LONDON (AP) — Teen pregnancies in the developing world are declining, but a United Nations report says more than 7 million girls under the age of 18 are still giving birth each year.
The U.N. Population Fund is concerned about the dangers facing girls 14 or younger, who account for 2 million of the 7.3 million births to women under 18 in developing countries. This group faces the gravest long-term social and health consequences from giving birth as teens.
The report looks at births to women under 18 worldwide, the underlying causes of teen pregnancy and what can be done to curb the problem.
The fund's executive director (Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin) says, "The reality is that adolescent pregnancy is most often not the result of a deliberate choice, but rather the absence of choices, and of circumstances beyond a girl's control." He says early pregnancies are "a consequence of little or no access to school, employment, quality information and health care."
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