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Teen birth rates decline 57 percent in New Mexico

A new study reveals a significant decrease in teen pregnancies in New Mexico.

According to the data released by the New Mexico Department of Health’s Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, there was a 57 percent decrease in birth rates among teens ages 15 to 17 between 2000 and 2014 in New Mexico. In that same time period, the teen birth rate for 15 to 19-year-olds decreased by 48 percent.

The decrease in teen births in the 15 to 19-year-old age group in 2014 slightly improves the state’s ranking from the highest teen birth rate in the country to the fourth highest.

New Mexico’s teen pregnancy prevention programs include:

The 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. New Mexico in 2013 became the second state in the country to offer this service statewide.

The 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 increasing life skills on a number of different topics, including healthy relationships, communication, values clarification, examining influences, goal setting, decision making, sexual health, and community service learning.
From Playground to 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.

Coming up at 5 and 6, find out what local schools are doing to keep the numbers down.

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