There are many short phrases that can impact a person’s life from “will you marry me” to “I love you” all the way down to “I’m pregnant” but when you’re a teenager hearing the last phrase is something that will change your life in a scary and shocking way. Nearly one million teen girls experience this shock each year when they come to find that their pregnancy test is positive. In our society today teenage pregnancy isn’t just a problem but an epidemic. Unfortunately I have seen all stages of the situation unfold recently when my best friend who is almost like a sister to me found out she was having a baby.
At the age of seventeen a normal teenage girl is deciding what dress to wear to prom or where they want to apply for their first job. But for my best friend Anna the first big decision she got to make was whether she should keep her baby or not. This choice lead her into a deep depression as different people in her life pressured her to make different choices. While her close friends told her to keep the baby the father of her baby and his family wanted her to abort it. After a long month of fighting over what to do she chose the baby’s life over the “love” of her boyfriend who ended up leaving after finding out she was not going to get an abortion. Sadly enough she is not the only one who has experienced this, unfortunately more than half of girls who become pregnant in their teens have to go down this path alone without the father of the baby in the picture.
It is apparent that becoming pregnant changed Anna’s life and her future as a whole. This happens to every teen mom weather they decide to keep the baby, get an abortion, or give their baby up for adoption their life is still changed forever. Theses girls went from a life where their parents made decisions for them to a life where they have to make parental decisions themselves. Overall teenage pregnancy is a social issue because it affects many aspects of life like economic wellbeing, the mother’s wellbeing, and the child’s wellbeing. If teenage pregnancy were reduced all of these problems would be reduced as well. Each year the United States is spending around eleven billion dollars as an affect of teen pregnancy. The US has to spend this much money because eighty percent of teen moms are on welfare. Economic wellbeing contributes to the reasons so many teen moms have to be supported by the government.
At such a young age these teens can not meet the demand for education in the job world while still caring for their new born. The national campaign sites that almost ninety percent of teens who did not get pregnant finish high school where as only fifty percent of teen moms get a high school diploma. The children of these mothers end up being affected by their mother’s struggles. From conception odds are against these children to succeed. At birth a teen mothers baby is at risk of low birth rate and infant mortality. Once the child gets passed these odds they have to deal with the struggles of being less prepared when they enter kindergarten because their mothers are less experienced on how to prepare their child. In later life sons of teen mothers are two times more likely to end up in prison than sons born to mothers over the age of twenty-one, this may be because of the absence of a father figure in their lives. Studies have also concluded that daughters of teen mothers are three times more likely to have a baby in their teens.
Teen pregnancies disturb our society today by using our tax dollars and affecting the success of our future generation. Not only is teenage pregnancy seen at school and in other public places it is also all over the television. Some say that the popular television shows sixteen and Pregnant glamorizes teen pregnancy and I would have to agree. Why should girls get rewarded for becoming pregnant as a teen and even become famous because of it? The answer is that they shouldn’t but in our world today sadly these girls hardships our becoming our generations entertainment. But it is not much of a loss to them as they are being paid a “reported $60,000 per season” according to OK magazine. Many teens who see the show sixteen and pregnant or see other pregnant teens think that it will never happen to them.
The fact of the matter is that my best friend was one of those people. Teenage pregnancy is not an issue that is going away in our society. Preventing teenage pregnancy will not only help our countries teenagers to have a more successful life but it will also help the children that will be our countries future to have a better life. The United States needs to stop putting this problem on the back burner and accepting it as “normal” and start to take action. In the world today the United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates doubling that Canada and five times the rate of Japan. American teens that are sexually active are becoming more and more careless.
Some suggest that these teens become pregnant because of the lack of education or lack of positive parental influences in teens lives. I think some teens just become so consumed with how “in love” they feel that they are with their boyfriend or girlfriend that they forget the consequences of their actions. America as a whole needs to find better ways to control teen pregnancy weather it be through education of the consequences or education of birth control. Because the true fact of the matter is that pre marital sex leads to broken homes, high school dropouts, and tough financial situations. These teens our still children themselves and should not make a decision that leaves them with the responsibility of another child’s life.