Why are there fewer teenage mothers in NI? -Zimo News

Why are there fewer and fewer teenage mothers in Northern Ireland?

Luc Sprull

8 hours ago

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legend, In Northern Ireland, fewer teenagers have children than ever before

For the first time since records were recorded, the number of teenage girls born in Northern Ireland fell below 500 in a year.

this Latest data display In 2020, the live birth rate for mothers aged 19 and under was 489, higher than the 631 in 2019.

This is a significant drop from 1,170 people 10 years ago.

So, what are the factors behind this sharp decline and the current trend of declining adolescent births?

You might immediately think that the coronavirus pandemic is a factor: after all, it is more difficult to meet people and have children when the country is in lockdown.

But the first lockdown took effect at the end of March 2020, so when the stay-at-home order is in place, only children born at the end of the year will become pregnant.

Dr. Áine Aventin, a senior lecturer in sexual and reproductive health at Queen’s University Belfast, explained that there are many reasons for the sharp decline in teenage pregnancy rates in the past 10 years.

Contraception and sex education

Dr. Aventine said: “The average person now has easier access to contraceptives. You can buy them in supermarkets, which was not the case 20 years ago.”

“On the other hand, people can have more control over their contraceptive measures and more control over when they have children.”

In terms of interpersonal relations and sex education, Dr. Aventine said that although it is still imperfect, it has increased. She also pointed out that there is more information online for young people to access on their own.

“In the past ten years, all these changes and this way of obtaining information have really had an impact,” she said.

Social Changes

Teenage girls are now more likely to continue their education beyond the age of 16-is this a factor that makes them less likely to have children?

Dr. Aventine said: “Women who continue to go to school, then get employed and are financially independent are certainly also an important part of this.”

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legend, Contraception is more widespread than ever

In addition, there is a general trend of women having children in their later years.

The latest data shows that the average age of new mothers in 2020 is just over 31 years old, while in 1990 it was less than 28 years old.

Nearly a quarter (24.9%) of babies are mothers 35 years of age or older, up from 10.2% 30 years ago.

Dr. Aventine said: “The overall trend of planning a pregnancy is for women to give birth to older children.”

“In the 1990s and early 2000s, it was probably more common for women to have children in their early twenties or teens.”

Interest rates continue to fall?

For decades, abortion laws in Northern Ireland were much stricter than in other parts of the UK, but in October 2019, after a vote in Westminster earlier this year, abortion was legalized.

In March 2020, the British government released details of the new legal framework for abortion services, but the full service was ordered by the NI health department.

In April, some health trusts in Northern Ireland began to provide temporary services until the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, and the British government continued to provide funds for women in Northern Ireland to help them travel to England for abortions during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, there is an additional factor that women buy abortion pills online, which was also illegal before the legalization of abortion.

“There is a statistic hidden there,” Dr. Aventine said.

“It is estimated how many women can use these drugs before these drugs are legal.

“But we just don’t know how many women were visiting it at the time and are visiting it now.”

Official data from the Ministry of Health show that there were 22 abortions in Northern Ireland’s health service hospitals in 2019-2020, of which 2 occurred in women aged 24 and below.

“In my opinion, this does not represent the number of abortions that have occurred,” explained Dr. Aventine.

“I want to say that more women are taking drugs online.”

When asked whether the birth rate will continue to decline, Dr. Aventine said there is still room for further decline.

“There will always be women who decide to give birth early, there will always be unwanted pregnancies, that’s it, but I think it will continue to decline anyway.”

Related topics

  • abortion
  • NI Health
  • Abortion in Northern Ireland
  • young people
  • pregnant

More about this story

  • Timeline: Abortion in Northern Ireland

    October 4


article Why are there fewer teenage mothers in NI? First appeared in Zimo News.

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