And abstinence has nothing to do with it.
While sexual behavior among teens hasn’t changed much, the teen birth rate hit a record low rate in 2012 according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the birth rate among young women ages 15 to 19 fell 6 percent last year, to 29.4 births per thousand, the lowest rate in the 73 years the government has been collecting the data. The decline was across all racial and ethnic groups. [...]
“There is not much evidence of a change in abortion use and not much change in sexual activity” since 2003, says Santelli. For example, the percentage of high school kids reporting ever having sexual intercourse was about 54 percent in 1991, according to the CDC survey, declined through 2002, and then held steady at about 47 percent through 2011, the last year of available data.
“What we have seen is greater availability of much more effective birth control methods,” says Santelli. While condom use increased substantially in the 1990s and early 2000s among high schoolers, it actually declined slightly after that, according to the CDC survey.
Birth rates for women in their earlier 20s also hit a record low in 2012, while birth rates among women in their 30s and 40s increased.
If you want to limit the number of abortions and unplanned pregnancies, support access to birth control.
Attempting to ban abortion while simultaneously making it harder to obtain birth control, as Republicans in many states have done, certainly won’t help.