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Teens Phone for Facts of Life on Tape

June 2, 1986

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) _ Teen-agers here can dial a local telephone number, and for free, hear recordings on 108 topics, including AIDS, abortion, birth control and drug abuse.

The ″Facts of Life Line″ has operated for more than a year and is run by the El Paso County Health Department. It was initiated by the Junior League of Colorado Springs.

″As far as I know, this is the only service of its kind for teen-agers in the state,″ said county health director Dr. John Muth.

The code numbers for the various topics are listed on posters and brochures available in libaries and from junior high school and high school counselors throughout El Paso County.

Calls have increased from 40 a day in March to 110 daily in April, according to computer records.

Counselors say the main advantage of the service is that callers can remain anonymous.

Fourteen tapes are available on birth control. There is also a tape called ″Saying No to Sex.″

Among the most popular tapes are those on male and female sexual problems, teen sexual concerns, family planning, abortion and venereal disease, according to the records.

All tapes are previewed by a 15-member committee that includes doctors, a school superintendent, a pastor, social workers, counselors, teachers and representatives of community agencies.

″We’ve tried to make sure from the beginning that the tapes gave strictly facts - no values or opinion,″ said Kathleen Gamblin, chairman of the Junior League’s project.

For example, the tape on early abortion explains that abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy can be ″relatively simple and safe.″ It mentions other choices including keeping the baby or giving the baby up for adoption.

Michael Kneale, Colorado Springs District II school superintendent has endorsed the program.

″The Facts of Life Line does not take a position or preach a particular point of view. Rather it provides facts and information that may be beneficial to young people,″ Kneale wrote in his March 17 letter of endorsement.

Some parents have objected to Kneale endorsing the program without a vote of the school board.

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