MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Officials announced what they’re calling a promising trend Tuesday, as teen pregnancies in Hennepin County are going down.
According to county data, pregnancy rates among women ages 15 to 19 fell 21% between 2017 and 2018. These numbers follow a continuing trend of decreasing rates going back more than 10 years.
In 2007, 1,170 teens gave birth in Hennepin County. In 2018, 339 teens gave birth. Officials attribute this trend partially to the county’s Better Together Hennepin program, which launched in 2006. The program uses federal, state and county funding to provide sex education and resources to teens, among other services.
“Preventing teen pregnancies is a very high priority for Hennepin County, and our work has been strikingly successful,” said Hennepin County Board Member Mike Opat in a statement. “We all know that teens are not ready to become parents. This progress is the best kind of prevention work we do in county government.”
Still, the program has work to do, including addressing disparities in teen birth rates in underprivileged communities, according to a county press release.
Better Together Hennepin is currently operating on a $1.5 million federal grant, which is set to expire in June 2020. After that money expires, the program’s future is unknown, according to the press release.