Had a letter from a constituent recently, attributing the rise in teenage pregnancies to young women's desire to get a council house and lots of benefits. I pointed out to her that the stats actually related to a rise in teenage conception rates and in fact fewer babies are being born to teenage mothers, because more of them are choosing to have terminations. Separate debate to be had of course as to why teenage conception rates are going up, and here I reiterate a point I touched on in my 'women's issues' post - it takes two to make a baby, and we'd do well to pay a bit more attention to the boys, who play a not insignificant part in the process.
In yesterday's G2 Zoe Williams wrote of her shock at discovering she was 20 weeks pregnant. She'd assumed she was having an early menopause ("I'm 35, it does happen... I read it in the Daily Mail"). I also have a friend who discovered she was pregnant for the first time at the age of 38, and no she didn't do it accidentally on purpose. ("I believed the Daily Mail! I thought I was over the hill!") Thankfully her boyfriend was far less freaked out by it than she was, and it all worked out happily ever after.
Can I suggest that just as teenage magazines warn their readers that yes, you can get pregnant the first time you have sex, the Daily Mail has a duty to warn its readers that women over the age of 35 can and do have babies? Quite often, in fact. Even the 'career women' who 'forgot to have them' earlier?