South Carolina's teen birth rate has dropped 47 percent in 20 years, reaching an all-time low, said the S.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
From 2011 to 2012, the state's teen birth rate dropped 7 percent to 36.4 births for every 1,000 girls age 15 to 19.
The drop is "one of the nation's and one of our states most remarkable and too often untold success stories," said Forrest Alton, executive director of the S.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, in a news conference Thursday at the State House.
The drop represents 21,385 fewer teen births over the last 20 years. But the state has more work to do, he said.
South Carolina ranks 11th in the nation, and 19 of the state's 46 counties saw increases in teen birth rate in 2012 from the previous year, despite the state's overall rate decreasing.
Only eight S.C. counties have teen birth rates that are lower than the nation's.
Rep. Jenny Horne, R-Dorchester, said she hopes a bill she's co-sponsoring that would update the state's 25-year-old sex education law will pass this year.
Last year, the bill was met with intense opposition from advocates of an abstinence-only approach to sex education.
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