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FACTBOX - Teen pregnancy in Latin America

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 2 Sep 2011 11:46 PM
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 BOGOTA (TrustLaw) - Latin America has a high teenage pregnancy rate and it is considered a major public health issue.

Recently, regional health experts and government officials met in the Colombian city of Medellin to discuss ways to prevent teenage pregnancies.

They agreed that better and more widespread sex education in schools, easier access to birth control and healthcare, and involving teenagers to devise public campaigns on safer sex, were all proven initiatives that can help reduce the number of young mothers in Latin America.

 Here are some facts about teenage pregnancy in the region:

--In Bolivia, teenage pregnancies rose from 14.7 percent to 18 percent between 2003 and 2008.   

--Nine percent of girls under the age of 13 in Bolivia have been pregnant and/or are mothers.

--Around a quarter of teenage mothers in Ecuador have completed only primary school.

--In Venezuela, nearly a quarter of all babies are born to girls between 15 and 19 years of age.

--In El Salvador, teenage pregnancy is one of the leading causes of suicide among young girls.

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