Mesa County teen pregnancy rates drop

By: Alicia Gentile Email
By: Alicia Gentile Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Fifteen and pregnant was one local mom’s story. Melanie Wade became a young mother and had to grow up before her peers.

“I think the most difficult part about being a teen mom was trying to balance employment and finding housing and going to school and all those things with very little resources, very little knowledge and experience,” explains Wade.

Things have changed for Wade; she is now working at Hilltop helping others in need. Fortunately, things are changing for Mesa County’s teens as well.

”We may see that nationally, overall nationwide, statewide and Mesa County, we are seeing a delayed onset of sexual activity amongst young folks and also maybe an increase in contraceptive use,” said Jeff Kuhr, director of the Mesa County Health Department.

Colorado has been statistically decreasing each year since 2008. This means Colorado is trending similar to the nation, which has an overall 40-year low.

Mesa County’s teen birth rate has been decreasing since 2008; however, the county still remains higher than Colorado’s average teen fertility rate.

That is a concern to the Mesa County Health Department, but the department wants residents to know there is help in the community.

“I think we do have a lot of options in Mesa County when it comes to family planning and birth control,” said Kuhr. "Here at the Mesa County Health Department, we provide family planning services and have done so for a long time. People are very aware of our services, so I think that is quite helpful to the community."

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