Roxana Castro sits in an orange chair in the waiting room at Mary’s Center in Washington, D.C. She’s 17, and expecting a baby boy next month. The pregnancy was a surprise, she says, mostly for her parents, but also for the baby’s father.
Even with her mother’s help, Castro admits she’s nervous. The father of the baby says he’ll be there, but she knows this is a big responsibility, and says she’s not ready to start a family just yet.
“A baby is so fragile,” she says. “I don’t know how to take care of it or anything.”
The U.S. teen pregnancy rate is the highest in the developed world. In 2008, nearly 7 percent of girls between ages of 15 and 19 became pregnant. But there’s good news: The numbers have been going down for a few decades, hitting a 42-percent drop by 2008. The decline occurred across all races — though blacks and Latinos continued to have higher numbers.
The dramatic decline is a huge success for those who have worked to prevent teen pregnancy, but there’s still much work ahead.
READ MORE: Click belowthe original article from NPR, written by staff