By Graeme Wilson - Contraceptives are to be more easily available for children under Labour's latest drive to tackle teenage pregnancy and social exclusion, Tony Blair pledged yesterday.
The controversial move is part of a campaign that will focus on areas where teenage pregnancy rates are rising.
Ministers are understood to be examining ways of making contraceptives more affordable for young people as well as of encouraging boys and young men to use condoms.
More details of the Government's plans will be spelt out next week when the Government publishes a new strategy paper on teenage pregnancy.
The flurry of activity reflects growing alarm in Downing Street that the number of teenage pregnancies has risen by nearly 12 per cent over the past decade, despite a string of initiatives.
Delivering a speech on social exclusion, the Prime Minister admitted that the Government had only made limited progress in tackling teenage pregnancy since coming to power nine years ago. Figures published last month showed that Labour missed its target of cutting the number of teenage pregnancies by 15 per cent between 1998 and 2004.
Mr Blair conceded that more needed to be done because teenage parents were more likely to end up "unemployed, have mental health problems and themselves have children who have babies as teenagers".
Speaking at a Joseph Rowntree Foundation conference in York, he added: "We will focus efforts on teenage pregnancy on those areas where rates are rising. We will begin an expanded media campaign and offer better access to contraceptives where appropriate."
But his comments were greeted with dismay last night by groups who are pressing ministers to adopt a new approach.
Anastasia de Waal, the head of family and education at the Right-wing think-tank Civitas, said: "There is already a huge emphasis on contraception and the Government should be doing more to show children the adverse outcomes of teenage pregnancy."
A Saudi aggression fighter jet targeted a citizen's car driving in Fara area of Kutaf district in Saada province overnight, killing the driver and injuring his friend, a security official said on Monday.
Scores of Saudi enemy soldiers were killed and injured on Sunday when the army and popular forces repelled a Saudi military attempt to sneak into Shurfah site in the border province of Najran, a military official said.
The operation was accomplished successfully against the Saudi
Saudi aggression warplanes have launched more than 49 airstrikes over the past hours on several residential areas across Yemen, a security official said on Sunday.
The airstrikes targeted the areas of Malahiz and Husama in Dhahir district, and areas Thuban, Masahif and Sdad in Bakim district of northern Saada province.