Local organization says Amarillo teen birth rate is declining slowly

Teenage birth rates were at an all-time low in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Despite the low rate, Texas is still has the third highest teen birth rate in the county.

Amarillo ranks 51 out of the 254 counties in Texas for teen pregnancy, according to Amy Christie with Worth the Wait.

Christie also said Amarillo is ranked the fifth highest for Chlamydia and sixth for Gonorrhea.

Earlier this week, the Amarillo Department of Public Health, along with Texas Health Institute presented a plan to decrease the rate of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and teen pregnancy by 10 percent by 2016.

Worth the Wait teaches students in 6th through 9th grade at the Amarillo Independent School District about love and relationships, anatomy, puberty and resources that are available.

"Sometimes this can be a taboo topic and people aren't always comfortable with it," Christie said.

She said awareness and openness are two key components to targeting the issue.

"The main thing is getting people to start talking about it and the students feeling comfortable being able to ask their parents and other people questions they may have getting the correct information that they need to make their life successful," Christie said.