- Associated Press - Friday, May 8, 2015

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) - Health advocates in central Illinois are celebrating a decline in births to teenage mothers in Macon County.

The (Decatur) Herald & Review reports (https://bit.ly/1EkiIDc ) the trend mirrors the state and the nation. Teen births in 2012 comprised 13 percent of all births in Macon County. The figure dropped to 9 percent in 2014.

Macon County Teen Health Coalition members point toward many possible reasons, including the increasing use of long-lasting birth control methods.

And the coalition backs an after-school program called Girls Empowered to Make Successes. The program helps girls make positive decisions. Fourteen-year-old Jemariah Perkins spoke at a news conference in Decatur this week to mark Teen Pregnancy Prevention Week. She says the program helped her and should be required for all students.

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Information from: Herald & Review, https://www.herald-review.com

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