You would think once would be enough for most teen moms, but apparently that’s not so here in Dallas. A DMN story reports that Dallas leads the nation with the "highest percentage of teen births that are repeat births — 28 percent — among 73 major U.S. cities in 2006, the latest year for which city-level data are available."
For what it’s worth, San Antonio checked in at 26 percent and Fort Worth recorded 25 percent in the same survey. And, the survey says, 3,739 births to Dallas teens were recorded in 2006, with 64 percent to Hispanic teens, 30 percent to black teens and 6 percent to white teens, primarily to 18- and 19-year-olds.
The "repeat" birth rate means that 1,050 teens either made the same mistake twice or were really in a hurry to get started with families. The survey didn’t offer any data on the family status (i.e., married or not) of the teens, but I guess that really doesn’t make any difference — no teen is mentally equipped to be a parent.
The remainder of the story quoted "experts" trying to explain the trend and, of course, some finger-pointing. The concept of "enabling" is discussed (Parkland apparently pays for home visits to 400 first-time, low-income mothers), and although the story doesn’t say this, I believe public schools are required to provide accomodations for teen mothers.
Regardless of whether public programs push "safe sex" or "abstinence" or whatever, when teens have babies, it’s a big negative for all of us.
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