— SD KIDS COUNT (@SoDakKC) August 4, 2017
South Dakota teen birth rate of 26 per 1,000 is still better than 38 in Arkansas and 35 in Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. But it’s pretty bad compared to 19 in California and Colorado (19), 15 in New York, 14 in Minnesota, and 9 in Massachusetts.
Researchers have found that long-acting reversible contraceptives, such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and hormonal implants, are substantially more effective at preventing pregnancy than short-term methods that require frequent compliance. But only a small fraction of women in the United States use long-acting birth control. Expanding public awareness of and access to these types of contraceptives could substantially reduce the rate of unintended pregnancy and promote a culture of active decision making about when to become a parent [links converted from footnotes; 2017 Kids Count Data Book: State Trends in Child Well-Being, Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2017.06.13].
What? IUDs for teenage girls? States can do that?
Colorado’s IUD program caused the teen birth rate and abortion rate to both drop by around 40 percent, but lawmakers declined to fund it because they were worried it would encourage teens to have sex. This is obviously backward if your goals in preventing teen sex include preventing teen births and abortions, but politics is apparently more important [Beth Skwarecki, “Which Policies Lead to Less Abortion? The ACA, State Law & the Supreme Court,” PLOS: Public Health Perspectives, 2017.02.06].
Hmm… contrary to the White House’s intentions, educating young people and providing access to health resources reduces teen pregnancy and abortion rates. Go figure.