Association of Access to Publicly Funded Family Planning Services and Teen Birth Rates across California Counties
Marina J. Chabot, University of California, San Francisco
Heike Thiel de Bocanegra, University of California, San Francisco
Philip Darney, University of California, San Francisco
Teen birth rates (TBR) have been declining nationwide, including a dramatic decline in California. However, a large disparity in TBR exists across California counties. Access to publicly funded family planning services plays a critical role in avoiding unintended pregnancy and early childbearing. In California, both Medi-Cal and Family PACT, Medicaid’s family planning extension program,provide comprehensive family planning and related reproductive health services to eligible residents including teens. We conducted regression analyses to determine the relationship between TBR and access while controlling for county-level social, economic, and demographic covariates. The bivariate correlation coefficient (r=-.27, p=.04) and standardized regression coefficient (β=-.19, p=.005) indicated the importance of access to publicly funded family planning services in reducing TBR across California counties. Additionally, we identified potential priority areas for intervention by using quartiles, a measure in which four equal groups of counties using the values of TBR and the proportion of access were calculated.