Teenage pregnancy is one of the major factors that affect population growth in the Philippines. It is considered as one of the major problems of the government is facing of today. According to the Government statistics records, teenage pregnancy cases rise up to 70% over 10 years only. These alarming cases caught the attention of some lawmakers. The very best example solution that the government made this year was the passage of RH Bill or the Reproductive Health Bill. This bill aims to free access of use of contraceptives, fertility control, sexual education, and maternal care. The government conceived this as the solution to the problem. Others may see it as helpful but others also contradicts it. Teenage pregnancy is continue growing and really affects our economic status.
This concept paper aims to discuss the effects of rising early pregnancy cases and how it affects our economy. This will discuss also some cases of adolescent mothers and what kind of life do they have as teenage parents.
III. Scope and Presentation of Data
This is the latest statistical data provided by the National Statistic Office (NSO) released last October 19, 2011. It shows here that the population of teenage mothers was increased by 70% from 1999 to 2009 period only.
1999 – 114,205
2000 – 126,025
2009 – 195,662
Studies show that in 2009, total live births reached to 1.745 million, which break down to a daily average of 4,782 births and 478 of mothers giving birth were teenagers. From the survey conducted by the Young Adults Fertility Survey (YAFS), 16% of the women aging 15-24 years old have had premarital sex and the average age for the females who had their first sexual encounter is 18.
It shows here that teenage pregnancy happens mostly in the poor families compare to rich families.
Philippines is the third highest rate of early teenage pregnancy among youths aging 15-19 years old compared to our neighboring countries. Teenage mothers have little information and experiences compared to matured ones. Mostly, teenage parents have less capacity to raise a family because they lack of education and hardly provide basic necessity for their family. With these reasons, growth in poverty cases also increases. These factors affect our economy.
With today’s alarming sudden growth of population, our economy is really affected by this factor. The government has to find ways in order to sustain the needs for everyday living of every individual. Population growth can lead to the economic problems referring to the scarcity of resources.
With the sample cases stated above, it just show that having a family at an early age such as teenage can lead to poverty. According to some surveys teenage parents came from poor families, that when they started their family at an early age, there’s no doubt for them to have a poor or even worse family condition than what they have experienced. Mostly of the teenage parents did not go to college or even finished high school. With this kind of educational attainment, it will be really hard for them to find a good job that will offer a nice salary. Most teenage parents can be seen in squatters area, some living with their parents, others renting a small room and really find it hard to make their life better or out of poverty.
What are the causes of teenage pregnancy? Causes of teenage pregnancy are occuring due to following reasons according toFox(2008):
Consequence of raging hormones. Most teenagers experience sudden and hitherto unknown emotions and feelings during their early puberty. All this, coupled with a sudden sense of new-found freedom and sexuality, results in many of them giving vent to their feelings through sexual expressions and experiences. Of course, most countries stress on sex education in schools, but yet, some teenagers involve themselves in unsafe sex, which could lead to unwanted pregnancies.
Peer pressure. A lot of teenagers indulge in early sexual behavior due to peer pressure. This is due to the fact that they feel the great need to be ‘hip’ and ‘accepted’ by their circle of friends. The only way they could probably achieve that would be by having a boyfriend or girlfriend or at least by dating and indulging in sexual acts often.
Contraceptive Failure. Though there are many types and brands of contraceptives and emergency birth control pills easily available in the market, these are never a guarantee for complete safety. Only Mother Nature knows when she might want to get into action, so no form of birth control is going to be completely foolproof! (Fox, July 18,2008).
Other causes of teenage pregnancy are:
1. Lack of parental guidance.
2. Inadequate knowledge about safe sex.
3. Exploitation by older men.
4. Socio economic factors.
5. Glamorization of pregnancy.
6. Teenage drinking.
7. Sexual abuse or rape.
8. Inconsistent use of birth control.
9. Abstinence – only sex education.
10. Psychological factors. (Fox, July 18,2008)
After the causes what will be the effect of having rapid growth of teenage pregnancy cases in our economy? Well of course if teenage pregnancy cases increases, it just symbolizes that more teenagers are not finishing their school and don’t continue to college, which results to increase of unemployment, that could lead to increase in poverty. If more teenagers are engaging to such kind of life, they cannot able to support their own family because of lacking of knowledge and skills to make them meet the needed income to raise their family. Because of these, the government will spend lots of money to support them. Instead of spending it to other projects that might increase our economic status it will be provided for them. And an increase in early pregnancy will results in rapid growth of population that might have a scarcity with the resources.
How can we prevent it? Prevention? It all depends on how the child is reared. The environment she is exposed to. The culture she grew up in.