Prior to this study, stillbirths had been linked to birth defects, problems with the placenta, infections and chronic health conditions.

A new study from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that the rate of teen pregnancy is down the lowest level in almost 70 years. The study was conducted with data from 2010 and examined the phenomenon across ethnic groups. The group wrote that “strong pregnancy prevention messages” and says contraceptive use “may have contributed” to the decline. USA Today reports:

The analysis comes at a time when contraception is a hot political debate, from a congressional investigation of whether federal money pays for abortions to concern among some church leaders over an Obama administration mandate that all health insurance cover birth control.

theGrio: Why Memphis school’s teen pregnancy crisis is a wake-up call

The new numbers elaborate on federal data released in November that found the teen birthrate dropped 9% from 2009 to 2010, to a historic low of 34.3 births per 1,000 teens. That’s down 44% from 61.8 in 1991. The all-time high was 96.3 during the Baby Boom year of 1957.

The new analysis, based on 2010 preliminary data, shows a range in birthrates among racial and ethnic groups, from 10.9 for Asians to 23.5 for whites, 51.5 for blacks and 55.7 for Hispanics.

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