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New York City’s Teen Pregnancy Rate Plummeted After High Schools Expanded Access To Plan B

Posted by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 8:46 AM
  • 97 Replies

New York City’s Teen Pregnancy Rate Plummeted After High Schools Expanded Access To Plan B

The teen pregnancy rate in New York City dropped by 27 percent over the last decade, a statistic that city officials credit to teens’ expanded access to contraception.

The city’s health commissioner, Tom Farley, told the New York Daily News that the data shows two concurrent trends: more adolescents are choosing to use birth control, and more of them are also delaying sexual intercourse. That’s partly because New York is one of the 21 states that allows all minors to have access to contraceptive services — and two years ago, the public school system began a pilot program to provide Plan B to public school students in districts with high rates of unintended pregnancy:

The city has worked to make it easier for kids to get birth control — giving out condoms at schools and making birth control and the morning-after pill available in some school clinics, a sometimes controversial move.

Farley said the numbers show that strategy is working.

“It shows that when you make condoms and contraception available to teens, they don’t increase their likelihood of being sexually active. But they get the message that sex is risky,” he said. [...]

Teen pregnancy in the city is still higher than it is nationwide, but it has fallen at a sharper rate, officials said.

Despite the promising trends, health officials in the city note that there are still significant racial and geographic disparities among the teens who are getting pregnant. The Bronx has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the country, and African-American teens in New York City have a much higher pregnancy rate than their white counterparts — 110.7 births for every 1,000 back girls, compared with 16 births for every 1,000 white girls. That trend is evident on a national level, too. Black and Latina women have the highest rates of unplanned pregnancy and, subsequently, the highest rates of abortion.

But the city’s school system is on the right track, since part of addressing the connection between poverty and teen pregnancy is increasing access to affordable birth control. Removing the cost barriers to contraception encourages low-income women to choose longer-lasting, more effective forms of birth control that lower their risk for unintended pregnancy. And increasing adolescents’ access to Plan B is particularly important since the Department of Health and Human Services requires women under the age of 17 to obtain a prescription for Plan B, an unnecessary extra step that is often a barrier preventing adolescents from accessing the contraception they need in a timely manner.

Despite right-wing fervor over Plan B, it is an extremely safe medication that does not actually induce abortion. The majority of parents whose children are enrolled in New York City’s public schools support the city’s initiative to expand access to this type of contraception.

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If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 8:46 AM
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Replies (1-10):
lga1965
by Ruby Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 8:48 AM
That's good news!
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brookiecookie87
by Platinum Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 8:55 AM
11 moms liked this



Quoting lga1965:

That's good news!


It's also pretty obvious. It's a kin to saying, "When you place Fire Extinguishers next to a building the rate of burned down buildings go down".

But you have people on the opposite end of the spectrum that say, "It will encourage them to have sex!" And oddily it is normally the same set of people who will then say, "Teen pregnancy is a problem!" which is even more odd because it is normally those same people who will also say, "If you are pregnant you need to have the baby!".  Which is even more odd because it is the same people who will also say, "People in America don't want to take responsibility for their families! They have kids at such a young age and have no way to take care of them!"


But as Tom Farley, the city's health commissioner said the data shows two concurrent trends: more adolescent are choosing to use birth control and more of them are also delaying sexual intercourse.

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If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

lga1965
by Ruby Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 9:09 AM
Yup ! :-)

Quoting brookiecookie87:




Quoting lga1965:

That's good news!



It's also pretty obvious. It's a kin to saying, "When you place Fire Extinguishers next to a building the rate of burned down buildings go down".

But you have people on the opposite end of the spectrum that say, "It will encourage them to have sex!" And oddily it is normally the same set of people who will then say, "Teen pregnancy is a problem!" which is even more odd because it is normally those same people who will also say, "If you are pregnant you need to have the baby!".  Which is even more odd because it is the same people who will also say, "People in America don't want to take responsibility for their families! They have kids at such a young age and have no way to take care of them!"


But as Tom Farley, the city's health commissioner said the data shows two concurrent trends: more adolescent are choosing to use birth control and more of them are also delaying sexual intercourse.

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Woodbabe
by Woodie on Feb. 5, 2013 at 9:09 AM
2 moms liked this

Fantastic news! They're reducing the need for abortions as well...THAT is how they need to spin it to sell it....

coolmommy2x
by Silver Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 9:13 AM
I think this is great news!
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gcecelie
by Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 9:18 AM

 Great.

And some people need to be educated on what Plan B is. They really think it is same as the pills you can get to have an abortion which is far from what it is.

As far as the discrepency in race, IMO from once being a minority teen, most kids of all races have sex, but safe sex and protecting your future (as in waiting to have children until you are sure you are ready) isn't reinforced amongst peers and people kids choose to look up to. That's a whole other issue though. I've known some guys who really thought having kids from different women versus have all your kids with one who you are with forever was the best decision (guess that was their idea of keeping options open).

CorpCityGrl
by Bronze Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 9:24 AM
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I remember the uproar when this was first implemented.  I think it's great that it's working - it's a much more common sense approach to sex education for teens.

I was always an advocate of providing teens with full sex education as opposed to just teaching them abstinence.  Abstinence creates a taboo around sex and teaches them nothing.  By arming and educating them, they have the power to make choices and they WILL oftentimes make the smart choice.  We have to open that dialogue between the younger people so that they feel comfortable enough to ask questions and seek the appropriate answers and options.  You cannot stop people from having sex - it's inevitable - but you CAN arm them with protection and knowledge.

LilliesValley
by Bronze Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 9:26 AM
Awesome. I'd be curious about stds to though. But expanding and helping teen pregnancy is a step in the right direction.
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Denisethedaring
by Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Well, of course.  :) 

brookiecookie87
by Platinum Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 9:29 AM
1 mom liked this



Quoting gcecelie:

 Great.

And some people need to be educated on what Plan B is. They really think it is same as the pills you can get to have an abortion which is far from what it is.

As far as the discrepency in race, IMO from once being a minority teen, most kids of all races have sex, but safe sex and protecting your future (as in waiting to have children until you are sure you are ready) isn't reinforced amongst peers and people kids choose to look up to. That's a whole other issue though. I've known some guys who really thought having kids from different women versus have all your kids with one who you are with forever was the best decision (guess that was their idea of keeping options open).


The increase in kids waiting for sex puzzled me until I realized how stupid we are as kids (Especially the ones who think they know everything).

But I can picture a girl in a room with a guy and thinking she is ready for sex. If the Option for contraception is there for them nothing will sober them up like actually having to go get them. After the heat dies down and they are getting condoms it loses a lot of the "in the moment" act feeling. And also loses a lot of the forbidden intrigue. And gives them a moment to think, "Do I really want to do this?"


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If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

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