Even though teen pregnancy in girls ages 18-19 in Crow Wing County increased 41 percent from 1998 to 2000, the rate of teen pregnancy over the past nine years has gone down.
Cheryl Craig, the county teen pregnancy prevention coordinator, said the number of pregnancies in this age group jumped from 47 to 80 from 1998 to 2000. Craig attributed the increase to population, and said the higher number of drug and alcohol cases in the county also could have contributed to the increase.
The number of pregnancies in girls ages 15-17 in the county rose from 24 in 1998 to 31 in 2000.
Craig also reported the sexual activity of ninth- and 12th-graders in the county increased from 1998 to 2001. Last year, 24 percent or three out of four ninth-graders in the county had sex one or more times and half of the seniors were sexually active. In 1998, 19 percent of ninth-graders and 41 percent of seniors were sexually active.
The number of births in the county to teens increased. Teens ages 15-17 gave birth to 18 babies in 1998 and 25 babies in 1999. The number of births to girls ages 18-19 increased from 39 to 58.
Craig said these numbers mean more girls are carrying their babies to full term.
Craig said this year the county has a $40,000 grant for teen pregnancy prevention. She is in the process of writing a five-year grant for next year.
The Crow Wing County Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition began in 1990, after county staff discovered the county ranked sixth in the state in the highest number of pregnancies. Last year the county was ranked in the 30s.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.