Ignorant young women end up in abortion clinics

23rd June 2008, Comments 0 comments

Non-existent sex education in schools and lack of knowledge about contraception see sharp increase in unwanted pregnancies among Spanish teenagers.

23 June 2008

MADRID - Almost non-existent sex education in schools, poor understanding of family planning and scant use of contraceptives are the principal causes of a sharp increase in unwanted pregnancies among Spanish teenagers in recent years, a new survey shows.

The poll, taken among 350 women under the age of 21 seeking abortions at the Dator Clinic in Madrid, highlights the serious lack of understanding about how to avoid pregnancies among girls and young women.

More than half of those seeking an abortion have little knowledge about contraceptive methods, and 21 percent do not regularly use any method of contraception.

"There is a serious lack of knowledge. Girls are confused, but, worse still, they are not conscious of the fact. They think they have all the information," says author of the study Gaël Lefevre.

Around 14,000 girls under the age of 19 aborted in Spain in 2006, accounting for approximately 14 percent of all terminations carried out nationwide.

A third were foreign girls, who family planning specialists note are often less knowledgeable about contraception than their native counterparts.

For example, 63 percent of foreign girls seeking an abortion say they do not know about the morning-after pill, compared to 14 percent of Spaniards.

[El Pais / Maria R. Sahuquillo / Expatica]

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