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Pregnancy line counsels 5,500

More than 5,500 women with a crisis pregnancy had 8,000 hours of counselling last year, new figures show.

The Crisis Pregnancy Programme said women attended 15 services it funds around the country, while thousands more received advice over the phone.

The largest age group attending services was 18- to 24-year-olds, with the average age being 23.

Dr Stephanie O'Keeffe, acting director, said providing sex education in school and in the home was the single most important thing that could be done to prevent unplanned pregnancies.