Teenage Pregnancies
By Rabiya Sahibzada

July 17, 2009

Has anyone seen the film “Juno”? Juno gives a perfect insight to the period of pregnancy faced by a regular teenager. The psychological and social impact it might have on her life, the problems she goes through in school and at home, not to mention, her emotions at giving birth at such a young age to a dilemma; a person whom she may or may not see again in the future but that person bestowing on her, a life changing experience. It is indeed a story that has never been told.

Firstly, to those readers who find this topic remotely amusing, stop smiling.

Secondly, to those who think this problem is only associated with the third world countries, you can begin smiling. Annually, 13 million children are born to women under age 20 worldwide, more than 90% in developing countries.

In my personal opinion the words teenage and pregnancy don’t go together for anyone in any circumstance across the globe. But that is just my opinion and you are yet to form yours. Juno was heroic indeed, in giving birth to a child at the age of sixteen. But there is a reason why that film is a film. A reason it is not a reality and I am going to tell you why.

According to doctors, teenage pregnancy is extremely dangerous because the body is not ready and children that are born from a teenager mother have 50% higher risk to die than newborns that are born from older mothers. Those who are successful after their pregnancy might not look after their children, and dump them or drop out of school because of the social impacts. The correlation between earlier childbearing and failure to complete high school reduces career opportunities for many young women. Teenage women who are pregnant or mothers are seven times more likely to commit suicide than other teenagers.

Why suicide though? Sadly less than one third of teenage mothers receive any form of child support. Poor academic performance in the children of teenage mothers has also been noted, with many of them being more likely than average to fail to graduate from secondary school, be held back a grade level, or score lower on standardized tests. Daughters born to adolescent parents are more likely to become teen mothers themselves. A son born to a young woman in her teens is three times more likely to serve time in prison

"I don't know how I got pregnant - we only did it once!"

Where are your morals, my friend? Had you abstained, you would not be facing such a gigantic problem! Reflect now at your mistake, and pray to be the next Juno in your school. There are no ethics anymore. The media has succeeded in brainwashing the youth to such an extent that they think if they do it only once, it will be justified. In every religion, adultery is wrong. In every culture, a baby without marriage is shameful.

But yes, there are those whose own will was not involved. There are those who are married and mothers. What about that minor section of the world population?

They are anything but happy. Education of girls has proven to delay the child-bearing years. Teenage pregnancy can be prevented through better sex education, improving contraceptive and advice services to young people supporting the parents of teenagers to talk to them about sex and relationships, and targeting high-risk groups. Teens are more terrified than ever of sexually transmitted diseases, and they are putting off starting families to take jobs with good pay available in the booming economy.

Sources:
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/multimedia/podcasts/2009/teenage-pregnancy-20090213/en/index.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teenage_pregnancy#Causes_of_teenage_pregnancy
http://www.overpopulation.org/teenpreg.html
http://www.womenshealthchannel.com/teenpregnancy/index.shtml
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0SKf0K3bxg

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