New Mexico’s teen pregnancy rate has been cut in half over the last two decades, but it remains one of the highest in the country.
A local nonprofit released a report Wednesday that says teen pregnancy prevention campaigns rely on myths about young parents.
In their report, Young Women United criticized messaging they say falsely blames young families for draining government resources like food stamps, health coverage and cash assistance.
“The 'social costs,' inaccurately attributed to young parents and their families, do not stem from the young parenthood," said Tannia Esparza, executive director of YWU, "but instead are connected back to pre-existing and systemic poverty."
Esparza said prevention efforts are well intentioned but that they unfairly pin big social problems on teen parents.
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy says public spending on teen childbearing cost the state nearly $100 million in 2010.