county.
 
The county with the lowest rate is Monongalia County with a rate of 14 per thousand, and the worst is McDowell with a rate of 95 per thousand.
 
Hale said the best way to prevent teens from getting pregnant is effective sex education classes. She also mentioned that the West Virginia Department of Education has put together a comprehensive sex education program, but not every county is using it.
 
"Comprehensive sex education is part of the answer," Hale said. "It's not the whole answer, but it's a big partof it. It's the only thing we know that can prevent teen pregnancy."
 
Hale also said a lot of teen mothers tend to live in poverty, which also doesn't help.

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