Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Teenage Pregnancy Rate Reaches Highest Level for Five Years

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Teenage Pregnancy Rate Reaches Highest Level for Five Years

Article excerpt

Byline: ANNA DAVIS

THE number of teenage girls falling pregnant rose sharply in 2007 -- reaching the highest figure since 2002.

The pregnancy rate among under-16s saw the most worrying change -- up 6.4 per cent in a year. Rates of abortion among teenagers also remained high.

The Government has pledged to halve teenage pregnancy rates by next year, but is expected to miss the target.

According to new figures from the Office for National Statistics, some 43,000 teenage girls conceived in 2007, up 2.4 per cent. Of these, more than 8,000 were under 16. And half of all teenagers who got pregnant had an abortion. Gill Frances, chairwoman of the Teenage Pregnancy Advisory Group, said: "Today's challenging figures show all local areas have to stop the excuses, and get on with providing contraceptive services and sex and relationship education for all young people, including the under-16s." Baroness Gould, chairwoman of the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV, said: "Bringing down teenage pregnancy rates must remain a priority both nationally and locally. …

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