Pediatric clinic offers free birth control to reduce teen pregnancy

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A new teen health clinic opening in Memphis will offer teens free reversible contraception, including IUDs.

The clinic's mission is to help encourage teens to graduate before getting pregnant.

Since 2011, Memphis has seen a steady decline in its teen pregnancy rate. One of the reasons is thanks to the foundation "A Step Ahead."

"It's about helping young women and women in general plan when they want to have babies," Belinda Simpson said.

Housed in the Crosstown Concourse, the nonprofit gives teens birth control options, so they have an opportunity to accomplish other goals in life before having a family.

"What we offer is a chance to finish school, start a career, get married," Simpson said. "Whatever that plan is for them."

Depending on the teen's insurance, the nonprofit pays for the birth control--which can often run several hundred dollars.

"A Step Ahead" is also teaming up with Le Bonheur Children's Hospital to help even more teenagers.

"This is an awesome partnership," Simpson said.

The nonprofit said that help is desperately needed. According to them, in 2016 there were 1,345 teen pregnancies in Shelby County, that's about 43 out of every 1,000 girls between the ages 15 and 19.

To learn more about "A Step Ahead," visit their website here.

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