Texas’ High Teen Pregnancy Rates

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Jill at Feministe points out that Texas—which has, over the years, slashed funding for family planning and teaches abstinence—has the highest teen birthrate in the country, along with a very high rate of unintended pregnancies. According to the Houston Chronicle, 1.5 million women are “without help in avoiding unplanned pregnancies,” and that was before the latest round of funding cuts and clinic closings.

Meanwhile, Bitch | Lab has a response very much worth reading, noting that a lack of family planning resources may lead to unintended pregnancies across the board, but it isn’t the only factor leading to high teen pregnancy rates: “It’s not always lack of information. It’s lack of desire to want to avoid pregnancy. And it’s sometimes about a desire to want to get pregnant.” Among other things, she notes that teen pregnancy is culture specific—Latina teen mothers in particular are much less likely to say that their pregnancy was “unintended” than white and African-American teen mothers, according to various studies. I don’t really have a larger point here, I just thought both posts were interesting.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest