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OPINION

Teen Pregnancy
By: Lisa W., Grade 11, Crescent Collegiate, Blaketown, NF


Teen pregnancy is very common all over the world.

Teens from the ages of ten to nineteen years old babies are having babies. In a sense, babies are having babies. Pregnancy and giving birth to a child is a very big responsibility. Many teens that become pregnant have abortions, put their babies up for adoption, or just do not take care of them at all. Is it right for teens to be getting pregnant at such a young age? Why is this happening in our society where there is so much education available? These are questions that are asked throughout the world.

How bad is the problem? The United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and births in the world. Four out of ten young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of twenty. Eight out of ten of these pregnancies are unintended (The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2000).

The teen birth rate has decreased since 1991 to 1998 with a decline of 18 percent for teens aged fifteen to nineteen. It is said that the younger a teenage girl is when she has sexual intercourse for the first time, the more likely she is to have had unwanted or non-voluntary sexual intercourse. Close to four out of ten girls who had intercourse at thirteen or fourteen years of age was either non-voluntary or unwanted.

The person who suffers the consequences the most are the teen mothers themselves. Teen mothers are less likely to complete and graduate high school and more likely to end up on welfare. If they give the baby up, when they grow older they are more likely to be sorry for giving their babies up and want them back.

Studies have shown that sons of teen mothers are thirteen percent more likely to end up in prison while teen daughters are twenty-two percent more likely to become teen mothers themselves.

Young teens who have having babies should ensure that, when their baby grows up, they teach him/her not to make the same mistake that they did. They should tell them to wait until they are ready to have sex, and have a partner that they know they will be with for a very long time. It is definitely not necessary for teens to become pregnant at such a young age.

Teen pregnancy can be prevented in many ways. Some of the reasons given as to why some teen girls do not get pregnant or have sex at a early age are: itís against their religious or moral values; they don't want to get sexually transmitted diseases or haven't met an appropriate partner. Three out of four girls say that they only have sexual intercourse because their boyfriends want them to.

Many teens who have already had sexual intercourse, including boys and girls, say they wish they could have waited. This is because doing such activity at a young age could more then likely ruin your life. Many babies that are being born today grow up not having a father. One reason for this is because the mothers are promiscuous, and have no idea who the father could be. Another reason is that the fathers doesn't want the responsibility of taking care of their babies so they run away from their responsibilities and most times never come back.

Many babies are being born premature. "Why?" is a question that some people ask. This is because the mothers do not take care of their own bodies. Some of this leads to babies dying. Babies die because of a lot of reasons. Some of these reasons may include having diseases such as H.I.V. Babies also die of a disease called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a disease that infants may or can get it their mothers drink heavily during the pregnancy.

This disease can lead to death or serious health problems. Sometimes, when babies are born with this disease they get a hole in their heart and surgery has to be performed on them immediately. Babies may also get diseases from drugs that their parents used during pregnancy or intercourse. Low birth weight of a baby doubles the chances that a child will have some kind of disability. Although these are the most common reasons for children being born premature, there are many, many more.

In my opinion, teen pregnancy is not right and can be prevented. A teen should know the responsibilities of having a child and how it affects the life of the baby and themselves. If a teen is to have a baby he or she has the right to look after it, take care of it, love it, and give it shelter. They created the baby so they should live with the consequences and difficulties of taking care of it and being a parent.

There is so much education available in our society today. Teens who have babies do not end up with a good education as their peers because they are unable to finish school. Education is very important, and when you become a parent, that is also important, too. Through support and determine, teen mothers can get an education and take care of their child, as well.

LINK:

National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2000


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