Sandeep Kaur99 Mrs
ENG CML 111
In today’s society teens are faced with many pressures. The effect of these pressures put on them, is the inability to make right decisions when it comes to certain situations. Among all the challenges, teenage pregnancy is the most crucial challenge. Teenage pregnancy effects not only young mother but also child and young siblings. Teenage Pregnancy as a Social and economic problem, Different harms of Teenage Pregnancy on health, and effects of adolescent pregnancy.
Teenage pregnancy is defined as a teenage girl, usually within the ages of 13-19, becoming pregnant. The term in everyday speech usually refers to girls who have not reached legal adulthood, which varies across the world, who become pregnanct (UNICEF). According to the centers of disease control and prevention (CDC), the teenage birth rate in the united states dropped from 61.8 percent in 1991 to 20.3 percent . In 2016, a decline of 67 percent is seen. In 2014, 17 percent of teen births were to adolescents who had already had one or more children. While teen pregnancy is declining, the United states still has one of the highest teen birth rates when compared to those of other industrialized nations such as the United Kingdom (14.5 in 2015, according to united nations estimates), Canada (9.5in 2015), Germany (6.4 in 2015) and Denmark (4.0 in 2015).
According to UNICEF, “Research indicates that teen pregnancy and mother can have detrimental social and economic outcomes for the teen mother, her child, and her young siblings.” A teen mother faces several social and economic challenges. A teen mother is more likely to drop out of school, have no or low qualifications, be unemployed or low-paid, live in poor housing conditions, suffer from depression which may result in suicide, live on welfare. Roughly 50 percent of the teen mothers graduate from high school or receive GED by age of 22, compared to about 90 percent of teen girls who do not have a child. Among those who finish high school, fewer than 2 percent complete a college degree by age of 30. In 2009 and 2010, almost half (48 percent) of all mothers ages 15 to 19 lived below the federal poverty line (FPL). Thirty four percent of mothers who still lived with their own families lived below the FPL, compared to 63 percent of those who lived separately. On the other hand, their child and young siblings are also affected by their pregnancy. They also live in poverty, grow up without a father, become a victim of neglect or abuse, do less well at school, become involved in crime, abuse drugs and alcohol, eventually become a teenage parent and begin the cycle all over again. The younger sibling of a teen mother is more likely to accept sexual initiation and marriage at a younger age and place less importance on education and employment.
The health risks of teenage pregnancy will be significantly higher than what an adult woman will go through during her pregnancy. A pregnant teen and her unborn baby will face more health risks and will be at a higher risk of developing more complications later. Once a teen girl discovers that she is pregnant, she may be scared and worried about sharing it with anyone. It means that she may not be able to receive the medical care and treatment she should ideally get during her pregnancy months, which is known as prenatal care. Research indicates that pregnant teens are less likely to receive prenatal care, often seeking it only in the third trimester, if at all. According to The Lancet’s Maternal Survival and Women Deliver Series (2006/2007); The global incidence of premature births and low birth weight babies is higher amongst teenage mothers. Risks for medical complications are greater for girls 14 years of age and younger, as an underdeveloped pelvis can lead to difficulties in childbirth. Young women under 20 face a higher risk of obstructed labor, which if Caesarean section is not available can cause an obstetric fistula, a tear in the birth canal that creates leakage of urine and/or feces. At least 2 million of the world’s poorest women live with fistulas. Complications during pregnancy and delivery are the leading causes of death for girls aged 15 to 19 in developing countries. They are twice as likely to die in childbirth as women in their 20s. Teenage girls account for 14% of the estimated 20 million unsafe abortions performed each year, which result in some 68,000 deaths.
As teenagers go through a lot of raging hormones, they are also at an age where they experiment with their sexuality and are open to experiment with multiple partners. If a teen girl has sex once she is pregnant, she may be at a high risk of developing some or the other sexually transmitted diseases (STD). STDs can be very harmful to the pregnant teen’s health as well as for the health of the unborn baby. According to a fact sheet of UNICEF, the highest rates of STDs worldwide are among young people aged 15 to 24. Some 500,000 become infected daily (excluding HIV). Two in five new HIV infections globally occur in young people aged 15 to 24. Surveys from 40 countries show that more than half their young people have misconceptions about how HIV is transmitted. Married adolescent girls generally are unable to negotiate condom use or to refuse sexual relations. They are often married to older men with more sexual experience, which puts them at risk of contracting STIs, including HIV.
Unfortunately, adolescents who become parents often have a shortage of key life skills and other resources that are vital to the parenting process. This sad reality is supported by research showing that, on average, children who are born to teen parents are less likely to ever reach their full potential. And the effects of teenage pregnancy on parent, baby, and community can be devastating. We don’t need research to prove that but generally speaking, age brings maturity, self-assuredness, knowledge and experience. By the age of 21, one has typically graduated from high school and is pursuing post-secondary education or participating in the workforce (or both). Throughout our childhood and teenage years, we are acquiring life skills and problem-solving abilities that prepare us to confront and navigate challenges – both unforeseen and anticipated – in adulthood. As a result, those who are beyond their teen years are more likely to make informed choices, use effective coping strategies, and think through important decisions. It’s not hard to see how these qualities lead to more effective parenting. In most of cases, adolescent parents are not married, and the discovery of pregnancy is unexpected. Too often, teen fathers abandon their parenting responsibilities due to fear and inability to adequately provide for their child, leaving the mother with even less social support and financial assistance. Unfortunately, teen pregnancy doesn’t only affect the individuals involved but its impact is far-reaching.
In summary, teenage pregnancy is a serious problem, many teenage mothers were also simply not prepared by education and maturity to undertake the dual responsibility of parent-hood and economic support. from what teenagers have read about being a teen parent it isn’t as great as it sounds. No one wants to become a parent when they are a teenager. Teenagers are not able to get a decent education, and some teens don’t know what they want to do with their lives?
“Teenage Pregnancy.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2017. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, https://link-galegroup-com.evansville.libproxy.ivytech.edu/apps/doc/PC3010999133/OVIC?u=ivytech20;sid=
The Lancet’s Maternal Survival and Women Deliver Series (2006/2007) http://www.who.int/pmnch/media/pmnch.in.the.press/lancetseries/en/
2005 World Health Report.
UNFPA Resource Kit: World Population Day 2008.
Clemmitt, Marcia. “Teen Pregnancy.” CQ Researcher, 26 Mar. 2010, pp. 265-88, library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2010032600