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David Morgan
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Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month Recognition

May 19, 2016 - Family Planning - Awareness

The Office of Population Affairs serves as the focal point to advise the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary for Health on a wide range of reproductive health topics, including adolescent pregnancy, family planning, and sterilization, as well as other population issues.In recognition of May as Teen Pregnancy Awareness Month, the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) encourages parents and teens to get involved in preventing teen pregnancy.

“New Mexico continues making significant progress in reducing teen birthrates,” said Department of Health Secretary Designate Lynn Gallagher. “The Department of Health stands ready to take on the challenges that remain and ensure that young people have the support they need to determine and understand the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy.”

The latest data available shows from 2000 to 2014, New Mexico’s teen birth rate for 15-19 year olds decreased 48 percent, to 34.3 per 1,000 people.

Some factors influencing New Mexico’s teen birth rate include poverty rates and underserved rural populations.

Some Department of Health programs in place to help reduce teen birth rates include:

  • BrdsNBz, a text messaging service in which teens can text “NMTeen” and parents can text “NMParent” to 66746 to opt-in to the service.  From there, they can text their sexual health questions to 66746 and get medically accurate answers within 24 hours.
  • Teen Outreach Program (TOP), which reaches teens in grades 6 through 12, has been proven successful in preventing teen pregnancy and increasing academic success by building life skills such as healthy relationships, communication, values, examining influences, goal setting, decision making, sexual health, community service learning, and others.
  • Project Adult Identity Mentoring (AIM) is an evidence-based curriculum designed to reduce sexual risk behaviors by developing the motivation to make safe choices.  Throughout Project AIM, youth explore future careers and envision positive futures.  Youth engage in activities such as creating resumes, planning a dream vacation, interviewing skills, and developing their own business cards.  In New Mexico, Project AIM is provided to youth 11-14 years old.
  • From the Playground to the Prom is an education workshop which works with the most important educator of sexual health for teens – their parents. The skill building program helps parents learn how to have more conversations with their teens about sex and sexual health and make those conversations positive.
  • ¡Cuídate! is a culturally tailored program designed specifically for Latino youth.  The focus of ¡Cuídate! is to increase each participant’s skill level and self-efficacy in communicating and negotiating with sexual partners about abstinence and condom use.  ¡Cuídate! provides information for the prevention of HIV and STDs, as well as teen pregnancy.

Additionally, the Department encourages the use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) to prevent unwanted pregnancies. LARC is available at low to no cost, particularly to low-income or uninsured women and teens, at the Title X Family Planning clinics in public health offices statewide. It is also available at some community and school-based health centers. To find a clinic, go to the Family Planning page or the Office of Population Affairs website.

DOH also provides access to confidential family planning services at low- or no-cost in 71 sites at Public Health Offices, Primary Care Clinics, and many school-based health centers across the state.

For more information, please visit the Teen Family Planning page.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.

Versión en Español

En un esfuerzo para hacer que nuestros comunicados de prensa sean más accesibles, también tenemos disponibles una versión en español. Por favor presione el enlace de abajo para acceder a la traducción.

El Departamento de Salud de Nuevo México Reconoce el Mes de la Prevención del Embarazo en Adolescentes