Each year in the U.S. over a million adolescent girls get pregnant. Of those young girls, about 50% of them go on to have the child. Among the young adolescent girls who decide they don’t want to have the child and decide to terminate the unwanted pregnancy , about 44% of them decide to get an abortion. That means each year in the United States almost 500,000 adolescent girls undergo the dangerous process of having an abortion. It’s something they have to live with for the rest of their lives.
Sexual Activity Is Initiated Much Earlier
A 1990 survey on Youth Risk Behavior revealed that those adolescent girls who end up pregnant had become involved in sexual activity much earlier. The number of kids who responded to the survey and revealed that they had been having sexual intercourse for some time, including within the 3 months before responding to the survey, increased based on whether they were in the 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade. The older the students were the more sexual activity in which they were involved.
Preventing Unwanted Adolescent Pregnancy
Parents, educators, social workers, religious leaders, concerned adults and politicians all have different opinions on how to prevent unwanted adolescent pregnancy. But it’s near impossible to get them to come to a consensus on the best solution and how to begin implementing it effectively. One of the obstacles that stands in the way of these well-meaning people coming to a consensus is a pretty contentious one. It has to do with the moral issue involved with premarital sex. In order to be able to truly help adolescents address the issue of preventing unwanted adolescent pregnancy, adults need to move past the issue of morality and focus on saving children. Both the young and the unborn.
Abstinence Versus Sex Education
Another barrier that blocks giving clear guidance that prevents unwanted adolescent pregnancy is that abstinence promotion programs are often portrayed as being against the sex education programs which attempt to teach responsible sexual behavior because they provide adolescents with access to contraception. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the aim of their sex education program is to reduce how many 15-year-olds are sexually active to 15% and the number of 17-year olds who are sexually active to about 40%. The aim of the CDC sex education program is to increase use of contraceptives to 90% of sexually active adolescents.
Sex Education Programs
Sex education programs should be primarily focused on two areas. One of them is to give adolescents the tools that they need to be able to withstand peer pressure and be able to postpone becoming involved in having sexual intercourse at too young an age. Another role that sex education programs can play is to promote sexually transmitted disease awareness. This will help adolescents who are sexually active recognize the signs that they are infected with a sexually transmitted disease and should get medical treatment immediately. It should also teach them they have a responsibility to tell anyone who they may have infected that they have a STD.
Lots Of Teens Are Having Sexual Intercourse
Research has shown that among unmarried 15 to 19 year olds, 50% of women and 60% of men have engaged in sexual intercourse. Plus, 25% of girls have at least one pregnancy by
the time they are 18 years old. One out of five girls who have had a teenage pregnancy will become pregnant again within a year. Sadly, of the millions of women in the United States who decide to abort an unwanted pregnancy each year, one out of four of them are under the age of 20. That means more than 500,000 American teenagers subject their bodies and their minds to the pain of abortions each and every year.
Negative Consequences Of Teenage Pregnancies
There are two very serious negative consequence teenage girls who get pregnant and give birth are forced to face. One is that teenage girls who give birth to a child have a much greater likelihood of both the mother and the child suffering health complications that have the potential to negatively impact them for the rest of their lives. A second negative consequence of having a child while still a teenager is that it forces local, state and federal government agencies to spend a great deal of money to take care of the mother and the child. In 1990, social, welfare and health services for teenagers forced the government to spend over $25 billion.
Sex Education In Schools Nationwide
In the U.S., about 33% of states, as well as one in five big school districts don’t encourage or require pregnancy prevention to be taught. Sex education programs have had some success. Plus, evidence shows sex education doesn’t lead to earlier sexual activity.