Counterpoint: Teenage Mothers

Counterpoint: Teenage Mothers

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Belfast, Derry, Eastern Health Board, Londonderry, Western Health Board




Transmission 17/01/1991


24min 57sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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Presenter Jacqui Berkeley explores the topic of Teenage Mothers.

Focusing on single teens, the programme features interviews with single mothers and those they interact with - staff from the Western and South Eastern Health and Social Care Trusts, the family planning unit, a parents advice clinic and members of both the Catholic and Presbyterian churches. 

It is stated that one in five children is born to an unmarried mother. Dr Gabriel Scally gives three reasons on why he personally believes this to be the case. First, he thinks that the young people today are having sexual relationships at an earlier age. Second, that due to the media, image of sex are more readily available and promoted and, thirdly, that there is a lack of sex education for young people. 

Dr Bill McConnell is introduced next, followed by Audrey Simpson from the Family Planning Association. Pamela Lockie from the Presbyterian church draws a correlation between teen pregnancy rates and rates of unemployment. Fr. Michael McGinnity, a family ministry coordinator, makes a distinction between sex and 'sex education' and sex as part of a loving marriage.

Three teenage mothers are introduced, Margaret Johnston, Maureen Poland and Geraldine Townsend. All three believe their child is at no more of a disadvantage than any other child, however all agree that money is tight.

The episode also features interviews with Pip Jaffa from the Parents Advice Centre, Roisin Bensons, Sister Brid and Dr Carolyn McKinley. 



Presented Jacqui Berkeley
Directed by Lynne Davidson
Produced by Tony Curry




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