Thursday, March 15, 2012
Bureau of Maternal and Child Health
NYS Department of Health
Jane Levine Powers, PhD
Project Director, ACT for Youth Center of Excellence
Adolescent pregnancy is a critical public health problem facing New York State, with 54.2 per 1,000 15 to 19 year old females becoming pregnant each year (2009 rate). Pregnancy at too early an age interrupts and disrupts normal adolescent development and often results in significant academic, social and economic costs for the mother, father and child. Since its peak in 1993, New York State has had a 43% decline in adolescent pregnancy rates. Despite this positive trend, New York State continues to have striking regional and racial/ethnic disparities in adolescent pregnancy rates. Pregnancy rates in New York City and other urban areas are at least double that of the rest of the state. Pregnancy rates are consistently almost three times higher for black and Hispanic adolescents than for white adolescents. Intensive public health efforts are necessary to engage hard to reach youth and all sectors of the community in addressing this issue.
New York State Department of Health has implemented a comprehensive approach to prevention of teen pregnancy. This Public Health Live will highlight key elements of our approach including community based prevention programming, academic support for training and technical assistance, and health care provider training.