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Long-term contraception urged

Changes to Scotland's family planning strategy will see women encouraged to use longer-term alternatives to the contraceptive pill.

The new strategy is expected to be launched by health minister Shona Robison in the spring in a bid to cut the growing number of unwanted pregnancies.

The Scotland on Sunday newspaper reported a Scottish Government spokeswoman as saying: "The campaign will feature all types of long-lasting, reversible contraception; injections, coil and implants.

"The aim will be to reduce unintended pregnancies, because of the low failure rate and high reliability rates of these methods."

Long-acting reversible methods that last from three months to five years will be promoted to about 250,000 Scottish women aged between 18 and 40 who currently use the pill.

A minority of Scottish women of child-bearing age currently use implants and injections. There were 13,703 terminations carried out last year.

The new strategy is expected to cost ministers about £270,000 a year to publicise.

Copyright © Press Association 2008

Scottish government