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Teen Pregnancy Within The United States

The District of Columbia is the 23rd most population city in the United States with a population of 658,893 (Census). According to UNICEF, teen pregnancy is defined as “A teenage girl, usually within the ages of 13-19, becoming pregnant” ((Link 1). Nationally in the United States, there has been a steady decline of teen pregnancy within the past decade. However, it is not occurring in the District of Columbia, specifically Southeast DC (Ward 7 and 8) which includes areas such as: Lincoln Heights, Twining, Anacostia and Woodland. As of 2011, DC was ranked number nine in the nation for the highest rate of teen pregnancy. For the total amount of births, only 908 were from young women who were below the age of 20 in Washington DC. About 879 were from young women that were around high school ages 15-19. Specifically, Southeast DC is a low-income area, with approximately ¼ of teen mothers going on welfare within three years after their child’s birth (Link 2). As of 2012, out of the 790 births from teenage mothers, more than half, or 457 of the births mainly occurred in the Southeast DC area (Link4). This area has been plagued through various social determinants of health. This includes having repeated cycles of poverty, lack of comprehensive sexual education, especially in regards to contraception and a lot of violence occurring as a result of crimes. Ward 7 has approximately 95% of its citizens being Black and 2.3% of their citizens are Hispanic(Link 5). While in Ward 8 have about 94% of their citizens that are Black and 1.8% are Hispanic. Between both wards, about 63% of households including both Blacks and Hispanics are living below the federal poverty line and about 37% of births from the 2010 census were from teenage mothers. Abo... ... middle of paper ... ...tics illustrate that the teenage girls in Wards 7 and 8 are the most in need of an intervention. The teen pregnancy rate has been on the decline in recent years in Washington D.C., though it would be most beneficial to focus on the teen pregnancy rate in Wards 7 and 8 (childtrends). From 2010 to 2012 the teen pregnancy rate declined from 19 percent to 16 percent (childtrends). If the teen pregnancy rate could be decreased by 50% in Wards 7 and 8 then the teen pregnancy rate in Washington D.C. would decrease from 17.1% to 11.6% (childtrends). These Wards are especially at risk of teen pregnancy and the teen pregnancy rate could further decline if they focused on these at-risk populations (childtrends). Teen parenthood tends to lead to welfare dependence, negative educational outcomes, and instability in the home. Teen pregnancy costs taxpayers $9 billion a year.

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