The Dilemma of Pregnant Teens

January 14, 2010
By Anonymous

At present, there are about 730,000 teen pregnancies and more than 400,000 teen births annually according to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned pregnancy. Although the teen pregnancy rate has declined 38% between 1990 and 2004 and the teen birth rate has declined by about one third between 1991 and 2007, there is still a large issue with teens becoming pregnant. Even so, three in ten girls in the United States become pregnant by age 20 and the teen birth rate is now on the rise after 14 straight years of decline.

Some people say, well it’s the teen’s choice to do whatever they want with their bodies, and yes there is no law governing what people do to their bodies, so why should it be our problem? Well According to the National Campaign To prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, teen childbearing in the United States costs taxpayers (federal, state, and local) at least $9.1 billion dollars. This is due to healthcare, adoption, and foster homes for these new babies.

It is not only an issue for the tax payers of America, but also for the young women. After pregnancy, teens are left with a feeling of loneliness, depression, and feeling as if they are not as good as everyone else. This leads to falling grade point averages and high school drop outs, because they can’t deal with the taunting. Less than half of young teen mothers (age 17 and younger) ever graduate from high school and fewer than 2% earn a college degree by age 30. There is also a medical danger for teen mothers, many are too afraid to go to a hospital so they practice at home births which have a higher stillborn rate.

The children of teen mothers also have a lower rate of success than those of mothers who graduated before conceiving. Babies born to teen mothers are not given many of the same opportunities of babies born to 20 and older mothers. Many of the babies are neglected, abused, or blamed for the mother’s failures. They are also sometimes murdered, or dropped off in a hospital, facing mental and physical challenges.

So what can we do to stop it? If we as a nation teach sex education in public school, that includes types of contraception, such as birth control, and condoms, the teen pregnancy will once again decline. Some schools already teach abstinence, but if that’s all that teens know then they won’t know about the other types of contraception, meaning they will continue to not use them. If we continue to keep sex a silent issue then it will be just like the gag rule in Congress with slavery, it won’t get resolved. So if we as a nation start talking about sex, and how to prevent STD’s and pregnancy then maybe we have a chance of change. Isn’t that what this whole new decade is about, changing the ways of the old? We can save billions of dollars as well as have a higher graduation rate if we put this plan into progress.

Teen pregnancy is not going to go away by itself. We need to make this issue known, and try solutions to fix it. Teen pregnancy causes many families heartache and leaves many kids alone. So if we continue to pretend it’s not there, it is just going to get worse.

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