THE TEENAGE pregnancy rate in Scotland has now fallen for 13 consecutive years – reaching its lowest level since records began. 

A report by Public Health Scotland puts the rate at 23.9 per 1000 women under 20 years old in 2020 – the equivalent of 3300 pregnancies. 

Women’s Health Minister Maree Todd said: “I am pleased to see that the rates of pregnancy in young people across Scotland have continued to reduce for the 13th year in a row.

“The ongoing dedication and support of community, health and education services means that rates are at their lowest level since reporting began in 1994.”

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The report also highlighted that rates have fallen rapidly in the most deprived areas which has helped to narrow the gap between the most and least deprived areas. 

However, in 2020, those living in places with the highest levels of deprivation still had teenage pregnancy rates five times higher than those in the most affluent areas, with a rate of 44.9 per 1000 women compared to just 9.

Termination is also becoming an increasingly common option for women under 20, with the report showing it is a slightly more popular choice than delivery. 

Teenage women from more deprived areas were also likelier to deliver than terminate their pregnancy. 

The Scottish Government published a pregnancy and parenthood in young people strategy in 2016. 

It addresses the fundamental causes of pregnancy in teenagers and highlights key factors for supporting young people who are vulnerable to pregnancy, including education, training and employment and the importance of positive relationships. 

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Todd added: “Through the delivery of the strategy, we are working to ensure that young parents have the support they need, to help them to reach their full potential and better lives for themselves and for their children. 

“We are continuing to provide support to young, first-time mothers aged 19 and under through the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) programme. 

“The programme aims to improve pregnancy and birth experience, child health and development and the economic stability of the family. 

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“Over 10,000 young mothers have benefited from FNP since it began, and over 6000 have graduated. 

“The programme reaches those most likely to be of the greatest need, with over 70% of those taking part living in more deprived areas.”