Targeting Teenage Pregnancies
The Metropolitan Health District Director, Colleen Bridger, and Councilwoman Ana Sandoval offered much support and explained the need and the importance to continue the funding at a recent City Council Meeting. At Healthy Futures of Texas, we are glad to hear that our City Council voted to keep the funding for the teen pregnancy prevention program.
The approval was not passed without a few questions or concerns. Whether or not teens would receive birth control under the program was asked, ultimately the answer is yes. The program provides long-term reversible birth control, or IUDs (intrauterine devices), to teenagers– with parental consent– and also helps teens who are already young mothers.
Another question, by Councilman Brockhouse — could the funds be spent on something else? Councilwoman Colleen Bridger answered by stating the funds did not have rules, and that they could spend the funds various ways, by using evidence-based programming, providing mental health services, and access to contraceptives, and ultimately helping parents communicate with their teens.
At Healthy Futures of Texas, we know that it is important to keep our teenagers educated, and have the necessary resources available for them to make healthier choices. Healthy Futures promotes access to preventive healthcare for both teens and adults. Access to contraception—especially access to the most effective methods (IUDs and implants)—can prevent unplanned pregnancies and help to address several important health problems. We emphasize abstinence for teens, but we also promote using effective contraception for teens who choose to have sex.
By making this a priority in our community and continuing this effort to reduce teen pregnancy, we believe San Antonio will continue to make an impact in reducing teen pregnancies. Since 2010, San Antonio’s teen birth rate has dropped from 50.9 to 37.4 in 2014 In 2014, San Antonio had a teen birth rate was 37.4 per 1000, while the national rate was 24.2.