Teen pregnancy rate drops 30% over last decade in the city
The teen pregnancy rate in the city saw a significant decrease in the last decade and the city's health department is hoping its new app will help keep those numbers keep going down.
Between 2001 and 2011, the rate of births for those between ages 15 and 19 in the city decreased from 98.7 pregnancies per 1,000 females to 69.2 pregnancies per 1,000 females, the health department said Wednesday.
Health Commissioner Thomas Farley credited the city's massive campaign to educate teenagers about the huge responsibilities of being a young parent and the increased access to contraceptives.
"For teens who are having sex, it is important to use birth control and condoms to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease," he said in a statement.
Despite the drop, Farley said there are still 17,000 teen pregnancies annually,87% of which are unintended. The Bronx leads the city with the highest average of teen births with 95.9 pregnancies per 1,000 females, the health department said.
Farley said the city will continue to push for education and one of its methods is a smartphone app called Teens in NYC -- Protection.
App users can find free confidential reproductive health services in their neighborhood andinteractive information on safe sex.
Sixty health providers are featured in the app, including Planned Parenthood, and more will join in the program, according to the health department.
"With innovative and inclusive initiatives like this new smartphone app, New York City can continue to reduce teen pregnancy," Haydee Morales, Vice President of Education and Training at Planned Parenthood of New York City, said in a statement.