5 Countries That Do It Better: How Sexual Prudery Makes America a Less Healthy and Happy Place — www.alternet.org — Readability

Abortion remains controversial in Spain; it wasn’t until 2010 that Spain officially had abortion on demand, which the country’s new prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, opposes (before 2010, abortions were legally performed in Spain only if a doctor said a pregnancy posed a physical or psychological risk to a woman). But many Spaniards agree that the most effective way to reduce the number of abortions is through easier access to contraception and more sexual information, not less. And a climate of sexual openness appears to be keeping Spain’s teen pregnancy rates relatively low. According to UNICEF and others, Spain had, in 2006, a birth rate of 12.1 per 1,000 females in the 15–19 age group compared to 41.9 in the United States that year. However, it’s important to remember that within the United States, teen birth rates can vary considerably from state to state; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2008, the states with teen birth rates exceeding 60 per 1,000 included Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas (all Bible Belt states, where the Christian Right has aggressively pushed abstinence-only sex education), while the teen birth rates tended to be much lower in New Jersey (24.5 per 1,000), Vermont (21.3 per 1,000) and Massachusetts (20.1 per 1,000). But even the most Democratic-leaning states in the United States have higher teen birth rates than Spain, where the teen birth rate was 12.2 per 1000 in 2009.

http://www.readability.com/articles/manzchcv

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