High Teen Birth Rates in West Virginia

WEST VIRGINIA - A majority of West Virginia teens are sexually active, and many not using birth control according to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While across the country birth rates for teens are at an all time low, West Virginia is one of only three states in the nation where birth rates aren't dropping at the same rate.

"It's heartbreaking at times because you have this child who has planned her future, she's on top on the world at one moment, and here's this unintended situation that changes everything," says Vickie Greenfield of the Berkeley County Health Department.

The CDC's latest survey finds, more than 50 percent of teens in the state admit to being sexually active, and at least 30 percent admit to using no birth control.

The Health Department offers a variety of contraceptives, from pills, to patches and shots, as well as free condoms.

They say in Berkeley County the numbers are improving, and more is being done with educational programs to continue in that direction.

"I know in Berkeley County there will be a new program soon, we'll see some huge improvements of what our school board will offer students here," says Greenfield.

Care centers in the state welcome teens to reach out for help. They hope to work with schools in the area to reach pregnant teens.

"One of the things were trying to do is actually get into the schools so more children are aware of the services we provide," says Valinda McGovern of the Care Pregnancy Center in Berkeley County.

"It's not cute to have the baby bump. There's plenty of time in their future they don't have to be pregnant in high school," says Greenfield.

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