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The Impact Of Teen Pregnancy On The American People

878 words - 4 pages

The Impact of Teen Pregnancy on the American People

Although the rate of teenage pregnancy in the United States has been on an overall decline, it remains the highest in the entire world. Teenage pregnancy is obviously still a problem in today's American society with roughly 97 per 1000 women aged 15-19, which rounds up to be roughly one million teenagers, becoming pregnant each year. Interestingly enough, 78% of these pregnancies are unintended. The births of these children are not only a problem for the parents and the families of the babies, but it is a huge problem and burden upon American Taxpayers. Taxpayers pay roughly 16.5 billion dollars every year to welfare and Medicaid programs to aid these young parents who are almost always incapable of taking full financial responsibility for the child. In addition, because the average age of menarche has reached an all-time low of about 12-13 years of age, a larger percentage of teenage girls have a higher risk of getting pregnant more now than ever. The fact that four out of five teenagers are sexually active also contributes to the fact that teenage girls have a higher risk of getting pregnant. Teenage mothers are often living in single-mother houses, are minority, and are already considered poor. The consequences of teenage pregnancy can be costly and grave.

The consequences of teenage pregnancy and childbearing are relatively serious. Teenage mothers are less likely to graduate from high school and are more likely to rely on welfare and live in poverty opposed to their friends and peers who delay childbearing. Not to mention having to give up their social life in order to take care of the baby. The children of these teenage mothers are often born at low birth weight, sometimes experience health and developmental problems, and are habitually poor and abused. As stated before, teenage pregnancy poses a sizeable financial burden to society. Between public assistance, child health care, foster care, and involvement with the criminal justice system, teenage mothers cost society an estimated $7 billion annually.

Obviously, the minority issue is a problem with one in every four black teenage girls becoming pregnant by the time they are 18 years of age. Nearly a third of these ladies will have a second child by the time they turn 20 years of age. African-Americans and Hispanics have switched roles within the past few years, in which case Hispanics now have the highest teenage birth rate in America. Teenage mothers often decide to keep their children simply because their mothers, who were probably also teenage mothers, decided to keep them. These teenage mothers are often...

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