Bbc news | health | teen pregnancy rates go back up
Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Thursday, 26 February 2009
W hy such a dow ner on teenage pregnancy?
almost c ertainly miss its target to halve rates by 2010.
The news follows a series of high-profile teenage pregnanc y c ases.
In total, there were estimated to be just over 42,900 c onc eptions in
The under 16 c onception rates also inc reased from 7.8 per 1,000 to
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8.3, meaning there were nearly 8,200 pregnanc ies.
The levels in Sc otland are almost exac tly the same as England and
Wales, with the drive to reduc e them also struggling.
Teenage girls in the North East were the most likely in England to
bec ome pregnant, with 52.9 pregnanc ies per thousand girls aged 15-
Hartlepool and Middlesbrough were the towns with the highest rates
of teenage pregnanc y in the North East, with 66.8 per 1,000 and
Of the 2,598 pregnanc ies in the North East, 42% led to an abortion -almost 10% lower than the national average.
Pregnanc y rates were also high in Yorkshire and Humberside, theWest Midlands and the North West, with all rec ording more than 47
Hilary Pannac k, of the sex educ ation c harity Straight Talking, said:"We are failing a whole generation of young people."
"Teenage parents statistic ally are muc h more likely to bec omeparents of c hildren who themselves bec ome teenage parents.
"That means generations of c hild poverty, whic h we need desperatelyto tac kle."
Juliet Hillier, of Brook, a sexual health c harity for young people,added: "It's disappointing, but not surprising to see an inc rease.
"It is essential that funding finds its way to loc al areas where theneed is greatest and this is simply not happening consistently."
She also said sex educ ation needed to be improved, adding it was toobiologic al.
year, the overall rate has stillfallen over the past 10 years. Gill Franc es, c hairman of theTeenage Pregnancy IndependentAdvisory Group, said teenagepregnanc y was still a c hallengingissue.
But she added: "There is goodnews. We've still got an overall fall in teenage pregnanc y."
But she acc epted that progress had not been as swift as has hadbeen hoped.
Ms Hughes said it was important to give parents help and advic eabout how to tac kle the issue of sex in an open fashion with theirc hildren.
She said high quality sex educ ation in sc hools was also vital, and newguidanc e to make that c ompulsory would be issued to sc hools in theautumn.
"This is not just about the mec hanic s of sex, it is about relationships,moral values and about making c lear what is right and wrong andwhat you expec t from young people, but it is doing that in a waythat enables them to take part in the dialogue."
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