Teen pregnancies rise26th February 2009
New data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the amount of teenage pregnancies in England and Wales have gone up.
The ONS figures revealed there were 41.9 conceptions per 1,000 15 to 17-year-olds in 2007 - an increase from 40.9 in 2006.
This is the first time the figures have risen since 2002. As a result it means the government is very unlikely to cut rates in half by next year.
The total estimate was 42,900 pregnancies in teenagers aged under 18. The number of conceptions in under-16s also rose to 8.3 - from 7.8 per 1,000 in 2006 - with almost 8,200 pregnancies.
The figures showed that the number of conceptions in Scotland were nearly the same as those in England and Wales.
Teenagers in the North East had the most likelihood of becoming pregnant, with 52.9 conceptions per 1,000 girls aged 15-17.
The towns which had the most conceptions were Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, with 66.8 per 1,000 and 66.7 per 1,000 respectively.
In the North East, of 2,598 conceptions 42% ended in abortion.
Hilary Pannack, of the sex education charity Straight Talking, said: "We are failing a whole generation of young people."
"Teenage parents statistically are much more likely to become parents of children who themselves become teenage parents.
"That means generations of child poverty, which we need desperately to tackle."
Beverly Hughes, the children's minister for England, said the government had made cutting teenage pregnancy rates a priority, and rates had come down over the last decade.
But she accepted that progress had not been as swift as has had been hoped.
Ms Hughes said it was important to give parents help and advice about how to tackle the issue of sex in an open fashion with their children.
She said high quality sex education in schools was also vital, and new guidance to make that compulsory would be issued to schools in the autumn.
"This is not just about the mechanics of sex, it is about relationships, moral values and about making clear what is right and wrong and what you expect from young people, but it is doing that in a way that enables them to take part in the dialogue."
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Title: Teen pregnancies rise
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 10360
Date Added: 26th Feb 2009