Thursday, April 18, 2024

Record-low teenage pregnancy figures welcomed

teenpregTHURROCK Council has welcomed new figures showing the conception rate among under-18s in the borough dropped by 10.3 per cent to an all- time low in 2012.

The figures, released by central government last week, show the figures fall from 34 per 1,000 women aged 15-17 in 2011 to 30½ per 1,000 in 2012.

Since 1998, the under-18 conception rate has fallen by over half.

Cllr Barbara Rice, the council’s portfolio holder for adults, health and commissioning said: “These figures are really pleasing.

“Becoming a parent, at any age, is a life-changing experience, however we know teenage pregnancy and early motherhood brings with it a number of specific challenges and can be associated with a number of adverse consequences.

“These include such things as poor educational achievement, poor health and social isolation and poverty.”

Cllr Rice added: “Thurrock Council is committed to working with schools and other partners to further reduce under 18 conceptions and provide support for young parents, as an important route to tackling inequalities, reducing child poverty and improving public health.”

She said that a number of factors have contributed to Thurrock’s success, including the availability of free and open access community contraception services to young people – including initiatives like the C-Card (free condom scheme) being available to young people up to the age of 25.

Schools have also played a vital part by ensuring sexual health features across the curriculum and teenage parents can be referred for additional support from a dedicated teenage pregnancy advisor to help minimise the issues young parents face.

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