Oklahoma's Teen Birth Rate Rises

Thursday, May 8th 2008, 1:55 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- After several years of declining teenage birth rates in Oklahoma, the teen birth rate jumped nearly 7% from 2005 to 2006. The state Health Department says the birth rate to females ages 15 to 19 rose from 55.4 births per 1,000 in 2005 to 59.5 per 1,000 in 2006.

From 1991 to 2005 the state's teen birth rate had fallen by 25%. Nationwide, the teen birth rate rose 3% after 14 years of steady decline.

Oklahoma has the seventh-highest teenage pregnancy birth rate in the nation.

Annette Leon with the Tulsa City-County Health Department says parents need to become more comfortable in talking to their children. She says the biggest complaint she hears from teens is that parents don't talk to them about sex and its consequences.