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Every year about 850,000 teens get pregnant. Are you willing to be just one of those numbers? Are you willing to pay the price of a teen pregnancy?
Three out of ten teenagers get pregnant at least once before they reach the age of twenty. About 2/3 of them said that they wished they had waited to lose their virginity. Most teens may think that they are protected because they’ve taken all the precautionary measures. Besides there’s no way that you’ll get pregnant the first time, I mean the odds are better than that right? Anyway, isn’t everyone doing it?
Seventy-five percent of teens don’t think it’s embarrassing to admit that they are a virgin. And despite what people say, only 42% of girls and 43% of boys are actually having sex. If the time ever comes that you have a boyfriend or girlfriend that is pressuring you to have sex, they may just be testing you. The reality is that 85% of guys and 78% of girls, ages 15-18 say that they have “more respect for someone who stops a hook-up if they aren’t ready or are uncomfortable.” If it is not just a test, and they are still persisting if you have said “no,” if they are threatening to break up with you unless you do it, then keep this in mind: they obviously do not care about your feelings, or your limits, and are clearly not someone that you should stay with.
For those of you who have ever seen the movie, She’s the Man, that crazy principal guy, yeah, he was right and stressed a very legit and crucial point when he rambled on “Abstinence is key. The best way to not is...to not.” The best way to prevent a teen pregnancy is abstinence.
But let’s face it, abstinence is not happening. The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world. It is double the pregnancies of France and Germany and 4 times that of Japan. And because of this the United States is suffering financially. Forty billion dollars are spent every year to support teen moms. Nine billion dollars of this comes from taxes, meaning that everyday citizens are paying extra for the mistakes of pregnant teens. Do you remember how close we were to government failure that would have resulted in thousands of people losing their jobs and income to support their families? Yeah, 40 billion dollars could help a whole lot in this situation. I agree that teen moms do need this money, but if there were less teen moms, then the amount of money that had to be spent would decrease rapidly.
But money isn’t the only thing lost by the astronomic number of teen pregnancies. By becoming pregnant, the time a person has to just be a teenager vanishes. Do you enjoy hanging out with your friends? Going to the movies, hanging out at the park, talking and laughing together. The second that a baby is born, that ends for teen moms. Teen moms just don’t have time for friends anymore. All of their time is consumed by a screaming baby that constantly demands their attention. Sleepless nights spent trying to stop the wailing will become frequent and headaches and exhaustion become regular.
It becomes time for them to step up and take responsibility. Once a person becomes pregnant their life is no longer about them. They have someone else to take care of, someone that is constantly demanding their attention, someone who is their responsibility. The days of fun and careless behavior become things of the past, and their time as a regular teen is over. Can you imagine what it would be like to raise a child while still a child yourself? Most pregnant teens basically have nine months to mature a lot, enough to reach the maturity level of a much older adult so that they can raise a child, losing the rest of their time as a carefree adolescent.
Out of all teen pregnancies, only 57% of them end in birth, and only about 54% of teen moms actually go through until the end and raise their child. The lives and situations of these teen moms and their children vary for each person. Sometimes things will work out, but most of the time it doesn’t. There are so many different scenarios that could be an end result to a teen pregnancy, such as a mom who remains living with her parents, or a mom that never really grew up and ends up having more kids as a single mom, setting a terrible example for her children. Sometimes things will work out for, but it is rare.
Either way, the life of a teen mom is never easy. Teen pregnancy is the leading cause for students dropping out of school. Less than 1/3 of teen moms actually graduate. If you think that high school is hard now, can you imagine what it would be like trying to support a child at the same time? Teen moms who drop out of high school only make on average $18,000 a year, adding up to only $720,000 over forty years. Compare that to the income of someone who did not have a baby and went on to graduate from high school. Most high school graduates make about $27,000 a year and $1,080,000 over 40 years--it’s more than double! How on earth could you support both yourself and a little baby with only $18,000 a year? Just the cost of actually giving birth is extremely high. Then add in the costs of raising the baby. Diapers alone cost about $70 per month, plus everything else; food, clothes, a bed, and housing...it all adds up and often results in debts.
And teen moms can’t always count on help from the father to help them raise that child. Most fathers bail on the mom the second she tells them the words “I’m pregnant.” Only two in ten stay with mom. Only 20% marry the mother of their child. Leaving 80% of teen fathers who on average only contribute $800 dollars a year. They rarely even know their child and leave the mother to raise the baby on her own, with little to no contact.
The baby is yet another person who has to pay for the mistakes of two teens who wanted to have sex while in high school instead of waiting until they are married. Think of a baby before you have sex--no matter what precautions you take. Think of the baby that was unwanted but still brought into this world, who has to be raised without a father, only having their mom. Think of the baby whose life becomes conformed around statistics and stereo types. Because the fact is that children of teen moms are 50% more likely to repeat a grade, daughters of teen moms are three times as likely to become teen moms themselves and the sons of teen moms are twice as likely to end up in jail. Just think of the baby!
Before you even have sex, consider something else, the things that could happen to you. Ever heard of AIDS or Syphilis? Both are examples of some of the more common STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases.) STDs are both extremely gross and disgusting with terrible, painful, and sometimes even fatal consequences. By having sex, you put yourself at risk for these types of diseases. Diseases like Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that can cause cervical cancer. Or Hepatitis B where the just mildest cases can result in fever, headache, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. Every year 592.2 cases per 100,000 are detected in sexually active teens. Most STDs have no cure, and once you’ve got it, you'll always have it. There are people all around you, in your town, possibly even in your school that have an STD, and chancing of getting one are extremely high for sexually active teens.
Having a baby has some huge health risks, especially for someone under the age of twenty. Most pregnant teens have not fully matured, and it is extremely difficult for them to carry a baby. So many things could go wrong with a pregnancy and even more during the delivery. The maternal death rate in the United States is about 18 out of one hundred; and over half of those deaths are teens. But even with that in mind, one fourth of teen moms end up having another kid within 24 months of the birth of their first child.
The death rates of the children of pregnant teens are much higher. About 35 % of teen pregnancies, and 15-20% of all pregnancies, end in miscarriage. 80% of all miscarriages occur before 12 weeks from causes such as chromosomal abnormalities, collagen vascular disease, hormonal problems, infection, and abnormalities of the uterus. If a miscarriage occurs after 20 weeks, the mother must give birth. It is referred to as stillbirths and is extremely difficult for the mother. Miscarriages are just one of the possible outcomes that should be considered before sex.
In my opinion, sex just isn’t worth it. There are so many consequences that come with it. Just because condoms and birth control pills are used doesn’t mean that it won’t end in pregnancy. Read the label! It tells you right there that they are not 100% effective in preventing pregnancies. Are you willing to put your trust and your future in that?
Call me old fashioned, but I think that abstinence is key. I made up my mind years ago that I am not going to have sex until I am married. The power to create life should not be taken lightly and is something that should be saved for the one person you truly love. Isn’t it just more special that way? I personally am not willing to pay the prices of premarital sex, be it STDs or pregnancies and all that comes with it (miscarriage, debt, health risks, being a single mom, etc.) I have chosen to wait because to me, premarital sex is just not worth it.