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Commentary
August 19, 1998

Adolescent Pregnancy and Sexual Abuse

Author Affiliations

From the University of Arkansas Medical School, Little Rock (Dr Elders), and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass (Ms Albert). Dr Elders was the former surgeon general of the United States.

JAMA. 1998;280(7):648-649. doi:10.1001/jama.280.7.648

THE SLOW but steady decline in the US teen birth rate from 62.1 to 54.7 per 1000 between 1991 and 1996 is welcome news.1 This represents an approximately 12% reduction during a time when adolescent sexual activity increased and the number of abortions decreased. Despite this decline, teen pregnancy is an all-too-common scenario for more than 800000 US adolescent girls each year.2

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