A public education campaign aimed at reducing unintended pregnancy among young adults is being launched today, Feb. 6, in Colorado.
The campaign, Beforeplay, is targeted to the 18- to 29-year-old age group and seeks to initiate more conversation about sexual health and family planning through an interactive website, social media, events and statewide advertising.
Beforeplay is a privately funded campaign developed by the Colorado Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy and supported by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Meanwhile, the birth rate for U.S. teens aged 15-19 years fell to a record low, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 2009 birth rate of 39.1 births per 1,000 teens is down 6 percent from the 2008 rate of 42.5 births per 1,000.
This is the lowest ever recorded in seven decades of tracking teenage childbearing. Birth rates for younger and older teens and for all race/ethnic groups reached historic lows in 2009.
“National research shows that most unmarried young adults think planning for pregnancy is important, but they don’t always act to make that a reality. Many don’t know enough about contraception and they are misinformed about pregnancy,” said Dr. Chris Urbina, executive director and chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
“We’re trying to change that by helping young adults understand more about family planning, talk about it with important people in their lives and take action to realize their personal goals.”
Nearly 40 percent of pregnancies in Colorado are unintended, and the rate is even higher among Coloradans in their 20s – 42 percent. Lack of knowledge about effective contraception, being uninsured, finding affordable health care, or being ambivalent about having children all can lead to unintended pregnancy.
Reducing unintended pregnancy and preventing infectious diseases like STDs are among 10 Winnable Battles the department announced in late January. The winnable battles focus on public health and environmental priorities with large-scale impact and known, effective strategies to address them.
Unintended pregnancy has a long-term impact on the health and development of children and parents’ ability to reach their educational and financial goals. Beforeplay fills an important role in the effort to encourage people to plan for parenthood and protect their overall health.
The campaign is anchored by Beforeplay.org, a website that uses an age-appropriate tone to encourage young adults to take control of and responsibility for their sexual health by having conversations with their partners, friends, family members and medical providers.
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