Teenage abortion rate drops significantly

PUBLISHED: 13:30 03 June 2011 | UPDATED: 16:02 03 June 2011

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ABORTIONS rates among teenagers in North Somerset have dropped by more than a quarter, new figures have revealed.

Statistics released by the Department of Health show there were 47 terminations by girls aged under 18 in 2010, compared to 63 the year before.

The figures also show there was an overall drop in women having abortions, with 399 operations from 445 the previous year.

The decrease marks an achievement for NHS North Somerset, after the body set an action plan after bosses admitted concern over the high level of teenage abortions.

The organisation has continued its roll-out of No Worries clinics in schools and has attempted to provide easy access to long-lasting contraceptives.

The clinics, first introduced in Churchill and Wyvern Community Schools three years ago, give children the chance to get condoms and guidance about sexual health problems.

An NHS North Somerset spokesman said the organisation welcomed the fall in abortions.

He said: “Prevention is better than cure, and the evidence is clear that when men and women of all ages are given information and access to a variety of contraceptive methods, real reductions in unintended pregnancy rates, and consequently abortion rates, can be achieved.

“We are particularly pleased to see the reduction in the teenage abortion rate which suggests that the introduction of the No Worries outreach nurse and a targeted sex and relationship project are changing the way young people think about relationships and contraception.

“We need to continue to prioritise sexual health to ensure that in 2011 abortion rates show a further notable decrease.”

The statistics also showed that the majority of the 399 abortions reported in North Somerset were by people in the 20-24 age bracket, 104 in total.

Out of the total number of terminations, 391 were funded by the NHS and 75 per cent took place within the first ten weeks of pregnancy.

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