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Contraceptive drive announced

19th July 2007

The government plans to improve access to contraception for young parents in order to reduce teenage pregnancy numbers.

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Figures indicate that one fifth of teenagers who become pregnant are aged under 18 and have already given birth to a child.

The government intends to introduce plans to persuade young parents to carry on living in their family home. The plans are intended to help young parents with the hardships involved in raising children.

The UK ranks near the top of the list for rates of teenage pregnancy in Europe. There were 42, 187 conceptions for under-18s in 2005.

Families Minister Beverley Hughes said that although the government was working on reducing teenage pregnancy numbers, there was room for improvement: "We must now do more to address the reality of teenagers who become parents."

She said the government was tackling the issue now so "we can also help prevent repeat pregnancies and reduce the negative outcomes associated with the children of teenagers."

Government statistics show that the children of teenage parents have an increased likelihood of having a child at a young age. Infant mortality rates are 60% higher than children born to mothers aged between 20 and 39.

Figures also show that younger parents and their children have an increased risk of health problems and are more likely to leave school early.

The Independent Advisory Group on Teenage Pregnancy's chairwoman Gill Frances supported the drive and said: "Access to contraceptive advice and help must be improved."

 





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