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Aggressive state and national programs supplying teens with long-term contraceptives have put a big dent in the teen birth rate.
Colorado's teen birth rate fell from 37 births per 1,000 teens (ages 15-19) in 2009 to 22 births in 2013, according to an article published in the Denver Post. The rate is now at a 24-year historic low, having declined 60% since 1990, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Colorado clinics like Children’s Hospital Colorado Adolescent Family Planning Clinic help provide free or low-cost contraceptives.
Nathaly Chavez, 18, is a returning patient of the family planning clinic at Children's Colorado and said she can rely on the clinic for something she otherwise couldn't afford.
"It's really a big deal to know that," Chavez said in an interview with the Denver Post. "Ever since I started coming here, I feel I've been really helped with all my needs."
Word of mouth among teens is the clinic's most important marketing tool, said clinic director Dr. Liz Romer.
"They know they won't be judged here. They'll be respected," Dr. Romer said. "We now know a lot more about teens and how their brains work."
The Adolescent Family Planning Clinic provides STI testing, pregnancy testing and wellness exams. Free and confidential birth control services, including condoms and Plan B®, are available for anyone between the ages of 12 to 24.