Written Answers. - Teenage Pregnancies.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

239 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the number of teenage pregnancies in each of the past five years; if he has noted any trend in respect of which he proposes to take action; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1171/94]

The only measure of teenage pregnancies readily available to my Department is the number of live births to women under the age of 20. This information for each of the past five years is set out in the following table. The figures for 1989 and 1990 refer to live births which occurred during those years, whereas the provisional figures for 1991, 1992 and 1993 refer to live births registered during those years. The data shows that the number of births to teenage mothers as a percentage of total births increased from 4.6 per cent in 1989 to 5.3 per cent in 1991. This figure has remained unchanged since 1991.

Number and Percentage of Births to Women Under the Age of 20, 1989 to 1993

Year

Number

Total Births

Number as a % of Total

1989

2,379

52,018

4.6

1990

2,668

53,044

5.0

1991*

2,794

52,690

5.3

1992*

2,721

51,584

5.3

1993*

2,637

49,456

5.3

*Provisional figures.
The Health Promotion Unit of my Department, in conjunction with a number of health boards, has developed substantial programmes which specifically address the issues of parenting skills, sex education and teenage pregnancy and many schools are currently availing of these programmes.
The Deputy will also be aware that my colleague, the Minister for Education, established an Expert Group on Relationships and Sex Education in the school setting and their report is currently being urgently considered by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.