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Teen Parent Institutions: Proposed Method For Solving The Teenage Pregnancy Problem

1474 words - 6 pages

The first day of high school, going to prom, learning to drive, graduating, getting a job, and buying the first car – these are some of the memorable events that occur in the life of an average American teenager. However, now more than ever, another event has been added to many teenagers’ lists: becoming a parent. Teen pregnancy is not a new issue; in fact, it has been a rising concern in the United States for decades. Voluntary efforts have been made by organizations such as Healthy Teen Network, The National Campaign, and Advocates for Youth to help reduce the overwhelming existence of teen pregnancy. Though health care clinics, teen parenting help programs, and alternative schools for pregnant women, pregnancy organizations have sought to relieve the problem, but have done little to eliminate it. It is time for a change that will address this issue with boldness and certainty. I propose a new solution to teen pregnancy, one that this nation has never heard before.
Studies have shown that the United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancies in the developed world. In 2006, the National Institutes of Health reported that teen pregnancy rates increased for the first time in 15 years (“Overview”). Since then, the rates have continued to rise. According to research conducted by The National Campaign, one-third (or one out of three) of girls in the United States gets pregnant at least once by the age of 20 (“National Data”). This statistic would assume that more than 750,000 teen girls in the United States become pregnant each year (“Teen Pregnancy”). In view of these statistics, it is important to ask, “What constitutes to the increasing numbers of teen pregnancies in the United States?” Perhaps it is due to lack of advocacy and funding from teen pregnancy programs. Maybe it is because teens are exposed to too much sexuality by through movies, the internet, and their peers. Or perhaps, as CBS reporter David Sutta argues, it is simply because “more teens now think it’s hip to have a baby on your hip” (“Study: Teen Pregnancy”). No matter the reason, many teens today are finding themselves pregnant and faced with the consequences that follow.
Plainly speaking, teens are not cut out to take on the responsibilities as parents and supporters of a family. This is seen through the host of problems that are closely linked to teen pregnancy. For example, many teen mothers struggle as single parents due to the absence of the father. The National Campaign discovered in a recent study that, sadly, eight out of ten fathers do not marry the teen mother (“National Data”). As a result, two out of three teen moms never finish high school and depend on welfare to get by (“National Data”). In addition, teen pregnancy is directly associated with potential health risks for the mother and the baby. Babies born to teen mothers are at a higher risk of physical complications, such as low birth weight and organs not fully developed,...

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