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CA’s teen birth rate down 46 percent



California's teen birth rate has dropped to a record low. State health officials say in 2004, the rate declined to 38 births for every thousand teenage girls. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

California has had one of the nation's most comprehensive state programs to reduce teen births since the mid-90s. And it's paid off.

The state's teen birth rate has fallen for 13 consecutive years and has declined by 46 percent over that period.

Kathy Kneer is president of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.

Kneer: "We are now below the national average. And what's even more important for California's perspective, is our rates are also declining for Hispanic births. They didn't initially, but they now are."

However, Hispanics still have the state's highest teen birth rate. Kneer says California needs to spend more money on programs that target this group.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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