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Fall in number of teenagers giving birth in Ireland

Since 2001, the number of teenagers giving birth in Ireland has fallen by 35 per cent. The number of women travelling to the UK for abortions is also declining.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald at the launch of the 2010 HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme 2010.
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald at the launch of the 2010 HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme 2010.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE NUMBER OF teenagers giving birth in Ireland reached a ten-year-low last year, according to the HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme’s annual report.

The number of births to teenagers has declined 35 percent – from 3,087 in 2001 to 2,019 in 2010.

2010 also saw the number and rate of abortions decrease for the ninth year in-a-row. The number of women giving Irish addresses at UK abortion clinics fell by 34 per cent, from 6,673 in 2001 to 4,402 in 2010.

There was also a decline in the numbers when figures from abortion clinics in the Netherlands were included in the data. Since 2005, there has been a more significant number of women travelling to the Netherlands for abortions.

Education

At the launch of the report today, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald announced the publication of new lesson plans for teachers as part of an education initiative, b4udecide.ie.

The programme, which carries the tagline “The Facts without the Lecture”, encourages younger teenagers to make responsible decisions about relationships and sex.

It was developed on the back of research which found that those who have sex before they are 17 are 70 per cent more likely to experience crisis pregnancy, three times more likely to report an STI and three times more likely to experience abortion.

According to the Crisis Pregnancy Programme, those who had sex before 17 were also more likely to wish they had waited longer.

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