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Between 1991 and 2005 the National Center for Health Statistics found that the birth rate among 15 to 19 year old girls dropped some 34 percent. It was a major success story for U.S. health policy. Then, in the last few years, an unexpected 3 percent jump.
Experts are split on the reasons why, but many point to the administration's funding of abstinence-only sex-education programs, which get some $176 million a year in federal funding. Critics of the programs say that by only stressing abstinence, they are being blind to the realities that many children are sexually active and, they say, only education and contraception can help reverse the trend.
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