Teenage pregnancy rises in Britain

February 26th, 2009 - 7:57 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 26 (IANS) The conception rate among under-18 women in England and Wales has risen for the first time since 2002. The news comes less than a fortnight after a 13-year-old boy caused widespread concern in Britain by becoming a dad. The mother was 15.
Figures published Thursday by the Office for National Statistics show that the under-18 conception rate increased from 40.9 conceptions per 1,000 women aged 15-17 in 2006 to 41.9 in 2007.

The estimated number of conceptions to teenagers in 2007 was 42,918 and these represented 4.8 percent of all conceptions in England and Wales.

The under-16 conception rate increased from 7.8 per 1,000 girls aged 13-15 in 2006 to 8.3 in 2007. There were an estimated 8,196 conceptions to girls aged under 16 in 2007.

However, conception rates rose in women of all ages, with the overall rate increasing from 78.3 to 80.3 conceptions per 1,000 women aged 15-44.

As in 2006, 22 percent of all conceptions in 2007 led to a legal abortion. For women aged under 18, this figure was 50 percent compared with 48 percent in 2006.

Hilary Pannack, of the sex education charity Straight Talking, expressed concern at the rise in teenage pregnancies, saying: “We are failing a whole generation of young people.”

“Teenage parents statistically are much more likely to become parents of children who themselves become teenage parents. That means generations of child poverty, which we need desperately to tackle,” she added.

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