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Our new innovation/technology will be addressing the sexual and reproductive health of teens and younger adults. In the year 2017, women aged 15 to 19 years gave birth to 194,377 babies. Compared to year 2016, birth rates for women in 15 to17 years age group declined by10 percent and for those in 18 to 19 years age group, birth rates declined by 6 percent. Evidence suggests that the declines are due to more teens abstaining from sexual activity, and using more birth control lately. The teen pregnancy rate in the United States is still substantially higher than the other western countries.
Also, ethnic and geographic factors influence the teen birth rates (CDC.gov, 2019). There are immediate and long term impacts associated with the teen pregnancy and childbearing. Teen pregnancy and birth affect the literacy rates and are significant contributors to high school dropout rates among girls. Approximately 90 percent of women who give birth later in life graduate from high school whereas about 50 percent of teen mothers graduate from high school by 22 years of age.
Statistics show that the children of teenage mothers are more likely to have more health problems, lower school achievement and dropout of high school. They also have higher unemployment rates and give birth as a teenager like their mothers. They are also incarcerated at some point in time during adolescence as shown in statistics (CDC.gov, 2019)Compared to teenage boys who do not have children, teen fathers have a 25 to 30percent lower chances of graduating from high school (Youth.gov, n.d.). Babies born to girls under 15 years of age are at higher risk of having a low birth weight, anemia or born prematurely.
There is also higher incidence of infant mortality.
Some studies claim that there is a possible risk of a cephalopelvic disproportion meaning the baby’s head can be wider than the mother’s pelvic opening. This very young pregnant mother is also at a risk of developing pregnancy induced hypertension called preeclampsia (Americanpregnancy.com, 2019). Teen pregnancy and childbearing is associated with detrimental consequences for the adolescent parents, their children, and the society. When compared to children born to older parents, children born to adolescents face particular challenges. They are more likely to have poorer physical and mental health, educational outcomes that affect them for the rest of their lives. Statistics show that the teen childbearing costs the United States taxpayers $9.4 to $28 billion annually through public assistance payments, loss of tax revenue, and increased expenditures for public health care, foster care, and criminal justice services (HHS.gov, n.d.).
The Affordable Care Act of 2010 aims to improve access to healthcare services for everyone, including adolescents. The law expands health insurance coverage for teens, offers improved support for preventive services, builds better and innovative healthcare models, and ensures better clinical training for the healthcare staff. All the above efforts cumulatively have implications for teen and youth pregnancy in the United States(HHS.gov, n.d.). Statistics given above on the sexual and reproductive health of teens and young adults in the United States and its adverse impact on these individuals, their families and the society as a whole clearly show that there is a serious problem, and there is a need of an innovation to find a solution to this problem and guide these individuals towards the right direction.
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