Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

One in 10 Teenage Girls Are Pregnant in Parts of London

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

One in 10 Teenage Girls Are Pregnant in Parts of London

Article excerpt

Byline: PIPPA CRERAR

ALMOST one in 10 teenage girls become pregnant in some London boroughs.

Figures today show that sustained efforts to reduce teenage conception in some districts are not working.

Pregnancy rates among teenagers are at about 10 per cent in Lambeth and Southwark.

The new statistics put Lambeth as the second worst borough in London for teenage pregnancies.

Southwark is the worst, with 85.2 girls giving birth in every 1,000.

Nationally, the pregnancy rate among 15- to 17-year-olds decreased by 11 per cent between 1998 and 2004. But in London the drop was only seven per cent while teenage pregnancy rates were rising in a third of boroughs.

Teenage mother Rachel Jackman ignored sex education lessons and moved in with her boyfriend when she was 15.

The bright student gave up her GCSEs and dreams of a career when she dropped out of school in Lambeth to live with her 19-yearold boyfriend. Five years on she has a two-year-old daughter but has split from the child's father.

She said: "If I had my time again I would change everything about what I did, but I would not be without my daughter. I knew about contraception but I just didn't think about it." Rachel said she had unprotected sex from the age of 15 and does not consider herself unusual. She knows one local girl who had her first child at 13.

Councillor Sam Townend, deputy cabinet member for young people at Lambeth council, said: "The record on this is not good in Lambeth. We are looking at new ways to try and improve this situation.

However, it is important to realise that this is a large and complicated issue with no easy answers."

Meanwhile, four other London boroughs have seen the biggest rises in teenage pregnancy rates in the country. Barnet, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Harrow recorded increases of up to 43 per cent per cent over a six year period. …

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