Marriage and the family

Twenty schoolgirls get
pregnant every day

Last updated: 4 January 2008

At least twenty schoolgirls are becoming pregnant each day, according to figures released by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

Despite Government attempts to combat the problem through sex education schemes, Britain's underage pregnancy rate is still the highest in Western Europe.

The statistics show that in some areas one girl in every fifty aged between 13-15 becomes pregnant, with a total of 7473 conceptions in 2005. Between 2003-2005, over 22,000 under-16s became pregnant, with more than half of those having abortions.

Professor David Paton, an economist at the Nottingham University Business School, said: "There has been a tendency for the Government's teenage pregnancy strategy to focus on creating schemes where teenagers can get the morning after pill or other forms of family planning at school or clinics.

"The danger with this sort of approach is that it can lead to an increase in risky sexual behaviour amongst some young people.

"There is now overwhelming evidence that such schemes are simply not effective in cutting teenage pregnancy rates."

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