Teen pregnancy has declined over the past two decades, but nearly one in five teens who give birth will have another baby before they turn 20.
More than one in five Latina teens who have a baby will have at least one more child before they turn 20.
According to a recent analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while teen pregnancy has declined in the last two decades, nearly 67,000 of the 365,000 teen births in 2010 were repeat teen births.
American Indian and Alaskan Natives, Hispanics and black teens are 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanic white teens to have a repeat teen birth, but there are some encouraging signs. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the decline in teen births among Latinos has actually been greater than the overall rate of decline.
While the CDC and organizations like Planned Parenthood applaud the decrease, they want to make sure that pattern holds, and they say the rates are still relatively high compared to other demographics.
One reason, according to the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, is that Hispanic teens are more likely than other demographics to face challenges that make preventing teen pregnancy harder. "Poverty, lack of insurance, and immigration status often block Latinas from accessing contraception," the organization said in a statement.
According to the group, which wants oral contraception like the pill to be available over the counter, Latina teens are the most likely group to skip taking prescription birth control because they can't afford it, and, especially for uninsured teens, they have trouble accessing it.
The CDC says, though, that more than nine in 10 sexually active teen moms already use birth control, but that only about 20 percent use the most effective forms, such as implants or intrauterine devices that don't require teens to remember to take a pill regularly and result in the fewest pregnancies. But implants and IUDs need to be placed by a healthcare provider and they cost more than some other methods, which can deter some teens.
Dr. Wanda Barfield, a pediatrician and director of the Division of Reproductive Health within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the CDC, said home visitation programs, where moms talk to a mentor about everything from contraception to breastfeeding, have proven particularly effective.