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Funding cuts could reverse fall in teenage pregnancy rate, warn experts

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d1762 (Published 17 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1762
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Gains from a decade of action to cut teenage pregnancy rates in England must not be allowed to be reversed, health experts have told a seminar in London. Sexual health services for young people need to be given a high priority under the government’s planned shake-up of public health, with proper funding and staffing, they said.

Around 90 experts from organisations including the NHS, local government, universities, and charities joined the Westminster Health Forum seminar “Tackling Teenage Pregnancy” on 15 March.

Alison Hadley, head of the Department for Education’s teenage pregnancy unit, told the seminar that the previous Labour government’s 10 year strategy to cut the teenage pregnancy rate had achieved “real progress.”

Though England continues to have the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in western Europe, the rate is at its lowest in 30 years, having fallen 18% in the past 10 years. There were 36 000 pregnancies in women under 18 years old in …

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