Britain is worst in Europe for teenage pregnancy rates
- By: Kay Brennan
Britain has the second highest teenage birth rate in the developed world, according to a new report from the United Nations.
The United States is the only country with a higher proportion of teenage mothers, with 52 per 1000 compared with 32/1000 in the United Kingdom. The lowest birth rates were found in Korea, Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Sweden, where less than 7 girls per 1000 gave birth.
A league table of teenage births in rich nations, a report compiled by Unicef's Innocenti research centre in Florence, Italy, says the United Kingdom's rate is alarmingly high and blames the British culture of secrecy and embarrassment over sex. The report quotes one British teenager who told Tony Blair that, although contraceptive advice and services are formally available, “It seems as if sex is compulsory but contraception is illegal.”
The findings support campaigners who believe there is a need for more