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.