News, Fall in teen pregnancies welcome but not due to greater provision of contraception

London, 28 February 2012: Statistics which suggest a fall in teenage pregnancies are welcome but are attributed wrongly to greater provision of contraception, says the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).

SPUC was responding to new figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/conception-statistics--england-and-wales/2010/index.html

Professor David Paton, professor of industrial economics at Nottingham University Business School, said: "The fall in conception rates to minors is to be welcomed. The decrease in the rate of conceptions ending in abortion for under-16s over the past three years is particularly good news, although it is still higher than in 1999, when the last government introduced its Teenage Pregnancy Strategy. Since that time, there appears to be no correlation at all between changes to contraceptive services for young people and changes in the conception rate. For example, the number of contraceptive clinic sessions offered specifically for young people was static in 2010 following increases in previous years. Despite this, the teenage conception rate continued to fall in 2010."

Professor Paton continued: "Indeed, Anne Milton, the health minister, just last week stated the following when questioned about recent cuts to contraception services: 'Statistics on conceptions ... and abortions ... do not suggest that any recent changes to contraception provision offered by PCTs has had an impact on the number or rate of conceptions or abortions.' This bears out studies in the peer-reviewed literature which show that access to birth control (and in particular the morning-after pill) has little or no causal effect in reducing teenage pregnancy rates", concluded Professor Paton.

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