Bronx girls aged 15 to 19 logged New York City’s highest rates of pregnancy and abortion, according to a new city report.
Teenagers accounted for 86.4 of every 1,000 pregnancies in the Bronx — and nearly 1,800 babies — in 2012. Teenage girls accounted for 65 in 1,000 pregnancies citywide.
“The numbers are alarming, but we’re not surprised,” said Simone Jhingoor of the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corp., which runs teen pregnancy prevention programs out of its Morrisania headquarters. “It’s really a lack of access to information.”
Brooklyn recorded the second-highest rate of pregnant teens, 62 of every 1,000. Manhattan was third, with 54; Queens was next, at 50, and Staten Island’s teen pregnancy rate was lowest, with 38 per 1,000.
Bronx teens also outpaced their peers from other boroughs in “induced terminations,” accounting for 49 of every 1,000 Bronx abortions.
“Teen pregnancy is a cause, and a consequence, of poverty,” said Prof. Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, of NYU’s Center for Latino, Adolescent and Family Health.
Haydee Morales, the vice president for education and training at Planned Parenthood of New York City, agreed.
“When teens are having trouble, because of financial or cultural barriers, accessing contraception and other reproductive health care services, we see unintended pregnancies,” said Morales. “This is, in part, what’s happening in the Bronx.”