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Sexual Health Rankings is pleased to introduce Sex Stories, a weekly roundup of sexual health news from the around the country.

Downtrend in Teen Birth Rates

The CDC reports that teen birth rates in the United States declined across all racial/ethnic groups, and fell at least 15% for all but two states during 2007-2011. The sharpest declines were seen among Hispanic teenagers (34% reduction on average), followed by non-Hispanic black teenagers (24%), and then non-Hispanic white teenagers (20%).

Illinois: Let’s Talk About Birth Control

Things are looking good for sex ed in the Midwest! A new law has passed the Illinois Senate requiring that schools provide information about birth control in sex education classes for students aged 6-12.

Genital Warts Scarier Than Cancer?

A new study from researchers at Ohio State University and Texas Tech University shows that young women appear much more willing to get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine if providers stress that it can prevent genital warts rather than emphasize that the vaccine prevents cervical cancer. HPV infection causes, and the vaccine protects against, both diseases.

Arkansas: 12-Week Abortion Ban Blocked

Good news from Arkansas: In March, they passed one of the most stringent anti-abortion laws in the country, banning the procedure at 12 weeks of pregnancy. Until last Friday, that is, when a federal judge blocked the enforcement of this law, saying it was likely unconstitutional.

Arizona: Abortion Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

Big week for choice! Arizona’s new anti-abortion law, which would have banned abortions performed after 20 weeks regardless of fetal status, was struck down for being unconstitutional and at odds with prior US Supreme Court rulings that nationally guaranteed the right to abortion any time before a fetus is deemed viable.