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bpas comment on ONS conception statistics 2014

Clare Murphy, Director of External Affairs at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, bpas, said:

"Over the last decade we have seen a dramatic decline in teenage pregnancy rates. Better access to contraception and sex education have undoubtedly played a significant role but cannot alone be the sole factors. Wider shifts in teenage behaviours and aspirations may also be reflected in the conception rate. The plummeting level of teenage drinking, for example, may be reducing the likelihood of unprotected sex, and teenagers are also increasingly socialising online, limiting the opportunities for sexual activity.

"As we have seen decreases in conception rates among the under-25s, the largest rise was for women aged 35-39 (a percentage increase of 2.3%). Women are increasingly being chivvied about starting their families in their 20s, but the reality is many will wait until their 30s to do so. The reasons for this are diverse and will include the time it takes to obtain financial and career security, and not least finding the right person to embark on parenthood with. Rather than chastising women, we should support their choices. There may be some increased risks with later motherhood, but these need to be kept well in perspective, and women respected as the best judges of when it is best for them to have children."

ENDS

The full data set for Conceptions in England and Wales: 2014 can be found online here.

For more information please contact the bpas press office on 0207 061 3377 or 07788 725185 or email press@bpas.org

About bpas
bpas is a charity which sees more than 70,000 women a year and provides reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception, at clinics across the UK. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. More information can be found at bpas.org.