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Group Says Okla. Teen Births Cost $190 Million (Jun 10, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma child advocacy group says teen pregnancies cost taxpayers in the state $190 million in 2008.

The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy says information released Thursday indicates there were more than 7,500 births to Oklahoma teens in 2008. Twenty-one percent of those births were to teens who were already mothers.

Oklahoma's teen birth rate for 15-19 year olds has been among the five highest compared to other states and the District of Columbia. Oklahoma's birth rate for older teens jumped from 6th highest in 2006 to 2nd highest in 2007, just behind Mississippi.

Institute executive director Linda Terrell says reducing teen pregnancy is an important strategy that improves the health status and future earning potential of children and youth in the state and saves taxpayer dollars.

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