Sunday, 27 February 2011

Teenage Pregnancy - what will the cuts mean?

Last week the Office National Statistics showed a reduction in teenage pregnancy rates for 2009. It was reported widely in publications from the British Medical Journal through to the Sunday Sun. Yes it is February 2011, and yes it was the data for 2009.

This timelag is really important to register because it will be 2012 before we get the teenage pregnancy data for 2010, and 2013 before we get the data for this year - 2011.

This data timelag means we won't have timely evidence of the devastating impact that savage cuts to young people's sexual health services, diminished support to for sex and relationships education alongside high youth unemployment will have on teenage pregnancy rates. If Local Authorities and the NHS do not prioritise teenage pregnancy and young people's sexual health the work force will be obliterated, the services available to them diminished and as a consequence teenage pregnancy rates will go up.

Footnote: I believe it is important to reduce teenage pregnancy and I know young people are very good parents with the right support, and support for young parents must not be compromised as a result of the cuts either.

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