There are hundreds of babies born each day. The scary and quite alarming fact about this is most of those moms are teenagers. Teen pregnancy has become an issue that affects numerous families in the United States. Planned Parenthood has reported an average of one million girls gets pregnant, and that is between the ages of 12-17. A staggering eighty-three percent of these pregnancies are to poor or low income families. Statistics have shown that seventy-eight percent of these pregnancies were unplanned and four out of ten were aborted.
Although the numbers have plunged from five years ago, they are still uncomfortably high. The issue of teen pregnancy needs to be addressed head on otherwise this sweeping trend will soon become a dangerous norm. In most cases the only individuals that are for this issue are the teen mothers, and hopefully fathers, while the vast majorities against it are the families, schools, and society the girls are surrounded with. It is believed that the reason most young ladies are in support of pregnancy varies from the inability to go through with an abortion to feeling the need to be accepted.
Teen fathers should be there for their girlfriends because they have also played a major role in the situation, but sadly a large number decide not to stick around. Families tend to be in opposition to the pregnancy due to financial and sometimes religious aspects. It is also difficult to comprehend the idea society has seemed to turn its back on teen moms when a solution is crucial at this time. The attention that is bringing much concern to this matter is the trend following it. Meaning, many younger girls are thinking it’s “in” to have children at a younger age and proceeds to multitudes of girls having babies at a very young age.
In result of this, more and more girls are getting a lower education due to dropping out of school. Also the expectations girls have for themselves and their lives are decreasing. A recent poll by Seventeen magazine revealed that five percent of teen moms go on to obtain a college degree. If that’s not shocking, more than half of teen moms go on to have a second child following the first. Along with this issue as a whole, a major concern is the fact that four out of ten pregnancies are aborted. This might not sounds like much, but when it is said in the thousands it is an extremely high number.
It appears that most girls are relying on the ability to abort rather than the pill or other forms of contraceptives. If these options weren’t out there then teenage sex would hardly be a concept let alone the increasing outcomes of teen pregnancy. Schools have been trying over the past decade or so to educate students on safe sex and awareness. However, this education hasn’t been enough to drive the rates down to an acceptable level. If the teaching of this matter is spread out more and the awareness of diseases is also brought up, the numbers of teenage pregnancy will decline along with it.
The media in some cases has brought attention to it, but has done it in a harmful way. In the summer of 2009, MTV kicked off a new series called “16 and Pregnant”. This show was to show the lives of girls who had gotten pregnant at 16. Most episodes revealed hardships each one went through and their decisions when it came to their unborn child. During the show there would be statistics on teen pregnancy and commercials about where to find help. All this seemed purely education until they continued the series for three more seasons as well as made a spin of series to showcase the growing lives of the first teen moms.
The problem with this media is most of the episodes are now giving girls the idea that it is acceptable to have a child at a young age and even though there are hardships, things will still work out one way or another. Personally, the thought has crossed my mind a time or two, but reality sets in when I see real moms at my high school struggling just to get their diploma and juggle all the stresses of a baby. The shift of focus that needs to happen is, unfortunately, more of the bad side of pregnancy and parenting need to be shown in order to “scare” our youth.
At the same time there isn’t profound public attention since this issue has never been fully addressed head on due to that fact it is a touchy subject. As with sweeping dirt under a rug for example, the more dust is swept under the rug the more it accumulates, then the problem becomes unbearable to manage. The same applies regarding teen pregnancy, the sooner education and a plan for the future is composed, the sooner this epidemic will come to a screeching halt. As long as individuals are armed with facts and have a driving force, the easier this issue will become obsolete.
Although I possess all this information, there is still a lot more investigating on this topic that could be done. Are there more prevention programs or assistance for the teen mothers and families that we don’t know about? What can the government do to eradicate teen pregnancy? In order to learn more about this, my plan would include searching the internet and possibly contacting Planned Parenthood to obtain these answers. The widespread trend of pregnancy extends further than just the teens it affects and society must handle this before it becomes intolerable.
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