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Conceivable opportunities

EASIER access to contraception has not reduced the teenage pregnancy rate and may even have increased it, according to a new study. It said that improving education and work prospects would be more effective in tackling the problem. Last year, the Government's advisory group on teenage pregnancies recommended that young people under the age of consent should be able to receive the pill and condoms at school. But David Paton of Nottingham University business school said: "Family planning raises the likelihood of engaging in sexual activity in the first place." His research tracked trends from 1984 to 1997 in 16 areas of Britain.

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