HC Deb 09 January 2001 vol 360 c539W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action the Government are taking to ensure that pregnant teenagers receive free impartial advice about(a) abortion and (b) motherhood. [144185]

Yvette Cooper

[holding answer 8 January 2001]: On 2 January I announced 15 Sure Start Plus pilots. These are new programmes in health action zones with high teenage pregnancy rates and where there are Sure Start programmes that will start delivering services over the next few months. In these pilot areas, personal advisers will ensure that pregnant teenagers have access to comprehensive and impartial advice and counselling in the early stages of pregnancy so they are able to make informed decisions, including whether to continue with the pregnancy, adoption or abortion. The personal advisers will also co-ordinate a support package for new parents, both mothers and fathers, tailored to their individual needs, to help them back into education and employment as well as with healthcare and parenting.

In all other areas, local teenage pregnancy co-ordinators will shortly be developing comprehensive service checklists, as part of local co-ordinated teenage pregnancy strategies between health and local authorities. These will be aimed at young people and professionals whose client groups include young people, and will include details of local services that provide early advice and counselling to pregnant teenagers, and services that provide a range of support, including parenting skills, to teenage parents.

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