Pregnancy rates stay high among New Mexico teens - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Pregnancy rates stay high among New Mexico teens

Pregnancy rates stay high among New Mexico teens

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Santa Fe, NM -  New Mexico ranks number one in the nation for teen pregnancy and that's costing New Mexico taxpayers over $100 million alone in 2010 as a result of teen births.   

Experts with the New Mexico Department of Health blame this ranking on widespread poverty, the high rate of high-school dropouts, limited access in rural parts of the state to medical clinics that provide contraceptives, and the high teen pregnancy rate among Hispanics.  

Nationally and in New Mexico, Hispanic teens have had the highest birthrates. However, New Mexico ranks 35th in the nation in the rate of births per 1,000 Hispanic teen girls with 58, while the national number is 46.   

State and local officials have taken steps to change this by having improved access to clinics where they can go for low-cost contraceptives and also set up a number of programs educating teens about sexual health and getting them involved in the community through the YMCA and boys and girls club.