A feature story in The Washington Post on Colorado’s groundbreaking work in reducing teenage pregnancy featured Dr. Stephen Scott and Dr. Stephanie Teal of CU OB-GYN. The article covered Dr. Scott’s work as director of the Colorado Adolescent Maternity Program (CAMP) that assists young mothers with medical, social and psychological issues and Dr. Teal’s work promoting long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs).
“With an implant or an IUD, if someone wants it out, we take it out, but once it’s in and they have to make an appointment to take it out, they really have to think, ‘OK, do I want a baby now, really?’” says Dr. Stephanie Teal, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s medical director of Family Planning. “As opposed to the pill, you basically have to decide every single day, ‘Do I want to be not pregnant?’ And some days, you might want to be pregnant.”
And that makes short-term birth control particularly ineffective for adolescents, says Dr. Stephen Scott, associate professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine and director of the Colorado Adolescent Maternity Program (CAMP). CAMP provides not only medical care, but mental health, nutrition and a social worker to low-income mothers and their babies.
“They oftentimes are not thinking about the future,” Scott says. “Cognitively they are still developing. They’re in and out of relationships. They aren’t necessarily motivated to be pregnant, but they aren’t necessarily motivated not to become pregnant.”