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Abstract

The overall decline of teen birth rates in the U.S. is problematized by persistent racial disparities in these rates. Latina teens are especially affected, as they have the highest teen birth rate of any racial or ethnic group. High teen birth rates among Latinas even persist in locales where the overall teen birth rate is below the national average, such as Suffolk County, NY. Socioeconomic, racial, and cultural factors contribute to the birth rate for Latina teens. Traditional strategies for teen pregnancy prevention, such as comprehensive sexuality education and increased healthcare access, inadequately address Latino cultural values that normalize teen pregnancy. Instead, these strategies may reinforce oppressive racial, ethnic, and gender constructs for Latina teens. In order to effectively reduce teen pregnancy among Latina teens, programs must be anti-oppressive and culturally competent.