Teen pregnancy has been an ongoing issue in the United States for a long time now. Teenage girls have been becoming pregnant at a fast pace, with a lot of the pregnancies being planned (“Child Trends” 2). With many television shows being made such as “16 and pregnant” and “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”, and it is giving these teenage girls the idea that it is okay to get pregnant at such a young age.
Around the world, the teen pregnancy birth rate has declined from sixty-five births per thousand women in 1990 to forty-nine births in 2015 (Smith). Even though the rate keeps going up, it will mainly be in the United States where it is the biggest. Teen pregnancy is a global problem that will happen no matter what social class you are in, and it will more than likely be around poverty, lack of education, and being unemployed. For some teens, the pregnancy is planned, but then you have the girls that are forced into situations that they don’t want to be in.
Rape is also a cause for teens to become pregnant. Some teens go through rape because of their parent’s childhood or one of their guardians. Being molested is another ugly cause of teen pregnancy. Most of the time when people get molested either someone is assaulted or abused sexually or harassed. Sexual abuse is sexual behavior by either one person or a group of people. About 20 percent of girls around the world have experienced some type of sexual abuse as children and teens (Adkins 3).
There are a lot of impacts that teen pregnancy can make like dropping out of school, struggling with the beginning of adulthood, and having to grow up faster. Dropping out of school is one of the main impacts of teen pregnancy because it is normally hard to find someone to keep the baby while you go to school. Also, when people are at school and they are pregnant they get made fun of and try to avoid it but with the mixed emotions that they have they really can’t control themselves (“Wvdhr” 3). Many struggling with the beginning of their adulthood because they are raising the baby by themselves or don’t have a lot of help. At a young age, it is very hard for teen moms to save their money to take care of the baby and themselves. Another reason why teen pregnancy is very stressful is that you have the hospital bills to pay, and they are new parents so they don’t know exactly what to do and will not get much sleep in the progress (“HHS Trends” 2). When teens usually move out on their own it is very hard because of everything and at one point everything will fall apart and if you don’t take care of things the family could end up homeless. Even though parenthood is the main reason why most teens drop out of school and over fifty percent of them never graduate. There were fewer babies born in 2010 than there have been since the 1940s (“Wvdhr” 4). In 2019, there were 194,377 babies born by teen mothers fifteen through nineteen, and this is a decline of seven percent from 2016 between the fifteen through nineteen-year-olds (Parker and Hill 3). Not sure why the declines happened, but they are maybe thinking that many teens are doing instances and they are starting to say no. The main reason for the decline in teen pregnancy is the contraceptive is being used more now than back then. Contraceptives like: birth control, condoms, and plan b are being used more frequently now.
Growing up faster is also a very good thing for teen moms because being a parent usually makes them get a job and makes them want to do something so they can feel better about themselves and them knowing that they are able to take care of their child. Another reason that makes the moms grow up faster is that they know that they have to be more mature than their friends and that they can’t hang out like they used to anymore (Green). There are many signs of pregnancy like a missed or very light period, and those aren’t a good sign of pregnancy but you might want to take a pregnancy test to make sure and to keep track of your periods.
The most common cause of teen pregnancy is not using protection like the use of birth control or condoms, and the teen knows nothing about preventing teen pregnancy. There are so many teens who miss their doctor’s appointments for their birth control that end up being teen moms. Peer pressure is also a cause of teen pregnancy which pushes their friends into having sex earlier than they would have wanted to, which could lead to accidental pregnancy (“Wvdhr” 2). When people use drugs or alcohol they really don’t have control over what their mind and body are feeling or doing sometimes. But there are ways to prevent pregnancies because there is a large number of women who either abandon or kill their newborn baby because they can’t provide for it.
But when having a baby at a young age comes with many different types of health risks. Mentally a teenager is not ready for a baby because they are still learning to mature themselves. Physically a baby is not good in a teenager’s body because it is still growing and going through all sorts of changes. There is always a risk of abortion, premature delivery, and fading growth as a pregnant teen. They also have to worry about infections that they could have while being pregnant like Chlamydia trachomatis, human papillomavirus, Mycoplasma, Trichomonas vaginalis. These infections can increase the risk of abortion and premature birth (“Wvdhr” 2). The uterus has not reached its full “maturity”, and that can cause an increase in infections. The risk of early pregnancy is numerous. Moms die every day due to complications that have happened. Teens that are fifteen through nineteen have a high chance of dying during pregnancy or childbirth than a woman who is twenty, and then if they are younger than fifteen then they are at risk of dying during pregnancy or childbirth (Miller).
Being a young parent can be hard on a mom or dad that has a kid or is expecting one. Because they are more than likely unemployed, live in poverty, and might have a low birth-weight baby. Being unmarried with a baby can cause a big fight by being rejected by parents and possibly peers. They will also have their friends pull away from them because of the baby.
During the pregnancy, there is also the option of terminating. To some abortion is the woman’s right to control since it’s her body. Then there are some that like to argue and say it’s the baby’s right to stay alive. Some think that even if the fetus is a person, its rights are very slim. When pregnant there are always three options to decide: continue with the pregnancy and keep the baby, continue with the pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption, and last is to terminate the pregnancy altogether (Miller).
In conclusion, there are sixteen million girls from the ages of fifteen to nineteen that give birth every year. When teenagers have sex they do not think about the consequences. The consequences for health can be very bad. It’s necessary to invest more time to start talking about prevention. Also, prevention should not just be directed at sexually transmitted diseases but also towards preventing pregnancies and helping with sexual behaviors. They can help decrease the beginnings of sexual life for teens because if it’s too early some sexual relationships can seriously harm their health.