Each year, over 1,800 Detroit teens become pregnant. Detroit’s teen pregnancy rate is 2.5 times greater than the state of Michigan as a whole. This disproportionate burden is driven by several factors, including poor awareness of contraceptive options, and a lack of access to reproductive care. This disparity contributes to Detroit’s high infant mortality rate as infants born to teen mothers are more likely to be born at low birth weight and more likely to die before age 1. In addition teen mothers are significantly less likely to graduate high school which furthers the cycle of poverty and poor achievement outcomes.
The Detroit Health Department (DHD) aims to reduce unintended teen pregnancy in Detroit by 30% over the next three years by expanding access to Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARCs) and other contraceptive options. This effort is integral to the Department’s larger Maternal Child Health Strategy, which is focused on reducing infant mortality and preventing unintended teen pregnancy.
Three synergistic strategies support the Department’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention efforts: clinician engagement, public awareness of LARCs, and increased access to the community by providing service in strategically chosen sites within the neighborhoods.
The need for accessible reproductive health services for residents in the City of Detroit is vital. The goal of this initiative is ultimately to improve the health, well-being, and futures of our young Detroiters. For more information about The Detroit Health Deparment’s Reproductive Health Program call 313-876-4000.