NPR

'Where The Need Is:' Tackling Teen Pregnancy With A Midwife At School

With teen pregnancy rates in some communities stubbornly high, one school district is trying something different: staff the schools with a midwife.
Patchen has been a midwife for twenty years and is the founder of the Teen Alliance for Prepared Parenting or TAPP at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. Source: Meredith Rizzo/NPR

The student comes in for a pregnancy test — the second time she's asked for one in matter of weeks.

She's 15. She lives with her boyfriend. He wants kids — he won't use protection. She loves him, she says. But she doesn't want to get pregnant. She knows how much harder it would be for her to finish high school.

At many schools, she would have gotten little more than some advice from a school nurse. But here at Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C., she gets a dose of midwife Loral Patchen.

Patchen asks her bluntly, what is she going to do about it? Because one of these days, the test is going to show a positive.

Patchen talks her through a range of birth control methods. There's a shot you take every few months, an IUD, or a small

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