New statistics show that over 60 per cent of all pregnancies among girls under 16 ended in abortion in 2008.
Concern has been expressed over the figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), with a warning that a termination can have an impact which “lasts a lifetime”.
The ONS stats also show that four in ten pregnant women under the age of 20 had an abortion, an increase of 12 per cent in just one decade. The figures are from the latest year available, 2008.
Though there has been a decrease in the rate of under 18 pregnancies, this does not come close to the 50 per cent cut targeted by the previous Labour Government.
Mike Judge, Head of Communications at The Christian Institute, warned that “young people hear that sexual activity is OK as long as it’s safe.
“But many end up not practising safe sex, and are left with an unwanted pregnancy”.
He said: “For many, the distress of an unwanted pregnancy and having an abortion, while they have yet to fully mature, can have an impact which lasts a lifetime.”
The ONS figures show that just under 22 per cent of all conceptions in England and Wales ended in an abortion in 2008.
A Department of Health spokesman said: “Abortions are traumatic and stressful and should never be seen as a form of contraception.
“Young women – and men – need to think about contraception before having sex.”
The Labour Government showered over £300m on measures to reduce teen pregnancies, which included pushing sex education and contraception to teenagers, but the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy has been slammed as “absolutely disastrous”.
Despite the colossal amount of money already spent on the scheme, the Family Planning Association’s Director of Information said continued financial investment is “essential”.
In 1999, when the Government announced their plan to halve teenage pregnancies, 45.1 out of every 1,000 under 18 girls became pregnant. In 2008 the figure was 40.7.