| Every day in developing countries, 20,000 girls under age 18 give birth. This amounts to 7.3 million births a year. And if all pregnancies are included, the number of adolescent pregnancies is much higher. When a girl becomes pregnant, her life can change radically. Her education may end and her job prospects diminish. She becomes more vulnerable to poverty and exclusion, and her health often suffers. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death among adolescent girls. Adolescent pregnancy is often not the result of a deliberate choice, but rather the absence of choices: It is a consequence of little or no access to school, information or health care. UNFPA works to address these issues by focusing on the protection and fulfilment of girls’ rights. This includes supporting comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health care to help girls avoid pregnancy. UNFPA also advocates supporting girls who become pregnant so they can return to school and reach their full potential.
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