Washington, DC—Mark S. DeFrancesco, MD, MBA, President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), released the following statement:
"The new birth data out of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that despite progress in reducing the teen birth rate, more work still needs to be done to reduce racial and ethnic disparities.
"We know from experience that meaningful change in health care can take time, but these numbers show that it can be done. The value of preventing pregnancies among teens is clear: it means that more women will have the opportunity to complete school, perhaps pursue careers, and wait until they are ready to begin families.
"Looking forward, we continue to support adolescent access to highly effective, long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC), which remove the human error that can reduce contraceptive efficacy. This is especially important among adolescent populations. We also recognize that recent state, county, and regional efforts to improve access to LARC methods among all women, including adolescents, may further reduce unintended pregnancies and reduce the teen birth rate in the future. We applaud these efforts.
"As ob-gyns, we certainly recognize that pregnancy and motherhood can be an important part of a woman’s life. In fact, that’s why we support efforts to ensure that women can choose when starting a family is right for them. The reduction in the teen birth rate demonstrates that more young women are able to do just that."
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 57,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org