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Utah's teen mothers lacked crucial knowledge, survey finds

Utah's teen mothers lacked crucial knowledge, survey finds



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A survey of teen moms has some very interesting facts about Utah's teens. A fourth of younger teen moms said they thought they or their partner was sterile. Half said they thought they couldn't get pregnant at the time.

Laurie Baksh with the Maternal and Infant Health Program at the Utah Health Department says they have heard in similar surveys with college-age women - that they really don't know how their bodies work.


We don't know if that means they didn't have enough money, or they didn't know where to go to get affordable contraception, they didn't have transportation to get there; it could be a multitude of reasons.

–Laurie Baksh


Baksh says they've created a website called Power Your Life where there's a short video about the subject, and she says they need to get that information out there.

"The other thing is understanding that just because you don't get pregnant once doesn't mean that that's going to be the case every time," she said.

Baksh said Utah teens were also more likely to say their partner did not want to use birth control, or they checked the box saying they had trouble getting birth control when they needed it.

"We don't know if that means they didn't have enough money, or they didn't know where to go to get affordable contraception, they didn't have transportation to get there; it could be a multitude of reasons," she said.

Baksh says the question now is where to go from here. She says this survey information is going out to 6 community organizations in Utah who work with teens. Those groups have received Personal Responsibility Education Program funding under the federal Affordable Care Act. It teaches abstinence and comprehensive sexuality education.

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Mary Richards

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