Adolescent Pregnancy Essay

717 words - 3 pages

Many parents around the world, not only in Texas, are raising teenagers. Lately, there has been a tendency for teenagers between the ages of 15-17 giving birth to children even though they are still children themselves. Travis, Bexar, and Potter are some of the counties with the highest rate of pregnancy among teenage girls. According to Chris Newton's research, there is an estimated 72 pregnancies to every 1000 girls in Potter County. Travis County has an estimated 46 pregnancies to every 1000 girls. The rates are alarming, but the numbers are still growing. Every twenty minutes a teenage mother gives birth to a child in the United States. Having a child at such a young age can have serious effects on society. (Newton, 4 April 2004) Every year the United States spends thirty- four billion dollars on welfare for adolescent parents beginning a family. The average gross cost to the United States tax payer(s) is an estimated six point nine billion dollars due to increase in welfare, food stamps, and medical care expenses. (Christenson, 22 April 2004) Though the rates have declined it is still a major priority. Hundreds of children are having intercourse unprotected, especially from lower economic family backgrounds. Single adolescent mothers with dependant children have the highest rate of poverty across all demographic groups due to child care costs, lack of education, and lack of public assistance or child support. Welfare is a federal government program that gives money to low income families who cannot financially support their children or themselves. (McRae, 26 April 2004) Of the women ages fifteen to forty- four who received welfare or AFDC in 1993, over half became mothers at a young age. Only five percent were currently adolescent. Eighty three percent of women on welfare were eighteen to twenty four. What about the twelve percent that are not adolescents on welfare? Many women who have given birth at a young age have the tendency to become dependant on federal aide. The average public cost for the family begun by each first birth to children is thirteen thousand nine hundred and two dollars....

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