Underage pregnancy crisis: 14,176 girls aged 10 to 14 fall pregnant in four years
More than 14,000 girls between the age of 10 and 14 have fallen pregnant over the past four years in SA.
Dr Manala Makua, chief director of women’s, maternal and reproductive health in the national health department, revealed the shocking numbers this week, City Press reported on Sunday.
The 14,176 girls who fell pregnant between April 2017 and March 2021 were technically raped as the age of consent in SA for boys and girls is 16, according to legislation.
Parliament’s portfolio committee on women, youth and people with disabilities has condemned the impregnation of young girls and teenagers. It wants the perpetrators to face the full might of the law, TimesLIVE reported a week ago.
Committee chairperson Nonhlanhla Ncube-Ndaba said the impregnation of young girls was another form of gender-based violence (GBV) that required urgent government attention.
Ncube-Ndaba was reacting to statistics from the health department which revealed that at least 23,000 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 fell pregnant between April 2020 and March 2021.
The health department said of the reported pregnancies, around 3,000 girls opted to terminate their pregnancies.
TimesLIVE has reported on some of the tragic stories behind the 23,000 teenage pregnancies recorded in the past year.