CINCINNATI -- The teen pregnancy rate is down in Cincinnati, and health officials say the availability of quality birth control is behind the drop.
The Cincinnati Health Department has resources available for teenagers who need them, thanks in part to a grant that allows them to offer counseling services and long-term contraceptives like IUDs at low or no cost to teens.
Jennifer Mooney, family health division director for the health department, said those resources have also helped lower teen birth and abortion rates.
"Now that we're counseling toward these highly effective forms of birth control, we're seeing that these teen pregnancy rates are dropping," Mooney said. "I don't think that's a coincidence."
The funding came through the Ohio Department of Health via a federal program called Title X, which funds preventative healthcare services. This is the second time Cincinnati has won a five-year grant from the program.
Title X funds have boosted local health efforts across the country. Mooney said there has been an "unprecedented" decline in teen pregnancies on state and national levels. In fact, the national teen birth rate dropped below 25 births per 1,000 teen females this year for the first time since the government started collecting data decades ago.
"The more pregnancies we prevent, the better we are at promoting women in the workplace and promoting gender equality across the board," Mooney said.
Call the Cincinnati Health Department at 513-357-7200 for more information.