Is North Dakota some strange “red” exception to a “blue is better” rule?

Are Vermont’s teen pregnancy rates low because it’s a “progressive enclave” — or because it’s rural and relatively sparsely populated? Are New Mexico and Nevada counter-examples of right-wing, deep-red governance producing lousy outcomes? No — they’re purple states that are trending blue, and their teen pregnancy rates are higher because they both contain large recent-immigrant populations. Is North Dakota some strange “red” exception to a “blue is better” rule, crying out for a quirky, fracking-centric explanation? No: Like its neighbors, its rates are mostly just evidence that these issues are more complicated than the “more Planned Parenthood clinics = fewer unintended pregnancies” assumptions of contemporary social liberalism allow.

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. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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