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Teenage Pregnancy

Many teenagers face hard and risky decisions in their everyday lives. Not only does school affect their educational lives, but outside those lives teens are affected by constant repetition of substance abuse with their peers and unwanted pregnancies for girls. Not only are peers influential, but teenagers are represented and influenced by the media; whether it is through television, music, news, or any other means there is always some type of news relating to teenage pregnancies. Here are statistics on the trend (Sources below the page):

The United States has the highest rates of teenage pregnancies in the world. It costs the nation about $7 billion annually (Family First Aid).

"I wouldn't want to have a baby at this time,", said Rodrigo Perdomo, a 20-year-old male that goes to school at ITT-Tech. "It's too much responsibility for me right now. I would have to spend so much money for one child, and I can't afford that, especially now since I have stacks of student loans that I need to pay".

80% of pregnancies are unintentional (Teen Help). In 2006, 750,000 women younger than 20 became pregnant. The pregnancy rate was 71.5 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15–19, and pregnancies occurred among about 7% of women in this age-group (Institute).

In 2005, the U.S. teenage pregnancy rate reached its lowest point in more than 30 years (69.5), down 41% since its peak in 1990 (116.9). However, in 2006, the rate increased for the first time in more than a decade, rising 3%. However, after substantial declines in the proportion of teens who had ever had sex between 1995 and 2002, the level did not change significantly from 2002 to 2006–2008 (Institute). 

Many teens are waiting to have sex. Teens have been waiting longer to have sex than they did in the recent past. In 2006–2008, some 11% of never-married females aged 15–19 and 14% of never-married males that age had had sex before age 15, compared with 19% and 21%, respectively, in 1995 (Institute).

There are many reasons why teenage girls do not want to have a pregnancy. The top reason was because it was "against their religion or morals"(Center for Disease Control). Following other options included: ‘‘Don’t want to get
pregnant’’; ‘‘Don’t want to get a sexually transmitted disease’’; ‘‘Haven’t found the right person yet’’; ‘‘In a relationship, but waiting for the right time’’; and ‘‘Other.’’

It is important for teens not to overlook this issue because there are plenty of unwanted pregnancies. These pregnancies can have an effect on the individual, the partner, the family, and especially the nation. The individual may or may not be prepared when it comes to raising a child. There are many responsibilities that come with the maternal role. 

What if the family is not able to support their daughter, let alone her child? The outcomes that comes with these decisions can be devastating. The partner may end up abandoning the partner and the child. The family has another burden on their shoulders. Taxpayer money is being spent on teenage pregnancies that most of the time is unwanted and unintentional. Respectively, raising a family at a very young age needs to be carefully thought about. The economic recession makes it really hard to even buy food. Nowadays it is possible to imagine that teen girls are afraid of the factors that come along with pregnancy.

Of course, there are other events that happen that is understandable is raising a child. There is rape and sexual abuse between family members.

The safest way to prevent this trend from growing is practicing sexual abstinence. However, for a sexually active teen, the best way to prevent a pregnancy is to use contraception and protection. Condoms and birth control are easily accessible in the market.

Please be aware that being pregnant won't fix any situation. 

MTV features "16 and Pregnant", a show about teenage girls who are under 18 and pregnant. The shows features the lives of those girls who are struggling with their lives while at the same time trying to feed a baby. 

Again, respectively not all outcomes turn out to be the worst. Families have supported their daughters and grandchildren with everything they need.

"At first, my parents were angry and frustrated, and I didn't know how to react to them. My boyfriend and I were going through some problems and I didn't know how to cope with those issues. After a couple of months, they were helping me through the process." This is what Maria Serna, a 17-year-old mother of two girls had to say about her experiences. "After I had my first child, they were both happy and grateful. The second child I had they were ecstatic!".

Remember that sex is only for a time. A baby is for a lifetime.

Sources:

Campaign, The National. The National Campaign . 2002. 08 November 2011 <http://thenationalcampaign.org>.

Center for Disease Control. Teenagers in the United States: Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Childbearing, 2002. Vers. 23. December 200. 08 November 2011 <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_23/sr23_024.pdf>.

Family First Aid . Teen Pregnancy Stats, Facts and Prevention. n.d. 08 November 2011 <http://www.familyfirstaid.org/teen-pregnancy.html>.

Institute, Guttmacher. Facts on American Teens' Sexual and Reproductive Health. August 2001. 8 November 2011 <http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/FB-ATSRH.html>.

New Teen Pregnancy Rates in the U.S. 08 September 2011 . 8 November 2011 <http://www.pregnantteenhelp.org/statistics/new-teen-pregnancy-rates-in-the-u-s/>.
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