Teen pregnancy is a rising epidemic not only in America, but throughout the entire world. There are various reasons why it has been ever growing, such as no access to contraceptives, lack of sex education, and talking about sex is considered taboo. Although teen pregnancy rates have lowered over the years, STD cases are at an alltime high, according to the CDC. There are countless ways to deal with teen pregnancy. In today’s world, it is essential in promoting safety among children, as countless programs have contributed into trying to solve this ever increasing dilemma.
First and foremost, teens tend to base their actions off emotions, which lead to poorly judged decisions, such as succumbing to peer pressure. Teens mainly make their actions off what that they believe is love. Sex is a normal thing for teen couple nowadays, but not all teens are being safe. Most teens prefer having sex without protection, using the withdrawal method otherwise known as the “pull-out method” since they do not have access to condoms.
Although, condoms are relatively cheap and are even given out for free at some facilities across the United states, most teens are embarrassed to buy or ask for them because of the taboo of sex amongst teens. Condoms serve as protection of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. According to planned parenthood condoms are 98% effective in preventing pregnancy, however in the real world it is about an 85% chance of preventing pregnancy on how people use them. Peer pressure leads to teens not using condoms, which results in unwanted pregnancies.
Nevertheless, poor decision making involves use of alcoholic averages and drugs. Throughout the years, substance abuse has risen to 1 tenth of the market leading to people under age 21. Availability is ever growing in schools and communities and even in high schools according to the CDC :“About half of 9th through 12th grade students reported ever having used marijuana”. This increase in drug usage can increase the chance of unplanned pregnancies, according to the US National Library of Medicine. With continued drug use, and pregnancy, infants have the potential to develop health problems and have related diseases such as Fetal alcohol syndrome. The disorders associated with this disorder can include behavioral, social, and physical issues which can affect the baby as it ages. Other risks with previous exposure to drugs or cigarettes can include issues with the heart artery as reported by the U.S department of Health and human services.
Moreover, various issues can arise with a teen pregnancy. Premature birth is when the birth happens before the 37th week of pregnancy. This can happen in response to not receiving enough nutrients or vitamins during pregnancy. In some occasions, they don’t have the knowledge in taking medication such as prenatal vitamins and the baby does not come out healthy. Another reason is by not having sufficient family support. In the past times, women who were not married were shamed for getting pregnant. Now teens who get pregnant are shamed because they cannot support their baby and leave the job to their family. According to the U.S News drop out rates for girls aged 15-19 are about 30%. Only 51 % of pregnant teens actually have a high school diploma, compared to 89% of non-pregnant teens. The result of this is that pregnant teens tend to struggle more financially without a high school diploma and have difficulties acquiring a stable job to support their baby. Not all men stick around and raise their children, especially if it was an accident and they have different priorities. Single mothers make up 58% of households with children.
The effect of babies is evident because it can hurt a family financially if they are not ready. An option available to pregnant women is abortion, becoming legal in 1973. This allows women to terminate their pregnancy, within the first 28 of the fetus forming. In today’s society, abortion is extremely controversial as their are pro-choice advocates and pro-life advocates. One side argues that the fetus deserves to live, while others believe it is the mothers choice on what she does with her body. Over 12 % of all abortions are from adolescents for many reasons. Planned parenthood is a non profit organization that helps teenagers and provides them with advice, the option to clinics and contraceptives in preventing pregnancy. This nationwide program understands that teens are sexually active and just tries to prevent unwanted pregnancies and give options but also look out for the safety in preventing STDs. The main reason that teens abort is that they see it as a burden and cannot support the baby. Other reasons for abortion include health concerns for the baby such as deformities. According to planned parenthoods: “Overall, 1 in 4 women in the U.S. will have an abortion by the time they’re 45 years old.” Another option for pregnant teens is giving up their baby for adoption. According to an online source named Csmonitor : “the 1.1 million American teen-age girls who get pregnant each year, less than 2 percent put their babies up for adoption. About half of the teens have abortions. Most of the rest – 58 percent single parents”. The main reason that teens give their baby up for adoption is that they do not believe in ‘killing’ the fetus and and want to give it a chance to live their life since they cannot financially support the baby.
Consequently, there are many reasons as to why teenagers get pregnant, whether planned or unplanned, but our goal is to spread awareness through our community and give them alternatives and make them aware of other choices. Concerns about health and safety are what we have for our age group, the adolescents of the United States, so our objective is to promote these core values expressed in this essay.
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