Chart: New Mexico has the highest teen pregnancy rate

February 26, 2013

The Guttmacher Institute is out with a look at teen pregnancy rates in 2008, the most recent year for which data are available. It shows that, of all 50 states, New Mexico has the highest rate of teen pregnancy (hat tip: Kay Steiger).

In New Mexico, 93 of 1,000 teenage girls between 15 and 19 became pregnant in 2008. Mississippi and Texas follow New Mexico with the second- and third-highest rates of teen pregnancy, respectively.

Is there anything in particular that would make New Mexico a stand-out in reproductive health policy? The state's teens have lower levels of contraceptive use than those elsewhere. One report from the New Mexico Race Matters Coalition found that 60.5 percent of New Mexico high school students used contraceptives, compared to 75 percent nationally.

New Mexico does not mandate a sexual education curriculum for high school students, although it does require a portion of a health class to be devoted to HIV education.

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