Ruh-roh. Let the finger-pointing begin. New data has just been released showing teenagers are having more and more babies, with "significant increases
" in 26 states. Last year, preliminary reports
from the Centers for Disease Control showed the early data on the trend: For the first time in 15 years, there was an increase showing in teen birth rates nationwide. Now that the state-by-state numbers have been released (Mississippi takes the cake!), we have, what, a couple hours before the blame game takes off? No, actually, it's already begun! The pro-choicers are blaming anti-contraception/abstinence-only education, and the pro-lifers are blaming Hollywood.Before anyone gets too worked up, though, let us get a little historical perspective, care of this Time
magazine cover here, which is from 1985: the teen pregnancy "crisis" is nothing new. (Heck, even Time
redid the story
in 2005.) But how large will the baby-boom numbers grow? We'll see. Expect the debate to get hairier later this year, when abortion data is released for 2006, the same year the teen birth rate blew up.