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Island teenage pregnancy rate "much lower" than UK

Petition calling for free condoms for teenagers

The Isle of Man has a much lower rate of teenage pregnancy than England.

Public Health Director Dr Henrietta Ewart says until recently it hasn't been possible to access this information.

However, with the Abortion Reform Act coming in last year, it now means such data is available.

Dr Ewart  says initial findings would suggest the under 18 conception rate for the Island is 3.7 per thousand, compared with 16.7 per thousand for England:

Meanwhile, free condoms in schools would need to be part of a bigger strategy providing sexual health education.

That's the response from Education Minister Dr Alex Allinson to a petition calling for condoms to be made freely available for the Island's 16-18 year olds.

It's been started by a sixth former who claims that for some young people, condoms cost too much to buy and it's too difficult to access them.

Dr Allinson says it's important this discussion goes further than just discussing contraception:

You can watch Dr Allinson's full interview with Manx Radio's Beth Espey below:

 

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