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Government Failed to Prevent Rising Teen Pregnancies

The Government's campaign had failed to hand out morning-after pills to teenagers.This was revealed by the rising number of teenage pregnancies.// The campaign has neither reduced conception nor abortion rates.

Besides this the government has been accused of fuelling record levels of sexually transmitted diseases.

From 2002 it has been reported that the Government has spent £ 138million on its Teenage Pregnancy Strategy that gives teens easy access to the pills in pharmacies, as well as in schools.

Over the past six years there has been an immense rise in the use of pills, doubling in the past six years. However research from around the world has revealed that it has little or no effect on reducing unplanned pregnancies.

This was the damning handed out by sexual health expert Professor Anna Glasier, an advocate of the strategy in the early 1990s However she now admits that she was mistaken. She says, "Emergency contraception has been heralded as the solution to rising abortion rates - it's not."

Although ministers have promised to halve teenage pregnancy rates by 2010, figures last month revealed that the number of under-18s conceiving in England has risen by nearly 12 per cent in ten years, to 39,545 in 2004.

According to Professor Glasier there was now conclusive evidence from ten studies, including her own research that the policy had failed.

She said that at least 66,500 abortions should have been prevented in 2004 alone if it had worked. There has been a rise in abortion rates between 1984 and 2004 by 50 per cent, reaching a record of 185,000, which is the highest in Western Europe.

In 2001 the morning-after pill, taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, was made available without prescription to teens over-16.

Several clinics based at secondary schools offer the morning after pill to pupils or may arrange fast-tracked doctors' appointments.

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