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...
... middle of paper ...
...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.
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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