Teen Pregnancies End Decade-Long Decline

A report released Tuesday on teenage pregnancy brought troubling news. After a long decline, teenage pregnancies are back on the rise. CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers has more.

Instead of cracking the books in college, 19-year-old Danyell Rhymes spends her time reading to her kids, three-year-old Janiya and one-year-old Maurice. She isn't surprised to hear that 7 percent of U.S. girls get pregnant.

"With my first child Janiya, I was 15 [when I got pregnant]," Rhymes said. "And my son, I was 17."

Rhymes is part of a troubling new trend. The number of teen pregnancies had been going down over the last decade - way down. Between 1992 and 2005, the teen pregnancy rate among black women the pregnancy rate dropped 45 percent; for Hispanic teens the fate fell 26 percent; and among whites it plummeted 50 percent.

Now all three ethnic groups see rates creeping back up - by 3 percent among black teens, and more than 1 percent among whites and Hispanics.

Researcher Lawrence Finer blames the up-tick on sex education in the classroom - or the lack of it.

"This rise occurred at the same time we've seen a substantial increase in funding for abstinence-only education programs," Finder said. "We've seen declines in comprehensive sexuality education at the same time."

But the head of Chicago's New Moms shelter says it's more complicated than that. No one has paid attention to girls living in poverty whose birth rates have continued to rise.

"Over the same 10 year period that that study covers, if you pulled out that segment living in poverty, that their birth rate never declines," said New Moms CEO Audalee McLoughlin. "In fact it doubles, and it's over 60 percent."

Despite society's advances over the last few decades, the sad truth is, for teen moms, not much has changed. Two-thirds of them live in poverty; less than 50 percent graduate high school; and only 2 percent of girls who are moms by the age of 18 will graduate college by the age of 30.

High school dropout Rhymes had this advice: "Think about what you do before you do it because it's very hard out here" and you "can't turn back the hands of time."

She hopes to get her GED and become a nurse. She hopes to beat the odds.