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MNAAP Newsletter

Supporting Teen Parents and Preventing Teen Pregnancies

By Emily Ruedinger, MD, Adolescent Medicine Fellow at the University of Minnesota and Abigail Johnson, MSW, MPH

On a national level, the teen birth rate has been steadily declining over the past 20 years. However, the U.S. teen birth rate remains substantially higher than most other developed countries, including nearly all European nations, Canada, and Australia. Although Minnesota boasts one of the lowest teen birth rates in the country, in 2012 there were still approximately 20 births per 1,000 adolescent females ages 15-19.

Despite best efforts to reduce unintended teen pregnancies, however, it is likely that most pediatricians practicing in Minnesota will care for more than one adolescent-
headed family throughout their career. It is important to understand the unique needs of this population and to serve these families using known best and promising practices.

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