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Apr 2, 2010 12:31 PM by Carina Corral

The number of teens giving birth on the Central Coast declines

The number of teen mothers giving birth in both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties is declining, keeping in step with the state trend which is at an all time low.

Public health officials reported that teen births are also at a record low in San Luis Obispo County.

In 2009, there were 170 teen births compared to 215 the year before resulting in a 21 percent decrease.

County health credited state funded teen pregnancy prevention programs for the decline, but warned budget cuts have forced the closure of some programs and threaten others.

"Because of the serious consequences of teen pregnancy for both mother and child -- increased levels of prematurity, low birth weight, poverty, school dropout, single parenthood, incarceration, unemployment, underemployment, child abuse and neglect, and involvement in the child welfare system -- we must maintain proactive prevention efforts," said Sally Rogow, CAPSLO's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Project Director and Task Force chair.

According to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, 752 teens gave birth in 2007 compared to 685 a year later, which is almost a nine percent decrease.

2009 numbers are not available.

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