KIDS Count, an organization that advocates for more social programs for children, announced that the teen birth rate in West Virginia remains higher than the national average.
The rate in 2011 was 46.3 births per 1,000 females age 15-19. That was well above the national average of 34 per 1,000. In fact, the disparity between the state and national averages has never been greater.
Margie Hale, executive director of Kids Count, is disturbed.
"This is alarming, because we know when teens get pregnant, they are much more likely to drop out of school, live in poverty and have babies that are less healthy," Hale said.
She is pushing for better sex education in schools. That should help, but the over-arching problem is people giving up. That must change.
The cycle of getting pregnant, dropping out of school and living in poverty in some cases is intergenerational. There are women who become great-grandmothers before they turn 60.
One cannot help but wonder if after nearly 50 years of Great Society programs, America has not become an Enabling Society that rewards behaviors that are self-destructive.
While motherhood should be encouraged, motherhood at 15 without the benefit of marriage is at best a difficult challenge.