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Teenage Pregnancy

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to reduce the conception rate among those under the age of 18. (240726)

I have been asked to reply.

Since the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy was launched in 1999, there has been a steady decline in the under-18 conception rate. Latest annual data (2006) show a rate of 40.6 conceptions per 1,000 females aged 15 to 17, a fall of 12.9 per cent. from the 1998 baseline rate. The 2006 under-18 conception rate is the lowest for over 20 years.

Tackling England's high rate of teenage pregnancy rates remains a Government priority and we are determined to reduce rates further, using the lessons from local areas where rates have fallen fastest to drive progress. At a national level, the key focus will be on:

strong performance management of the minority of local areas where rates are static or increasing;

using new funding from the Department of Health to improve sexually active teenagers' access to effective contraception;

implementing the recommendations from the recent review of sex and relationships education (SRE) in schools; and

strengthening our communications to young people and parents.