Georgia health agency focuses on contraceptives for teens

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 6:38 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Lawsuits against Georgia’s six-week abortion ban are still playing out in court.

This week, a superior court let the law stay in place while that happens.

Meanwhile, the Georgia Department of Public Health says Georgia’s teen pregnancy rate is one of the highest in the country.

They say their goal to help is by getting information and resources for birth control to as many as possible.

DPH wants to make birth control and contraceptives available to everyone.

Right now, they’re mainly focusing on young females since the overturning of Roe v. Wade. They want women to know what resources there are to help and how safe they are.

Georgia Department of Public health nurses, Heather Giles and Sebrina Harris, work with patients on family planning.

“Every day, we’re open five days a week so we always have someone coming in,” said Harris.

Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, health officials in our area say it’s important for every person to understand the resources available, especially birth control and contraception.

Giles said: “In light of that just make sure you know what your options are.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest data from 2020 shows Georgia ranks 15th in the country for teenage birth rates. South Carolina is 11th.

Harris said: “The younger people are very important. They’re very active and their lifestyles are different, and we want to get them the right birth control method for them.”

In Georgia, DPH says teenage pregnancy typically leads to a cycle of poverty and high dropout rates for school.

Nurses say old and new birth control methods are safe.

Giles said: “Unfortunately due to the internet, there’s a lot of stuff out there and every woman is different, and you can’t take one person’s experience and think it’s going to happen to you.”

Your doctor is the one that will help you find the option that’s best for you.

“Talk with professionals and let us direct you to a reputable resource where you can go and read actual statistics, study findings, things like that,” said Giles.

You can go to the East Central Public Health District’s website and that will direct you to the closest clinic to you. You can give them a call and make a same-day appointment, or you can just walk in.