New Mexico Department of Health
Our mission is to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and assure safety net services for all people in New Mexico.

Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program

We promote four population-based strategies (service learning, adult-teen communication and comprehensive sex education) to work in concert with the clinical family planning direct services to prevent teen pregnancy.

Programming includes community based and school based programs. Service learning programs engage youth in constructive activities to build on their strengths and interests, and increase their motivation to delay childbearing by providing positive alternatives and leadership opportunities.

Adult-teen communication programs give adults information and skills to communicate effectively with young people about reducing risky sexual behavior. Parents influence teen decisions about sex more than their friends, the media, or their siblings.

Comprehensive sex education programs teach that abstinence is the best method for avoiding sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy, and also about the use of condoms and contraception. These programs help youth to make responsible decisions and to develop healthy life skills and healthy relationships.

Pre and post-survey methodology is used to evaluate the projects.


News Articles

Latest

Popular


Publications

Latest


Resources

Latest

Popular


BrdsNBz Text Message Service

The BrdsNBz Text Messaging Service provides confidential, factually accurate answers to sexual health questions via text message. A young person simply texts a question, and a trained health educator responds within 24 hours.

Birds and bees logo for teens.

Teens can text their question, and a trained health educator will provide a medically accurate, nonjudgmental, confidential and free * response.

For Teens:

Text NMTeen to 66746 to opt-in to the service. You only need to opt in the first time you use the service.

  • Text your question to 66746.
  • You will receive your answer within 24 hours
  • Message & Data Rates May Apply *
  • Text STOP to 66746 to opt-out
  • Text HELP to 66746 for help

* We provide a free answer, but your carrier’s standard text message rates apply. By sending a text message to BrdsNBz, you agree to the BrdsNBz Terms and Conditions of the service.

Birds and bees logo for parents.

Through the text line parents will receive recommendations on ways they can increase their skills in talking to their teen about sexual health.

For Parents:

Text NMParent to 66746 to opt-in to the service. You only need to opt in the first time you use the service.

  • Text your question to 66746
  • You will receive your answer within 24 hours
  • Message & Data Rates May Apply *
  • Text STOP to 66746 to opt-out
  • Text HELP to 66746 for help

* We provide a free answer, but your carrier’s standard text message rates apply. By sending a text message to BrdsNBz, you agree to the BrdsNBz Terms and Conditions of the service.

How Can BrdsNBz Help?

We receive an amazing array of questions through BrdsNBz. The most common topics include:

Limitations

Advertising Materials

If you would like to advertise BrdsNBz to your friends, parents, or classroom, please feel free to print and duplicate the BrdsNBz Flyer.

Questions

Want to offer a similar service in your state? Please see the Official BrdsNBz Text Messaging Service website for more information.


Prevention Month

The best time to think about how you handle a tough decision about sex is before you have to make it.  Take this quiz and see how you’d react.

National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month (NTPPM) seeks to raise community awareness and support of effective teen pregnancy prevention initiatives. NTPPM offers an opportunity to mobilize young people and adults in the advancement of adolescent sexual health and access to appropriate services for teens. In addition to bringing immediate benefit to teens and young adults, NTPPM serves as a catalyst for year-round efforts to support effective pregnancy prevention strategies and programs.

Hundreds of thousands of teens nationwide are expected to participate in the twelfth annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy on May 1, 2013. The purpose of the National Day is to focus the attention of teens on the importance of avoiding too-early pregnancy and parenthood through an interactive Teen Pregnancy Quiz.

On the National Day and throughout May, teens nationwide can go to the Stay Teen website to participate in the popular National Day Quiz. The National Day Quiz delivers teen pregnancy prevention messages and challenges teens to think carefully about what they might do “in the moment.” The message of the National Day Quiz is straightforward: Sex has consequences.

Last year, more than a 700,000 people participated in the eleventh annual National Day. We hope that you will join us and make this year's event even more of a success.


New Mexico Teen Pregnancy Facts

The teen birth rate1 in New Mexico is decreasing, but not as quickly as for the United States. In 2009, New Mexico’s teen birth rate of 52.7 births per 1,000 females, age 15-19, was higher than the United States teen birth rate of 39.1.2 Between 1998 and 2009, New Mexico’s birth rate to mothers age 15-19 declined 32% compared to 33% nationally.

Teen pregnancy and childbearing are associated with adverse consequences for teen mothers and their children, but it is important to note that many of the negative consequences for teen mothers are due to the disadvantaged situation in which many of these girls already live.3 Teenage mothers and fathers tend to have less education and are more likely to live in poverty than their peers who are not teen parents. Babies born to teenage parents are more likely not to be contributing members of society by age 24 than their peers, are at higher risk for abuse and neglect, are 10 times more likely to be poor than children born to married women who are 20 or older and have a high school diploma, are 22% more likely to be “teen moms” themselves if they are females, and are 13% more likely to end up in prison if they are males.4

Teen pregnancy imposes costs on the teenage mothers, children born to teenagers and society in general. Teenage mothers can expect to earn, after tax, between $50,000 and $120,000 less over a lifetime compared to mothers who delay until at least age 20. Children born to teenagers in any one year earn $100 million less over their lifetime. An estimate of the annual extra cost of welfare services for these children is $8 million.between $1 million and $2 million. Overall, the economic impact of teen pregnancy and childbearing in New Mexico cost taxpayers at least $118 million in 2008. on society is $170,000 for each teenage mother, for a total of nearly $590 million for all new mothers each year in New Mexico. Between 1991 and 2008 the teen birth rate in New Mexico declined 20%. This progress made in reducing teen pregnancy and childbearing saved taxpayers an estimated $35 million in 2008 alone compared to the cost it would have incurred if rates had not fallen.6

The risk and protective factors for teen pregnancy may be grouped into 4 key themes:

Several key ideas for teen pregnancy prevention programs that serve Hispanic youth are cited in a recent study:

The case for preventing teen pregnancy needs to be made in a way that supports childbearing and family formation generally – strongly held values in Hispanic culture – while explaining the social, economic, and health benefits to adults and children of postponing family formation until after the teen years.8

References

  1. The teen pregnancy rate is based on the number of reported pregnancies. Many teen pregnancies are not reported and teen pregnancy statistics include the number of live births as well as the number of induced abortions and fetal deaths. Since not all induced abortions and fetal deaths are reported, teen birth statistics are usually used because they are considered more accurate and can be compared from state to state. The teen birth rate is the number of births to females in a defined population (e.g., county, state) divided by the total number of females in the same population, multiplied by a constant, usually 1,000.
  2. Martin, J.A., Hamilton, B.E., Ventura, S.J., Osterman, M.J.K., Kirmeyer, S., Mathews, T.J., & Wilson, E.C. (2011). Births: final data for 2009. National vital statistics reports, 60(1). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.
  3. Vexler, E. & Suellentrop, K. Bridging Two Worlds: How Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs Can Better Serve Latino Youth. Washington, DC: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. 2006.
  4. Hoffman, S.D. & Maynard, R.A. (2008). Kids having kids: economic costs and social consequences of teen pregnancy (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: The Urban Institute Press.
  5. Ganderton, P. T. (2006). The Economic Cost of Teenage Childbearing and Parenting in New Mexico: New Estimates. NMDOH, Santa Fe, NM. 87502.
  6. Hoffman, S. (2011). Counting it up: the public costs of teen childbearing in New Mexico in 2008. Washington, DC: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
  7. Kirby D, Lepore G and Ryan J. Sexual Risk and Protective Factors. Factors Affecting Teen Sexual Behavior, Pregnancy, Childbearing And Sexually Transmitted Disease: Which Are Important? Which Can You Change? The National Campaign To Prevent Teen Pregnancy, September 2005.
  8. Vexler, E. & Suellentrop, K. (2006). Bridging Two Worlds: How Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs Can Better Serve Latino Youth. Washington, DC: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. 2006.

Teen Pregnancy Prevention Strategies

Family Planning Services

Offer access to confidential reproductive health services at low or no cost. In New Mexico, services are provided at all local public health offices, and some community health centers and school-based health centers

Service Learning Programs

Engage youth in constructive activities to build on their strengths and interests, and increase their motivation to delay childbearing by providing positive alternatives and leadership opportunities. The Teen Outreach Program (TOP) decreases teen pregnancy and increases school success, with curriculum-guided activities and community based volunteer service throughout the school year.

Adult-Teen Communication Programs

Give adults information and skills to communicate effectively with young people about reducing risky sexual behavior. Parents influence teen decisions about sex more than their friends, the media, or their siblings. Raíces y Alas, a two-hour workshop for parents of adolescents, is designed to increase parents’ confidence in talking with their children about sex and sexual health topics.

Comprehensive Sex Education Programs

Teach that abstinence is the best method for avoiding sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy, and also teach about the use of condoms and contraception. These programs help youth to make responsible decisions and to develop healthy life skills and healthy relationships.

Male Involvement Programs

Specifically target prevention efforts for boys and young men. Effective programs for boys include programs with community service or other out-of-school activities with a cultural component.

Why Focus on Males?


Evidence Based Programs

In March 2011, the Family Planning Program issued a Request for Proposals to select multi-offerors to implement the Teen Outreach Program (TOP) and Cuídate! The Family Planning Program funds 27 TOP Clubs in 17 communities and 4 Cuídate! programs in 3 communities.

TOP is a nine month evidenced-based service learning/youth development program suitable for teen pregnancy prevention, and reducing school failure and suspension in grades 6-12. The goals of TOP are to:

These goals are achieved through the implementation of two program components: a service learning component and a classroom based component.

The Service Learning Component engages youth in constructive activities to build on their strengths and interest and increase their motivation to delay childbearing by providing positive alternatives and leadership opportunities, and connecting academics to civic responsibility. TOP is designed to decrease teen pregnancy and increase school success, with curriculum-guided activities and community service work throughout the school year.

The Classroom Based Component consists primarily of small group activities and discussion on topics of special interest to young people using the Changing Scenes curriculum.

Cuídate! is a six week Hispanic culturally-based HIV sexual risk reduction intervention. It consists of six 60 minute modules delivered to small groups (6-10) of males and females. The target population is English and Spanish-speaking Hispanic youth 13-18 years of age. The goals of Cuídate! are to:

TOP clubs promote the recommended adult-teen communication strategy by conducting trainings for parents, guardians, and community members using a parent-child communication program developed in Colorado called Raíces y Alas.

Raíces y Alas is a two-hour workshop for parents of teens designed to increase parents’ confidence in talking with their children about sex and sexual health topics.

The training is designed for service providers, educators, and other community members who would like to engage parents in sexual health education.


State Costs of Teen Childbearing

Teen childbearing in the United States cost taxpayers (federal, state, and local) at least $9.4 billion in 2010, according to an analysis by The National Campaign. Most of the costs of teen childbearing are associated with negative consequences for the children of teen mothers, including increased costs for health care, foster care, incarceration, and lost tax revenue.

Research closely links teen parenthood to many negative consequences for mothers, fathers, children, and society.

Counting It Up documents the public costs of teen childbearing at both the national and state level.

Visit the Counting it Up: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing to learn more about this project.