Reducing Ohio Teen Pregnancies

Fewer teenage girls are getting pregnant in Ohio, according to state Health Department statistics. The rate of teen pregnancies in the state has dropped for the fourth year in a row, and the number of pregnancies involving mothers 19 and under is the lowest since 1990.

That is good news, of course. Often, teenagers simply are not ready to be mothers. Having children is a problem for them and their offspring.

Though definite progress is being made statewide, the local situation is decidedly mixed. In East Ohio, teen pregnancy rates are down in some counties and up in others.

From 2000-2010, teen pregnancy rates decreased in Belmont and Jefferson counties but were up in Harrison and Monroe.

State officials say one reason for the decrease in general is that many teenagers are becoming more responsible. Almost undoubtedly, that is because of education campaigns. More effective ones in Harrison and Monroe counties may be needed to bring those areas more into line with progress being recorded elsewhere in Ohio.