Teenage pregnancy rates hit a 43 year low! However, the excitement may only be short-lived according to a variety of campaigners.
The number of under 18s falling pregnant fell by a massive 9.5% – from 38,259 in 2009 to 34,633 in 2010 and the same piece of good news applies to the under 16s! The amount of conceptions in under 16s fell from 7,158 to 6,674, a fall of 6.8% which is also a pleasing figure. However, there has been a huge spike in the amount of people in their 40s becoming pregnant meaning that the average number of conceptions per. 1000 people actually rose to 35.5!
If you’re still confused, here’s a nice simple way to sum it up. The amount of pregnancies in the under 20s age group declined dramatically but every other age group saw an increase in conceptions with the biggest rise in the over 40s (an increase of 5.2%).
The chief executive of the FDA said that the decline in teenage pregnancies was to be welcomed and was down to “the dedicated work of professionals in relationship and sex education, contraception and local services.” Simon Blake also decided to comment on the dramatic decline by saying “”The focus on improving young people’s sexual health must be retained and we must continue to stay focused on what we know works; improving access to sexual health services, good quality sex and relationships education in school and the community and supporting parents to talk to their children about relationships.”
However, although the dramatic drop in teenage pregnancies may seem as a cause for a celebration, it actually isn’t when we look at the bigger picture. Labour had a 10 year plan in which they aimed to reduce overall pregnancy rates by 50%… the overall pregnancy rate fell by less than a quarter in 10 years. There also seems to be a huge lack in the amount of people becoming midwives. Jacque Gerrard commented on the situation about midwives by saying:
“We need thousands more midwives to meet the demands on maternity services, not just to cope with rising numbers of births, but also the increasing complexity of births such as rising numbers of older mothers and women with underlying medical conditions, and we need more midwives now.”
Who knows what the future holds for women becoming pregnant, we’re already dealing with a rapid increase in population which we cannot handle and this huge spike in the number of over 20s becoming pregnant is basically “adding insult to injury.”
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