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California Reduces Teen Birth Rate

California´s teen birth rate has dropped by more than 40 percent over the last decade.

The trend is attributed to a state-sponsored program that provides information on sexual abstinence and birth control.

According to the California Wellness Foundation, the state´s teen birth rate has fallen from eleventh nationwide in 1991 to 21st in 2002. California´s decline in teen birth rates surpassed all other states except Alaska.

California is the only state that refuses to accept federal sex-education money, which requires public schools to teach only sexual abstinence and avoid providing information on contraception.

Advocates of the sex education program are worried the cash-strapped state will be pressured to accept $7 million in federal sex-education grants and shift its instruction to one that promotes only sexual abstinence.