Sunday, November 18, 2007

Costs of Teen Childbearing

Teen childbearing in the United States costs taxpayers (federal, state, and local) at least $9.1 billion, according to a new report by Saul Hoffman, Ph.D. and published by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Most of the costs of teen childbearing are associated with negative consequences for the children of teen mothers, including increased costs for health care, foster care, and incarceration.

By the Numbers: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing in North Carolina
November 2006
• A new analysis from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy shows that teen childbearing (teens 19 and younger) in North Carolina cost taxpayers (federal, state, and local) at least $312 million in 2004.

• Of the total 2004 teen childbearing costs in North Carolina, 41% were federal costs and 59% were state and local costs.

• Most of the costs of teen childbearing are associated with negative consequences for the children of teen mothers. In North Carolina, in 2004, annual taxpayer costs associated with children born to teen mothers included: $54 million for public health care (Medicaid and SCHIP); $36 million for child welfare; $61 million for incarceration; and $105 million in lost tax revenue, due to decreased earnings and spending.

• The costs of childbearing are greatest for younger teens. In North Carolina, the average annual cost associated with a child born to a mother 17 and younger is $3,868.

• Between 1991 and 2004 there have been more than 212,900 teen births in North Carolina, costing taxpayers a total of $5.2 billion over that period.

• The teen birth rate in North Carolina declined 30 percent between 1991 and 2004. The progress North Carolina has made in reducing teen childbearing saved taxpayers an estimated $219 million in 2004 alone.

• Nationally teen childbearing costs taxpayers at least $9.1 billion a year.

For more information, including a national report and state by state comparisons, visit:

STDs on the Rise

Chlamydia Hits Record Level in U.S.

More than 1 million cases of chlamydia were reported in the U.S. last year — the most ever reported for a sexually transmitted infection (STI), Fox News reported.

Gonorrhea rates also increased after hitting a record low, federal officials said. Syphilis is rising, too. "It’s vital that everyone understand how the increase in sexual activity at younger ages is skyrocketing the number of STIs in our country," said Linda Klepacki, sexual health analyst for Focus on the Family Action.

Are condoms the answer? You judge.....

By far the most extensive research on condom effectiveness has been done for HIV. A number of authors have performed meta-analyses (summaries) of other studies. These meta-analyses show that with 100% consistent condom use, condoms reduce the risk of HIV transmission by about 85%.

Condom effectiveness against transmission of bacterial diseases like gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis is significantly lower than for HIV.

Conclusive evidence is lacking for condom effectiveness against transmission of several other specific STIs, such as HPV and T. vaginalis, which each affect over 5 million people annually.

Finally, effectiveness is seriously limited for the many STIs which are transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, since condoms do not cover all the areas of the body which may be the source of transmission.The major factor affecting "condom effectiveness" is not method failure, over which the user has no control, but user failure -- the incorrect and inconsistent use of condoms during sexual acts.


Steiner M, Dominik R, et al. Contraceptive Effectiveness of a polyurethane condom and a latex condom: a randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol. 2003;101(3):539-547.

National Institutes of Health. Workshop Summary: Scientific Evidence on Condom Effectiveness for Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2001. Available at: Accessed August 26, 2005.

Frezieres RG, Walsh TL, Nelson AL, Clark VA, Coulson AH. Evaluation of the efficacy of a polyurethane condom: results from a randomized, controlled, clinical trial. Fam Plann Perspect. 1999;31(2):81-87.

Macaluso M, Kelaghan J, Artz L, et al. Mechanical failure of the latex condom in a cohort of women at high STI risk. Sex Transm Dis. 1999;26(8):450-458.

Pray for our Soldiers

From Psalm 511

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.

Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.