Number of Islington teen pregnancies halved in five years

Teenage pregnancy

Teenage pregnancy - Credit: Archant

But three in four girls are choosing abortion

Cllr Janet Burgess

Cllr Janet Burgess - Credit: Archant

Teenage pregnancy rates in the borough are a third of what they were 15 years ago, figures show.

Fewer girls aged 18 and under conceived in 2013 than ever before with 57 pregnancies compared to 163 in 1998 and 117 in 2009.

Maternity amongst girls under 16 has halved in the two years with 11 in 2013 compared to 24 in 2011.

The 2013 figure of two per cent of teenage girls in the borough conceiving is below the national average of 2.5pc of girls in the age group.

However, the abortion rate among teenagers getting pregnant was the highest since at least 1998 with three in every four pregnancies leading to abortion.

Cllr Janet Burgess, Islington Council’s executive member for health and wellbeing, said: “It’s encouraging that Islington’s teenage pregnancy rates are continuing to fall.

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“Islington has a strong teenage pregnancy prevention programme, which includes sex and relationship education, access to contraception and targeted support for young people.

“We’ll continue our work to improve school attainment, increase aspirations and support young families.”

Nationally the percentage of girls under the age of 18 terminating their pregnancies has risen to 50.7pc, but Islington is well above the national average with 73.7pc of pregnancies ending in abortion. Celia Wyatt, executive director of Islington unplanned pregnancy and abortion support charity Choices, said the figures were concerning.

“Young women can find that everyone has an opinion about their pregnancy making it difficult for them to know what they really think themselves.

“We have spoken with some young women who feel that, although they might want to continue the pregnancy, this is being irresponsible and selfish.

“However, from our work providing post abortion support, often years later, we know that for some a termination during their teenage years can continue to be a source of emotional pain and confusion with feelings of sadness, regret and loss, which in some can lead to depression and anxiety.”