Study Shows New York City Teenagers Have High Abortion, Pregnancy Rates

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 3, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Study Shows New York City Teenagers Have High Abortion, Pregnancy Rates

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 3,

New York City, NY ( — Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani likes to talk about how he has lowered teen pregnancy rates and abortions by promoting adoption when he was mayor of New York. However, a new report finds teens in the nation’s largest city have alarmingly high rates and over half of all teen pregnancies end in abortion.

The city government released the full report "Teen Sexual Activity and Birth Control Use in New York City," which contains a new survey of public high school students.

It finds that 69 percent of sexually active New York City teens use condoms, compared to 63% nationwide.

In 2005, the New York City teen pregnancy rate (including live births, abortions and miscarriages) was 94 per 1,000 girls aged 15 to 19. Nationally, the rate was just 76 per 1,000 in 2002 (the most recent year on record).

The vast majority of teen pregnancies (86 percent) are unintended, and more than half (62 percent) end in abortion.

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, New York City Health Commissioner, admitted that abstinence education could help lower these rates, but still promoted contraception.

"Postponing sex has many benefits for teens," Frieden said. "It’s the only sure way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Teenagers who choose to have sex should know that condoms and long-acting contraceptives are both important."

The survey also asked teenagers about the morning after pill and found only 47 percent had heard of it with 54 percent of girls and 39 percent of boys knowing about Plan B.

Despite the results of the study, the city’s health department said it will continue a school condom distribution program. The city also said it would to encourage teens to delay sexual intercourse as well.