Texas birth rate among teens in 2022 hit 15-year high

The birth rate among Texas teenagers hit a 15-year high in 2022, following the 2021 six-week abortion ban in the state.

Texas fertility rates among teenagers 15 to 19 years old slightly increased for the first time in 15 years, according to a new report released this month by the University of Houston Institute for Research on Women, Gender & Sexuality. The number of births among teenagers was up from 20.32 to 20.4 per 1,000 teenagers — about a 0.39 percent increase.

“While that is a relatively small rise, the shift in the downward teen trend for the first time in 15 years is notable given both the 2021 ban and the continued fall among teens in the US overall,” the report states.

The report said that fertility rates among Hispanic teenagers, Black teenagers and Asian teenagers in Texas all slightly increased in 2022 but decreased among white teenagers.

Texas approved its six-week abortion ban in 2021, but a total abortion ban was enacted in the state after the Supreme Court stuck down Roe v. Wade in 2022.

The report noted that the overall fertility rate in Texas rose by 2 percent in 2022, especially among Hispanic women ages 25-44. Births among women in that group jumped up 8 percent in 2022, the report said.

“Childcare issues that could prevent travel (and other barriers associated with already having children) may particularly shape the finding that rates rose much more steeply among older women, who were more likely to already have children at home,” the report stated.

“If families were already facing financial difficulties, additional mouths to feed would only further draw on limited resources, further impoverishing all family members,” the report added.

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