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New study shows a decline in birth rate among teenagers

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Updated: 9/06/2013 11:19 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The nation's teenage birth rate has hit an all-time low.

A new study from the National center for health statistics reveals the birth rate among women between the ages of 15 and 19 dropped 6 percent last year in the U.S.

The report also shows women in their 30’s and 40’s are having more babies as their birth rates rose about 1 percent last year.

In Nevada the birth rate for teens dropped 30 percent from 2007 through 2011.

News 3's Kelsey Thomas spoke with a local no-profit organization that helps pregnant and parenting teens get back on their feet.

Genne Puentes, 18, dropped out of high school during her senior year when she got pregnant with her daughter Zoey.

“My mom talked about sex but I wasn't really open and I didn’t talk about that,” Puentes said.

Puentes was forced to juggle a teenage life with adult responsibilities.

“My friends would try to invite me to go to Circus Circus or whatever, but I couldn't go because I felt it wasn’t right leaving my baby with my mom so I could go out and have fun,” Puentes said.

But now according to the national center for health statistics, fewer teens are juggling those responsibilities. The teen birth rate is at a historical low.

It's a stunning turnaround according to Bill Albert, a spokesperson for the National Campaign To Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

“Clearly, progress can and has been made on a pressing and difficult social problem that many once considered less solvable and inevitable,” Albert said by phone.

Monique Harris, founder of Southern Nevada Children First, a nonprofit group that helps homeless and parenting teens says she has seen changes over the years locally.

“I would attribute it to education and open communication,” said Monique Harris from Southern Nevada Children First.

Albert says most of that communication needs to come from parents

“Teens tell us time and time again, survey after survey that it is parents, not their peers, not their partners, not pop culture, but it is parents that most influence their decisions about sex,” Albert said.

-- Kelsey Thomas, KSNV News 3

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