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Childbearing Among Teenagers Essay

3517 words - 14 pages

Childbearing Among Teenagers
During the past 40 years teenagers have been identified with having
many social problems such as drug abuse, suicide, criminal behavior
and childbearing. Even though these concerns have not shown a
significant threat to the welfare of future generations, there has
been considerable effort, especially in industrialized countries, to
control and prevent these issues. Teenage pregnancy, in particular,
has made an impressive improvement over recent years.[1] Compared to
the last three decades, 33% less teenagers in Canada were pregnant in
2001 according to Statistics Canada (Medical News Today, 2004). When
analyzing teenage pregnancy rates in industrialized countries, Canada
and Great Britain’s rates were modest when compared to the low rates
in Sweden and France and the highest rate in the United States (The
Alan Guttmacher Institute, 2001).

Parents, teachers, community leaders and service providers have
increased the motivation of youth to achieve higher levels of
education, enforced sexual education in schools to promote effective
contraceptive use and greater social support for services related to
both pregnancy and disease prevention among adolescents. There is an
increasing indication that the developed world is beginning to realize
that the most influential pregnancy prevention strategy is to ensure
that adolescents have opportunities, which allow them to make the
decisions that will safeguard their own futures. They are at a
vulnerable crossroad in their lives and are in need of guidance and
support (Tunick, 1996). The slowly falling teen pregnancy rates in
western industrialized countries have shown that these efforts have
been of some help, although the numbers are far from perfect. Teenage
pregnancy is an important issue. There are significant health risks
for both young mothers and their children and they are more likely to
suffer social and emotional traumas throughout their lives. There are
many social causes and economic factors that are major contributors in
early childbearing. For example, when teenagers give birth, they are
less likely to complete high school and more likely during their lives
to have a larger number of children than are non-parenting teens.
Children born to younger teen mothers may also experience lower
educational attainment, and higher rates of teenage childbearing
themselves when compared to children born to older mothers. Perhaps
without the introduction of abortion as a method of birth control, the
teenage pregnancy rates would be lower. Therapeutic abortion rates in
Canada have been and continue to be increasing with more than half of
pregnancies to teenagers in Canada resulting in abortion in 1997
(Buske, 2001). There is still a great need for continued efforts to
help prevent...

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