Hawaii's abortion drop coincides with sex education changes - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii's abortion drop coincides with sex education changes

By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A dramatic drop in the number of abortions performed in Hawaii over a recent five-year period has health and education experts wondering what caused the change.

The number of terminated pregnancies fell nearly 30 percent in Hawaii from 2010 to 2014. That represents the greatest percentage decline in abortion in the nation.

Meanwhile, the state's historically high teen pregnancy rate also has been falling.

Agencies like Planned Parenthood say changes to Hawaii's sex-education policies have played a role in reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies. Sex education programs in schools increased in 2010.

Others attribute the decline in abortion to the easier access to emergency contraception, which became available to teenagers as young as 14 without parental permission in 2013.

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