Many experts suggested that a multitude of factors are taking part in the increase, but a majority of them are pointing to the socio-economic problems in the provinces where the rates have skyrocketed. One of the problems is that teenage girls are more likely to get pregnant sooner when they have fewer job and education opportunities provided to them, to postpone having a child. Lucia O’Sullivan, who is a psychology professor at the University of New Brunswick and also holds a Canada Research Chair in Adolescents’ Sexual Health Behavior, has voiced her opinion about the socio-economic problems that are occurring in New Brunswick, that she believes leads teenage girls to have children early on in their lives. In Bielski, Z., & Bielski, Z. (2018, May 11), O’Sullivan concurs, ‘That’s how the broader socio-economic context gets translated to the individual psyche: Do young people have a vision of the future that is positive? Do they have long-term goals that are worth delaying childbearing for? When young people have a future orientation that is positive – ‘There are good things ahead for me,’ ‘I can go far,’ ‘I need to delay some immediate things for long-term reward’ – then we find that they look after their sexual health better. They either delay intercourse, or, more likely, they contracept better.’ Basically, if teens do not see a bright future for themselves, they tend to focus on their immediate lives. Beyond the socio-economic standpoint, others wondered if contraception and sex education played a role in the increasing rates. New Brunswick introduced a continuous sex education curriculum for elementary and middle schools students in the early 2000’s. Many argued that this was not the primary issue for the increase in rates. As for contraception, research that was done in the United States states that teenage pregnancy rates dropped when individuals are young, and women in poverty have greater access to reversible, long-term contraception such as implants and IUDs. This latter is not available in Canada. O’Sullivan has said that women are put under all of this pressure to be the ones to take care of things such as birth control because there isn’t a great option for males, besides the use of condoms.
Overall, it seems that most citizens in Canada would agree that teens need to delay childbearing and focus on their futures. To get a steady, high-paying job you need to earn a degree and some teens are more worried about getting pregnant than their academic futures. Canada does provide services and education about sex to children in its schools, but students need to continue and finish school in order to learn about the correct way to go about their lives, as far as not getting pregnant and preparing to get a job in order to provide for a family in the future.
In comparison to most developed and industrial nations, Europe has the most varying and fluctuating rates of teenage pregnancy. Although the overall rate is indeed decreasing. Prevalence of teenage pregnancy (2019, November 29) said, for example, in the United Kingdom, the rate of adolescent pregnancy in 2002 was as high as 100.4 per one thousand among young women living in the London Borough of Lambeth and as low as 20.2 per one thousand among residents in the Midlands local authority area of Rutland, similarly, in Italy, the teenage birth rate in central regions is only 3.3 per one thousand, but, in the Mezzogiorno, it is 10.0 per one thousand. In European countries, teenage pregnancy and mothers are often associated with social and economic issues such as the abuse of drugs and alcohol. According to Prevalence of teenage pregnancy. (2019, November 29), across thirteen different countries, it was found that women and men who decide to have a baby as teenagers are twice as more likely to live in poverty compared to couples who decide to wait until their twenties. In the European Union, the two countries that have the greatest proportion of teenage mothers are Romania and Bulgaria. Fueling this problem is the utter lack of respect for women and the oppressive sexist culture in some countries. According to Harris, C. (2017, September 2), nearly one thousand births in Bulgaria and Romania in 2015 were to girls between the ages of ten and fourteen. Irene Donadio, spokeswoman for the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPFF) said, “It is extremely high and it shows to me there is something seriously wrong in the society when you have so many girls of that age.” This was referring to the fact that one thousand births in Romania and Bulgaria were from girls ages ten to fourteen. This made many wonders if consent was truly valued and respected in these countries. Or how much a choice these girls had in the sexual act itself or of the termination of the pregnancy altogether.
The European countries are the only countries that have some of the highest teenage pregnancy rates as well as the youngest ages at which the girls give birth, ten to fourteen. The fact that the girls are so young makes many wonder about consent laws and if there are even any at all. These girls do have the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPFF), which is helping to protect and assist them as best as they can.
When it comes to teenage pregnancy in poor and developing countries, it is a whole different story. In most developing countries, teenage girls don’t have control over their bodies and their sexual and reproductive health is often at risk. The girls are under a considerable amount of pressure to marry early and have children when they are often children themselves. According to Teenage pregnancy (2010), approximately ninety percent of births to girls aged fifteen to nineteen in developing countries occur within early marriage where there is often an imbalance of power, no access to contraception, and pressure on girls to prove their fertility.