Teenage pregnancy rate on the decline

Going up: Teenage pregnancies have risen in Preston. Picture posed by a model

Going up: Teenage pregnancies have risen in Preston. Picture posed by a model

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The teen pregnancy rate in Blackpool has fallen for the third year in a row, it has been revealed.

Some 95 girls aged from 15 to 17 conceived in 2014, the latest Office for National Statistics figures showed.

Young parents have a higher risk of poorer outcomes

In 2013 that figure was 108 and in 2012 it was 112, although the number of those having abortions increased from 42 per cent to 43.2 per cent in the same time.

The conception rate for under-16s in the resort also fell, from 61 girls in 2011/13 to 55 from in 2012/14.

Those having abortions fell from 68.9 per cent in 2011/13 to 60 per cent in 2012/14, the data showed.

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet secretary of Blackpool Council said: “This is the lowest rate of teenage pregnancies in Blackpool since records began, and proves that the work we do with young people is having a positive effect.

“We’re happy that the trend of teenage pregnancies continues to fall and they demonstrate what a good job that the council, NHS Blackpool and the voluntary sector are doing to improve young people’s lives.

“Teenage pregnancy in Blackpool has been an issue for a long time but our close work with young people around intervention and education, particularly around helping them make informed and healthier choices with regards to their sexual health, as well as work with partner agencies and long acting reversible contraception choices has helped to bring that down significantly.”

Nationally, the teenage pregnancy rate dipped to its lowest level since records began in 1969.

Genevieve Edwards, director of policy at reproductive health charity Marie Stopes UK, said: “The percentage of conceptions leading to abortion increased in 2014 for all age groups under 40, which means we must redouble efforts to make contraception accessible to all women.

“Too often, women are limited to short-term, less effective methods like the pill.

“We must invest in training for GPs and clinics to offer all methods with confidence, giving women real control over their fertility.”

Natika Halil, chief executive of sexual health charity FPA, added: “Not all teenage pregnancies are unplanned or unwanted, but young people who become parents under 18 have a higher risk of poorer health, education, economic and social outcomes.”