Uttlesford: Teenage pregnancy rates fall, but the number of abortions is at 14-year high
Teenage pregnancy rates in Uttlesford have fallen again but the number of abortions is at a 14-year high.
The rise in terminations is mirrored by a drop in conceptions – which are at an historic low, according to Public Health England.
Of the 16 under-18 conceptions in 2012, the most recent figures available, 87.5 per cent led to abortions – the largest recorded since 1998 and the second highest rate in the country behind East Hertfordshire.
In 1998 69.2 per cent of the 26 girls who fell pregnant had terminations, while ten years ago the figure had fallen to 52.6 per cent – its lowest level during the intervening period.
The upward trend in abortion levels is reflected across the county, but only marginally, with 53.3 per cent of the 600 teenagers who fell pregnant opting for termination in 2012.
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In 1998, 48.4 per cent of the 841 under-18 conceptions led to abortions.
“The percentage of terminations is reducing at a good rate and we are continuing to target vulnerable groups around these issues,” said a County Hall spokesman.
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“We are also working closely with sexual health service providers to ensure swift follow up following a termination and best advice on contraception.”
The authority highlighted the drop in pregnancy in the district, which has fallen from 30 conceptions in 2010 to 16 in 2012.
Uttlesford’s teenage pregnancy rate for 2012 is 9.8 per 1,000 girls aged 15-17 and remains one of the lowest in the country. It is well below the national average of 27.7 girls per 1,000 and a regional average of 23.2 for the same period.