Story Behind the Curve
- Increased access to and availability of most- and moderately-effective contraception and evidence-based unintended teen pregnancy prevention programming can be directly linked to a decrease in the teen birth rate.
- Since 2012, the teen birth rate among 15-to-19-year-olds in New Mexico (NM) has declined by 41.0% to 27.6 per 1,000 in 2017 (NM-Indicator-Based Information System) and is the seventh highest in the nation (National Center for Health Statistics). Teens who drop out of school are more likely to become pregnant and have a child than peers who graduate. Seventy-one percent of teen mothers report that their pregnancy was unintended or mistimed, compared to 44% of all mothers (NM IBIS, 2018). Some reasons for higher teen parenthood in mixed urban/rural areas include lack of health insurance, increased poverty, transportation barriers, and less access to services. In NM, teen birth rates are highest for American Indians and Hispanics.
- This is an annual measure; the updated teen birth rate will be available in late 2019.
- NMDOH Family Planning Program (FPP)’s clinical services and educational programming are provided throughout the year.
- The FPP is dedicated to continuing the provision of family planning clinical services and telemedicine services for reproductive health in the Regions to aid in the state’s decreasing teen birth rate.
- Primary care clinics
- Community-based clinical providers
- Schools, after-school, and youth programs
- Community-based organizations
- County health councils
- School-based health centers
- Parent organizations
- Policy makers
- Centers for higher education
- Indian Health Services
- University of New Mexico
- NM Higher Education Department
- NM Public Education Department
- NM Human Services Department
- NM Children, Youth, and Families Department
- Access to confidential, low- or no-cost family planning services through county public health offices, community clinics, and school-based health centers.
- Increased availability of most-effective contraceptive methods for teens.
- Service-learning, positive youth development, and comprehensive sex education programs.
- Adult-teen communication programs to give adults information and skills to communicate effectively with young people about reducing risky sexual behavior.
- Through shared-decision making counseling, increase teens’ access to birth control including the most effective contraceptive methods (implants & IUDs).
- Incorporate service-learning programs consisting of community-based volunteer services and guided curriculum education.
- Promote BrdsNBz, a text-messaging system that offers teens and parents free, confidential answers to sexual health questions in English or Spanish.
FY18 Annual Progress Summary
- A decreasing teen birth rate can be attributed to aspects of the Family Planning Program’s efforts to increase awareness of and access to birth control and to provide educational programming to teens through service learning, guided-curriculum education, and education on birth control methods.
- The Family Planning Program supports the provision of family planning clinical services and telemedicine services for reproductive health to facilitate the reproductive life plan for family planning clients, including shared decision making for contraceptive counseling. The Family Planning Program is committed to providing confidential family planning services with a broad range of methods at local public health offices and community health clinics across the state.
- In addition to clinical and educational services, The Family Planning Program used a digital media campaign to promote awareness of family planning clinic services and birth control methods.