Fracking Stops Unwanted Pregnancies

fracking sign

No, you’re not reading the headline wrong, that’s really the conclusion of the Guttmacher Institute:

With only one Planned Parenthood facility in the entire state and 75 percent of the population living in counties with no abortion provider, North Dakota’s teen pregnancy measures seem an unlikely cause. With the influx of young men to the state, the numbers are even more puzzling.

As our nation’s most recent oil boom continues to unfold, North Dakota has been at the forefront of shale excavation. Thousands of workers have flocked to the otherwise sparsely populated state, creating boom towns, new roads, and revitalizing the state’s economy, as North Dakota has reaped the benefits of the Bakken shale that sits thousands of feet below.

Yet, even with the third highest men to women ratio in the U.S., teen pregnancy has subsided, possibly due to the low economic inequality and the unusual gender ratio. “Research suggests that women are more likely to delay pregnancy when they perceive future opportunities to climb the social and economic ranks,” writes Hess. Rarely is an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent blamed.

All joking about fracking (is there anything it can’t do?), the real cause of lower teen pregnancy rates is a good economy. In fact, a good economy tends to depress birth rates among all demographics. One of the reasons while global population growth is slowing, as I noted earlier this month, is because of evolving economies leading to more opportunities for education and careers for women.

As more opportunities become available for women, the greater the opportunity cost for having a baby. So fewer women have children. Or they have fewer children.

North Dakota has a strong economy because of fracking. North Dakota has the lowest teen birth rates in the nation, despite having just one abortion clinic, thanks to the strong economy.

Meaning that the cure for unwanted pregnancy might not be “free” contraception mandates, such as the controversial provision in Obamacare, or government-mandated sex education but rather a strong, growing economy.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • WOOF

    Planned parenthood may be doing a great job of educating
    North Dakota women.
    The Gutmacher institute is located on Maiden Lane in Manhattan. “While Alan F. Guttmacher was president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and a leader in the International Planned Parenthood Federation .”

    Fraking pollutants could be causing infertility in both sexes
    and miscarriages among females.

  • wj

    Wow . . . There are some factors to consider here, but the story has so many facts wrong it makes it difficult to look at the factors seriously. The story is correct that the state does not require “comprehensive” sex education, but nor does it mandate “abstinence-only” education. The story claims that North Dakota has only one Planned Parenthood office. It does, but it is not a “provider.” It is only a public relations office. The data is from 2008 but the impact of the Bakken oil boom and especially the change in demographics related to it (“heavy in white men”) only started to occur then.

    It would be nice to have a look at why the numbers are low in North Dakota, but we need a “journalist” that can get the facts straight.

  • Stuart

    To assume that there is a relationship to fracking Is hilarious , and I would attribute the lack in pregnancies to a more informed and moral public. Knowing that STDS are at an all time high and sex is no longer considered love for keeps or love at all. It’s erotic and nothing more. I believe the Bible in Greek translates it to Eros as opposed to Godly love which means Agape Love.

    Now another element in less pregnancies is to consider the cost of living with children,child care, and all the costs that are attached to raising children. Up ward mobility might be a small portion of the equation but we have more dynamics that which add to this phenomenon .

    To be shallow minded on the idea on upward mobility,that we can and will become a moral society from what we’ve learned about illicit sex and its consequences is far more believable and palatable in this discussion.
    “a well informed public is my guess” that is a big part of the equation. women are not as dumb as you portray them, and aren’t fooled by the lines men disguise as love to get women in bed. Enough said! Kudos to you women!

  • PK

    A low percentage of children being raised by one parent could be a factor as well. Fathers being there to club the boys off their girls.

  • Thresherman

    The higher men to women ratio means that girls can be more picky. When you are more picky, you are less likely to engage in behavior to get a man than you would otherwise.