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bpas comment on ONS Quarterly Conceptions to Women Aged Under 18

Data released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that teenage pregnancy rate in England and Wales continues to fall. The overall teenage pregnancy rate stood at 23.3 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 17 in Q2 2014, compared to 33.3 in the same period during 2011.

A bpas spokesperson said:

"Contrary to popular perception, this data shows that the teenage pregnancy rate is falling dramatically in England and Wales. While the UK has historically had a high teenage conception rate, it is now at its lowest level on record and not significantly out of step with other European countries.

"We have seen a huge decline in the number of babies born to teenage mothers over the last decade, in part due to the improvements we’ve seen in contraception advice and services for younger women, with straightforward access to abortion services when their chosen method lets them down. But it also reflects broader societal shifts, with younger women quite rightly expecting and able to pursue educational and professional ambitions. 

"While we must absolutely work to reduce unplanned teenage pregnancy, we must also recognise that there will always be younger women who do want to have a child at this stage in their lives and actively plan to do so. We should not stigmatise this group of women but instead ensure they have all the support they need to make the choices that are right for them. "

ENDS

For further information please contact the bpas press office on 0207 061 3377 or press@bpas.org

The full set of data, Quarterly Conceptions to Women Aged Under 18, England and Wales, Quarter 2 April to June 2014, is available online here.

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.