Pros and Cons of Teenage Pregnancy

Submitted by Jenifer on January 18, 2013

As the problems of teen drug abuse, unsafe sex and alcoholism continue to increase, it is no wonder that teen pregnancy rates are on the rise as well. The US has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies in the industrialized world and this is hardly something to be proud of. Teenage pregnancies come along with a whole set of accompanying social, economic and personal problems. Understanding what the cons of teenage pregnancy are may help youngsters make informed decisions about their health and their lives.

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The Cons of Teenage Pregnancy:

  • One of the biggest consequences of teenage pregnancy is the impact it has on the young mother’s education. Faced with overwhelming problems such as financial constraints, reliable childcare, and lack of parental support, young girls are often left with no other option but to quit school. Health problems associated with pregnancy may also force girls to quit school or spend time away from their education. This soon develops into a vicious cycle where a lack of education results in a reduction of employment opportunities and lowered socio-economic status. This may explain the high numbers of teen mothers who then resort to drug or alcohol abuse as coping mechanisms.
  • Pregnancy is a trying time for most. While adults are better equipped to deal with the aches, pains, stress and discomfort of a pregnancy, young girls do not have the physical or emotional maturity to deal with the dramatic changes in their bodies. When very young girls get pregnant (14 years and below) there may even be physical difficulties regarding childbirth as their pelvis and muscles are not fully developed to deal with a pregnancy. Teens are also more likely to die during childbirth than women in the 20s and older.
  • Dealing with a teenage pregnancy is difficult for all members of the family. There are only a few parents who may be happy with the news of a teen pregnancy. A new baby also puts extra pressure on the parents who may have to support both mother and child in the immediate future. Siblings are also affected both emotionally and psychologically by a teenage pregnancy.
  • If one asks teen mothers what they regret the most about having a child early, the biggest complaint is that they missed out on their childhood. Having a baby when all your friends are out partying, traveling or playing a sport can be unbearable. When the baby arrives, the mother has to shift her entire focus to looking after the baby and making a life for the both of them. Teenage pregnancy forces children to grow up faster than necessary.
  • Teenage pregnancy costs the country more than $9 billion in the public health care sector and child welfare costs.

After understanding the disadvantages, discussing the pros of teenage pregnancy may seem like an oxymoron. If you think hard enough the only possible advantage of a teen pregnancy may be the perks of having a child when young and growing up along with him or her. Being a young parent may be easier for some due to higher energy levels and enthusiasm. That said, there are really not many other benefits to teenage pregnancy. Teens are simply not equipped to be parents and caring for a child is a life-long commitment.

Instead efforts should be made to prevent the increasing numbers of teen pregnancies by:

  • Offering sex education to children and teens that includes information about abstinence and contraception.
  • Developing youth programs that improve self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Providing free and safe contraception to teens.
  • Involving parents, peers and religious institutions in inculcating values in teens and educating them about the risks involved with practicing unsafe sex.
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