An investigation is to be carried out to determine whether strategies aimed at reducing Scotland's teenage pregnancy rate are working.
Duncan McNeil, the convener of Holyrood's Health and Sport Committee, said teenage pregnancy was an issue which could have a long-lasting effect on generations of young women and their children.
MSPs on the committee will also look at what support is available for young girls most at risk of becoming pregnant and those who do have a baby while very young themselves.
Figures published in June showed a key Scottish Government target for reducing pregnancies among under-16s was missed. Ministers had hoped to cut the cut the pregnancy rate in this age group to 6.8 pregnancies per 1,000 girls by 2010. But the pregnancy rate for that year was 7.1 per 1,000 - the same as it had been in 2009.
The country has a higher rate of teenage pregnancy than most other western European countries, with teenage girls living in the most deprived areas of Scotland four times more likely to become pregnant than those living in the most affluent areas.
The number of teenagers who have a baby is approximately 10 times higher in the most deprived areas than it is in the least deprived communities - with 64.7 deliveries per 1,000 young women in the poorest parts of Scotland compared to just 6.2 per 1,000 in the most affluent areas.
Latest statistics showed that in 2010 NHS Fife had the highest teenage pregnancy rate for the under-16s, at 9.2 per 1,000, and under-18s, at 47.7 per 1,000. The highest rate for under-20s was in the NHS Ayrshire and Arran area at 59.7 per 1,000.
Mr McNeil said: "Whilst there is general consensus over the fact that we need to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies, it is clear that there are no quick fixes or easy answers.
"Both local and national strategies are in place to try to reduce teenage pregnancy, but this inquiry will try and see if they are working, particularly because the reasons behind teenage pregnancy are complex and often linked to a number of factors."
The committee will consider what barriers are in place that may prevent the level of teenage pregnancies from being reduced, as well as if there are specific approaches aimed at preventing teenage pregnancies which are not getting enough attention.