The number of teenage pregnancies has fallen for the second
consecutive year, according to figures published by the Office for
In 2000, the conception rate in under-18s fell by 2.4 per cent
from the previous year. The total reduction since 1998 is 6.3 per
cent, or 4,000 less pregnancies in under 18s.
Minister for public health Yvette Cooper said: “We need to build
on the progress so far, and ensure that the teenage pregnancy
strategy continues to focus on boys as well as girls if we are to
meet the target of a 15 per cent reduction in teenage pregnancy
rates by 2004.”
Initiatives already launched include £16 million invested
in local action on tackling teenage conceptions in 2002/3, a
national campaign with key prevention messages and a new
information pack for young people on sexual issues.
But a women’s charity has called on the government to step
up its commitment to eradicate poverty and social exclusion of
young parents, after a new study has linked poverty to teenage
The YWCA report urges people to stop “demonising” teenage
mothers, and puts forward a seven-point plan.
This includes increasing the minimum wage for under 21-year-olds
to adult rate, establish courses for social care professionals on
issues of young parents and to challenge the social stigma
surrounding teenage pregnancy.
‘Poverty: The Price of Motherhood in Britain’ is available from
The statistics for teenage pregnancies are available from www.statistics.gov.uk