Children's Health

NYC teen pregnancies down over a decade

Teen pregnancies among New York public school students have dropped by 27 percent over a decade.

Officials says the dip is due to contraceptives and delayed sexual activity, as reflected in new data released by the city Department of Health on Sunday.

Among 1,000 girls ages 15 to 19, 73 became pregnant in 2010, the latest year for which figures were released. That's down from 99 girls getting pregnant per 1,000 in 2001.

The department said the decline was larger among younger teenagers than among older teens: 32 percent in the 15-to-17 age group, and 24 percent for 18- and 19-year-olds.

In the same decade, fewer high school students reported ever having sex. In 2001, 51 percent said they had, and in 2011, it was 38 percent, based on a representative sample of several thousand students who responded anonymously.

The department said there were more than 19,000 teen pregnancies in 2010, and 87 percent of those were unintended.

However, "teens are delaying having sex, and they're more likely to use contraceptives," said Deborah Kaplan, assistant commissioner of the department's Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health.

As a result of efforts to reduce pregnancies by educating middle and high school students, "they're more aware of the risk," Kaplan said.

In addition, professional clinical services available to them include condoms and other birth control like the morning-after pill.

"Our efforts are having an impact," she said.