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.
David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
575-649-0754 Mobile

Teen Pregnancy Prevention a Year-Round Effort

The BrdsNBz Text Message Warm Line 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.

When we’re teenagers, life is about milestones. We’re finishing one grade then the next, getting our summers off, learning to drive, going to prom, graduating from high school and on and on. But for New Mexico’s teen parents, all of that comes second to 2 a.m. feedings, changing diapers, parenting and the constant strain of decisions usually reserved for adults. Teen pregnancy can be a problem!

The good news is the number of teen pregnancies has been on the decline in New Mexico for years now, and the New Mexico Department of Health is working today to continue that trend into tomorrow.

Since 2000, the teen birth rate in New Mexico for 15-to-17 year olds has declined by 43 percent. That’s comparable to the national decline of 48 percent.

While 2013 numbers are still being compiled, we know the 2012 New Mexico teen birth rate was 22.7 for every 1,000 15-17 year old girls. This is not only still higher than the 2012 national rate of 14.1 of 1,000, but it also reflects problems unique to our state versus others in the US.

Nationally and in New Mexico, birth rates for New Mexico Hispanic and American Indian teens are higher than for other groups. Factors influencing New Mexico’s high teen birth rate are a diverse population, poverty rates, rural population, high school dropout rates, and access to services.

The Department of Health works to lower those rates on multiple fronts. Prevention programs include:

Every public dollar invested in helping women avoid unintended pregnancies saves $5.68 in Medicaid expenditures that otherwise would have gone to pregnancy-related care. The progress New Mexico has made in reducing teen childbearing saved taxpayers an estimated $64 million in 2010 alone compared to the costs they would have incurred had the rates not fallen, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

For more information visit the Family Planning section of our website. You can search for family planning clinics in your area using the “Find a family planning clinic” locater from the Office of Population Affairs. The difference you can make in you or your teen’s life is just a click away.

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.