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Forever 21 asked about maternity line

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Controversial maternity clothes
  • Love 21 is currently available in five states
  • Three of the five have high teen pregnancy rates
  • Two of the five, Texas and California, have the highest number of teen pregnancies
  • Forever 21 says it's just a coincidence and not part of its marketing strategy

(CNN) -- Forever 21, a clothing chain that attracts many under-21 customers with its inexpensive, trendy fashions, is being questioned about its motives in choosing a select group of states to carry its recently launched maternity line.

The line, called Love 21 Maternity, is currently available in Arizona, Alaska, California, Utah and Texas.

The chain came under scrutiny when bloggers from the fashion site The Gloss noted last week that the states chosen to carry the line also have high rates for teen pregnancies.

Texas, Arizona and California are among the top 15 states with the highest teen pregnancy rates, according to a report from the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit organization that conducts sexual and reproductive health research. California and Texas have the highest number of teen pregnancies, according to Guttmacher.

The clothing line's executive vice president, Larry Meyer, said in a statement Monday that the maternity line's store locations aren't part of a marketing strategy.

"Forever 21 did not create, design or distribute Love 21 Maternity to target, or appeal specifically to pregnant teens. Any relationship between teen pregnancy rates and the locations of our stores is unintentional," the statement said.

The line, launched at the end of June, features maternity tops and denim styles, leggings, knit and woven tops, cardigans, dresses and basics.

"The line will provide sophisticated, on-trend styles for moms-to-be at affordable prices, continuing Forever 21's commitment to value, trend and freshness," a Forever 21 news release said.

CNN's Divina Mims contributed to this report.