Pregnant at 10: stats paint ‘tragic’ picture

Primary schoolgirls as young as ten are becoming pregnant, according to newly released shocking statistics.

Between the years 2000 and 2007 more than a dozen girls aged ten became pregnant.

In the same period almost 40 girls aged eleven were found to be pregnant, figures released under a Freedom of Information request show.

The figures also show that there were an alarming 60,000 pregnancies for children under 16 between 2000 and 2007.

The data have been described as “tragic”.

Previously the youngest girl in the UK who was known to be pregnant conceived at eleven and gave birth at twelve.

The new information doesn’t give the whole picture as the number of pregnancies which ended in an illegal abortion or were miscarried are not shown.

However it is known from separate Government statistics that over half of under-age pregnant girls have an abortion.

Frank Furedi, Sociology Professor at the University of Kent, said the figures show “the consequences of the sexualisation of childhood”.

And Norman Wells, Director of the Family Education Trust, said as a result of “grossly irresponsible” sex education in schools, children are becoming sexually active at an early age when they would not otherwise have done so.

Anastasia de Waal, of think-tank Civitas, said: “We have kids behaving as adults, not realising the complications.

“Often the girls feel they have to have sex to please their older boyfriends.”

In July last year it emerged that a Government-backed project designed to curb teenage pregnancies has seen them more than double.

The Young People’s Development Programme tried to reduce conceptions, drug abuse and truancy among vulnerable young people, at a cost of £2,500 each.

But at the end of the scheme there were more teenage pregnancies among the youngsters who had taken part than among a comparable group who hadn’t.

In March a scheme encouraging schoolgirls as young as 11 to request the morning-after pill by text message was unveiled at Oxfordshire secondary schools, a move labelled as “sadly mistaken” by the Family Education Trust.

The Government’s Teenage Pregnancy Strategy aimed to cut the 1998 rate of teen conceptions in half by this year. But it has failed.

The strategy includes handing out contraceptives and information about sex to young people.

Economics Professor David Paton has described it as “absolutely disastrous”.

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