Oxford

Oxfordshire teenage pregnancy rates fall

The number of young women becoming pregnant in Oxfordshire is decreasing, new figures suggest.

The Office for National Statistics found 26.1 per 1,000 women in the county aged between 15 and 17 became pregnant in 2009.

That was 31% below the national average of 38.2.

Louise Chapman, head of children, young people and families at Oxfordshire County Council, said: "We can continue to reduce this number year on year."

The 2009 conception rate was 23.5% lower than it was in 2005, when figures stood at 34.1 per 1,000.

While NHS Oxfordshire described rates as "persistently higher" in parts of Oxford and Banbury, it said these numbers were still well below the national average.

Clare Dodwell, teenage pregnancy co-ordinator for NHS Oxfordshire and the council, said: "Whilst we should be encouraged by the pattern of reduction it is clear that we still have much to achieve.

"Today's figures for 2009 show how important it is to prioritise the work and to make sure every single young person in Oxfordshire knows where to go for advice and contraceptive services."

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