Figures expected to show increase in young mothers
The number of teenagers getting pregnant is going up, new figures are expected to reveal.
Figures from the first three-quarters of 2007 showed a rise among under-18s getting pregnant. Full data on teen pregnancies for 2007 will be published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today.
From January to March, the teen pregnancy rate was 42.6 girls per 1000 and it was 42.7 for the period April to June. For July to September, the rate was 39.9. Overall figures for 2006 showed that 41 girls in every 1,000 fell pregnant in that year.
The Government has pledged to halve teenage pregnancy rates among girls under 18 by half by 2010 but is widely expected to miss that target. A 2004 aim to cut the rates by 15 per cent from the base year of 1988 was missed.
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Gill Francis, chair of the Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group, said the expected rise today was ‘challenging’. ‘Teen pregnancy is a complex issue but we do know what needs to be done,’ she said. Ms Francis said measures such as working with young people, sex education and encouraging parents to talk to their children all had an effect.