HC Deb 05 April 2001 vol 366 cc270-1W
Dr. Tonge

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the current level of teenage pregnancy in the UK. [156169]

Yvette Cooper

The Office for National Statistics published details of conception rates for 1999, including those among teenagers, on 22 March. To coincide with publication of the data, a statement was issued by this Department (press release 2001–0143).

The statistics show that in England, conception rates among the under 16s fell by seven per cent., and by four per cent. among the under 18s. This is encouraging news. However, our rates remain high and we cannot afford to be complacent. That is why we are stepping up our programme to tackle teenage pregnancy.

Action planned for the next six months includes: an assessment of advice and contraception services; providing sex and relationship education in all young offender institutions; issuing new guidance on involving young people in devising teenage pregnancy strategies and for youth workers and social workers on their role in preventing teenage pregnancy; and providing information to all areas about local projects which are already making an impact.

Information about levels of teenage pregnancy in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is available from the devolved administrations.