Rise of 32% over a decade in teenagers terminating pregnancies

THE number of teenagers having abortions in Scotland has risen by almost a third in a decade.

Figures from ISD Scotland, an NHS statistical support service, showed a rise in the number of under-16s having abortions – from 336 in 1997 to 442 in 2007.

Women aged under 20 had 3,725 abortions in 2007, compared with 2,884 in 1997.

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And the number of woman under the age of 20 giving birth fell from 5,975 to 5,658.

"Over the years there has been a change in the balance between teenage conceptions which are aborted and those which continue to delivery," the report said. "In the under-18 and under-20 age groups the rate of abortion has risen slightly but still remains considerably lower than the delivery rate.

"In the under-16 age group the abortion rate has been higher than the delivery rate since 2001."

The Scottish Government has said it aims to reduce the pregnancy rate in under-16s by 20 per cent, taking it from 8.5 per 1,000 in 1995 to 6.8 next year.

The most recent figures from 2007 put the rate at 8.1 per 1,000 – the same as in 2006.

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