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Call for action on teen pregnancy services

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The number of teenage girls falling pregnant will rise unless the government takes action, experts have warned.

Significant progress has been made over the past decade and the under-18 conception rate is at its lowest level for over 20 years, according to the Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group (TPIAG).

But the last decade has seen “missed opportunities and disappointments” and the number of girls falling pregnant in England is still “unacceptably high”.

The TPIAG published its final report at the end of a 10-year remit to oversee efforts to cut the teen pregnancy rate.

The latest figures for 2008 in England showed there were 38,750 conceptions among under-18s, half of which ended in abortion.

In 1999, Labour pledged to halve teenage pregnancy rates among under-18s in England by 2010, but that target was missed.

Gill Frances, chairman of the TPIAG, said: “We warn government that teenage pregnancy rates will rise again unless there is sustained commitment and investment in contraceptive services, along with better sex and relationships education.

“The challenge for local areas is to maintain the current downward trend in teenage pregnancy during major reorganisation in the NHS, the removal of targets and at a time of reduced public spending.

“It is truly shocking to hear about the current level of disinvestment, the loss of posts and projects and closure of contraceptive services.”

Today’s report said contraception services save the NHS £11 for every £1 invested, and warns that bills will be far higher if the issue is neglected.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • It'll fall much quicker if the government stopped giving them all the perks of houses and wads of money.
    It's an easy option for many of them; instead of getting an education and working for a living, why not just pop out another one and get well rewarded for it.

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