11 Basic Facts About Teenage Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be a very difficult time. It is a time when your body undergoes a lot of physical change. More importantly, bringing a child into the world is a huge responsibility. You need to be prepared for a lot of work – taking care of your health, your baby’s health, and managing everyday life. Considering these and other factors, the decision to become a mother can be a difficult one. A woman can bear a child as soon as she begins menstruating. However, it is important to carefully plan your pregnancy.
Teenage pregnancies are quite common, especially in the United States. Let’s look at some basic facts:
- 750,000 teenagers every year get pregnant in the United States of America.
- This teen pregnancy number is the highest in the world, beating other countries like England or Canada.
- Over 100 teenagers in every 1000 get pregnant. The number is 113, to be precise.
- These births account for 11 per cent of the births in the US.
- Over a whopping 80 per cent of these births are unplanned. Unplanned or unexpected means contraception was not used while having sex, and has resulted in a pregnancy.
- Nearly a third of these pregnancies end in abortions.
- Most of the teen births and pregnancies happen between ages 17 to 19.
- One in every 3 girls under 20 gives birth to a child.
- Girls born to teenage mothers are more likely to become teenage mothers themselves.
- Education is impacted in a big way by teenage pregnancies. Of every three teenage mothers, only one gets her high-school diploma.
- Most teenagers who become teenage mothers say they are pressured into having sex.
Teenage girls think ‘they are expected to have sex’ if they are dating. Social studies show that not only are girls of teenage mothers more likely to become teenage mothers but boys of teenage mothers are also more likely to go to prison early on in life. Sex education plays a very important role for such children. Schools need to make available all possible means of a support system to allow teenage girls to make the right decisions. There is a lot of stigma attached to abortions in some parts of the US, and in such states, the birth rate for teenage mothers is the highest.
Teenage mothers also need to be aware of the cost of giving birth and raising a child so young. The cost of living rises for the teenage mother who is unable to fend for herself. She slowly starts depending on the social welfare schemes, shifting the burden onto the government. The US government is believed to have spent figures close to US$ 9 billion on public sector health care and child welfare alone in the last few years.
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