Teen Pregnancy

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Every year approximately one million teenage girls become pregnant

in the United States. Of theses pregnancies only 13 percent are intended.

As a result, about a third of these teens abort their pregnancies, another

14 percent lose their pregnancies to miscarriage, and the remaining 52

percent teens bear children. Of the half-a-million teens that give birth

annually, 72 percent are unmarried and 75 percent are giving birth for the

first time. More than 175,000 of these new moms are age 17 years or

younger. The teen pregnancy rate in the United States is higher than most

other industrialized countries and is ten times as high as the rate of

Japan and the Netherlands. Although the pregnancy rate for teenagers has

been reduced in the past twenty years, the number of teenagers has

increased and therefore so has the number of teen pregnancies and births

(www.agi-usa.org/pubs/fb_teen_sex.html). Throughout the years, the issue

of teenage pregnancy has continued to be a controversial topic in many

arenas including national politics and welfare reform, the media,

educational institutions, the public health movement, and religious

institutions. It is therefore important to look at policy implications for

teen mothers and their children.

Teenage pregnancy has become an important public policy issue as it has

been defined as a social problem rather than an individual concern. Policy

intervention regarding teenage pregnancy will only be useful if it were

determined that reducing teen pregnancy and motherhood would improve the

lives of teen mothers, their children, and society at large. Although

there are several health risks and biological problems related to teenage

pregnancy, some of the strongest concern...

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...gnition for the very hard task they

face. There are many ways that society and policy can support teen moms

and their children so that the cycle of poverty in not perpetually repeated

and everyone can have a fair chance to reach their potential in society.

Works Cited

A National Strategy to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.


Facts in Brief: Teen Sex and Pregnancy, 1999.


Issues in Brief; Risks and Realities of Early Childbearing Worldwide


Klepinger, Daniel, Shelly Lunderberg and Robert Plotnick. "Adolescent

Fertility and the Educational Attainment of Young Women." Family Planning

Perspectives. Vol. 27, No. 1; January/February 1995.

Poverty and Teenage Pregnancy.


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