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Thailand No. 2 in teen pregnancy cases

Thailand No. 2 in teen pregnancy cases
Gian St. James, who is a day old, lies in his crib before being presented at a press conference where his mother Aleta St. James, 56, announces her birth to twins at Mt. Sinai Hospital November 10, 2004 in New York City. St. James, sister of Guardian Angles founder Curtis Sliwa, became pregnant through in-vitro fertilization that involved donated eggs and sperm and is the oldest American to have ever delivered twins. (UPI Photo/Monika Graff) | License Photo

BANGKOK, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Thailand has the second highest pregnancy rate among 15- to 19-year-olds in the world, after South Africa, a Thai government official said Monday.

Samatchai Chomvinya, head of the Office of Welfare Promotion, Protection and Empowerment of Vulnerable Groups, said about 70 out of every 1,000 mid-teenage girls, or about 7 percent, already have children, the Bangkok Post reported.

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The report said World Health Organization figures show the global average number of pregnancies for every 1,000 young women in the 15-19 age group is 65. In Asia it is 56 but it rises to 70 in Thailand.

"Parents don't have time to take care of their children because they are busy working, while different media lack appropriate filters, encouraging teenagers to have sex too soon," Samatchai said.

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