Teens becoming mother and babies born from them have dropped since late 1990’s. The organization UNICEF defines teenage pregnancy 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 pregnant. Teen pregnancy decreases in different ways. One of the reasons is that teenagers are having less sex or those who are sexually active have been educated in the topic and are using contraceptives in a better way. The increased use of condoms is also an impact to this issue. An exceptional case is that of the state of Colorado where an anonymous donor gave US $ 23 million to provide contraceptives, such as intrauterine devices, free or at a very low cost. The Adolescent pregnancy is a complex situation with many reasons for concern.
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital expressed Kids age 12 – 14 years old are more likely than other adolescents to have unplanned sexual intercourse. They are more likely to be talked into having sex. Up to two-thirds of adolescent pregnancies occur in teens age 18 – 19 years old. Research indicates that teen pregnancy and motherhood can have detrimental socio economic and psychological outcomes for the teen mother, her child, and her young siblings. A teen mother is more likely to drop out of school or have no or low qualifications. Also, this population will be unemployed or low-paid and will live in poor housing conditions or in welfare. Others may suffer from depression which may result in suicide. The child of a teen mother is more likely to live in poverty, grow up without a father or become a victim of neglect or abuse. According to UNICEF, these children do less well at school, become involved in crime, abuse drugs and alcohol, and eventually become a teenage parent and begin the cycle all over again.
The Switchboard of Miami, Inc. express that the county of Miami-Dade, Florida has a population of 2.6 million which is the state’s most populated county. It is racially and ethnically diverse with 64% Hispanic residents, 16% non-Hispanic white, and 19% black, including African American, Haitian and Caribbean. Although the national teen pregnancy rate has been declining, it is higher in Florida than in the U.S. (73 per 1,000 female teens, 15-19 years old compared with 68, nationally). Furthermore, in Miami-Dade County, significant racial and ethnic health disparities exist among youth of color; black and Hispanic teens experience far higher rates of teen pregnancy. Black teens in Miami-Dade County, for example, have a birth rate of 44.3 per 1,000 compared with a birth rate of 19.0 per 1,000 among white teens, 15-19 years old. Additionally, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are prevalent among teens in Florida; two out of every three reported STD cases in Florida were under the age of 25.4
According to the World Health Organization, adolescence is interrupted when the young woman becomes pregnant. And, one in five women in the world already has a child before age 18 and each year there are 16 million births of teenage mothers. Adolescent pregnancy is considered high risk and carries more complications. The adolescent is not physically or mentally prepared to have a baby and take responsibility for motherhood. Teen pregnancy figures in the United States continue to decline and since 2006 it has dropped by almost 50%. However, despite the decline, Hispanic teens continue to have a rate twice as high as non-Hispanic whites, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Teen pregnancies cost U.S. taxpayers about $ 9 billion a year and are one of CDC’s top priorities. The Office of Adolescent Health has published a list of 44 programs that have proven effective in reducing teenage pregnancies. The programs are varied since what can be effective in one community may not be effective in another. Liany Arroyo, Senior Director of Health Equity of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, expressed that one thing that is important to keep in mind is that no program can take the place of a trusted parent or adult who has coherent and honest conversations, starting at an early age, with their child or adolescent.
Although and average girl is capable of having healthy babies, they should take good medical care in the first stages of pregnancy. When this happens and they also are able to take good care of themselves they are better prepared to have healthy babies. If this does not happens they are in risk for: fetal death, high blood pressure, anemia, labor and delivery complications and low birth weight infants. Pregnant adolescents should be taken to the doctor as soon as they find out they are having a baby. If their environment is not one that meets their care and needs, this is when they need to get help from other sources. There are community groups or the school counselor or social workers that can work with them to be a support in this situation.
As mentioned before teen pregnancy rate has been declining. Teen pregnancy is not usually the result of a cautious decision, but rather the absence of options: it is a consequence of limited or no access to school, information or medical care. These issues focused on the protection and enforcement of girls’ rights. This includes supporting comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health care to help girls avoid pregnancy. When promoting support for girls who become pregnant, helping their parents and relatives to care for them and care for the new baby, a positive and self-care environment is achieved so that they can return to school and develop their full potential. These new babies can grow and develop to be a positive aspect for the economy of the country and probably with help and education support they will be better citizens and workers.