Teen Birth Rate In Tulsa County Is On The Decline; Still Higher Than The National Average

Between 2009 and 2022 Tulsa County saw a dramatic decline in teen birth rates according to new data compiled by Healthy Teens Oklahoma and some believe that’s largely due to support from local initiatives.

Tuesday, February 6th 2024, 4:31 pm

By: News On 6, Eden Jones


While the Tulsa County teen birth rate is still higher than the national average, local advocates say it's a big step from where they used to be.

Between 2009 and 2022 Tulsa County saw a dramatic decline in teen birth rates according to new data compiled by Healthy Teens Oklahoma and some believe that’s largely due to support from local initiatives.

“We do volunteer kit makings of resources so we have a lot of pregnancy tests, condoms and this is Plan B,” said Laura Bellis, the executive director of the Take Control Initiative.

“We’re the nation’s longest-running contraceptive access program,” she said.

She points to new data showing for every 1,000 female teens ages 15-19 in Tulsa, there were nearly 19 births in 2022. That is down from just over 57 per 1000 in 2009. The national average in 2022 was 13.5, down from 39.1 in 2009.

“It's a challenge at any age, and especially for a young parent, especially if they’re still in high school, that is significantly challenging to get access to all the resources you need,” she said.

That’s why they’re working to provide Those resources to adolescents, from contraceptives to sex education. She says the county has seen a 67% decline in the teen birth rate since 2009 and says that's a result of their work.

“We see that data as a sign that, in working with partners, we’re part of reducing the teen birth rate, making sure that teens have access to information and resources,” she says.

Bellis says she believes Tulsa is ahead of some other areas due to this kind of intervention.

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