Fox 29: ‘Very challenging’: Texas leads nation in repeat teenage pregnancies; experts weigh in
Dr. Kristen Plastino, Obstetrics and Gynecology / UT Teen Health, appeared on Fox 29 and News 4. Follow the link below to watch the video.
‘Very challenging’: Texas leads nation in repeat teenage pregnancies; experts weigh in
by Amanda Henderson, Photojournalist: Kearyon Chestang
Tuesday, February 22nd 2022
SAN ANTONIO — Texas is at the top but not the reason you might think. The Lone Star state leads the nation in the number of teens who have given birth multiple times.
“We’ve seen a steady decrease in teen births here in Bexar County,” Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UT Health San Antonio Dr. Kristen Plastino said. Dr. Plastino is also the program director for UT Teen Health.
Dr. Plastino said that is one bit of good news. Another is repeat teen pregnancies are also down.
“We actually were seeing one in five few years ago, and now we’re at one in six for repeat teen birth rate,” Dr. Plastino said.
She does add that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods.
In fact, according to the CDC, Texas leads the nation in repeat births among 15 to 19-year-olds.
In 2020 there were more than 3,800 with Bexar County making up about 15 percent.
“There’s different reasons why kids get pregnant. I mean, it’s just it just depends on what’s happening in their situation, their family, their communities, their houses,” Northside ISD’s Coordinator for School Age Parenting Program Lisa Delgado said.
The program provides resources to keep teen parents in school.
“We’ve had lots of success stories. I have people in the district, that are my colleagues now, that were my students,” Lisa said.
Executive Director of Healthy Futures of Texas Evelyn Delgado provides some examples on what it will take to lower teen repeat births.
“We work to make sure that young people have the information they need the education they need,” Evelyn said.
Her nonprofit aims to prevent teen and unplanned pregnancy.
“It can be very challenging for a teen,” Evelyn said.
The message all our experts have for teenagers and their families is that education is key.
Oftentimes they said teenagers don’t know the resources that are there to help them if they are pregnant and need help figuring out what’s next.
If you would like to learn more about UT San Antonio’s Teen Health program, click here.
If you would like to learn more about NISD’s School Age Parenting program, click here.
If you would like to learn more about Healthy Futures of Texas, click here.