Teen Pregnancy

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Being a teenage parent changes a teenager’s life tremendously and permanently. Many girls who get pregnant, whether they choose to keep the child or not, give up their hopes of being happily and successfully married, of being able to attend a college full time with no children to worry about, and many girls never even finish off their senior year the way they wanted to. Teenage girls getting pregnant and having children is not a new issue, in fact it has been around for years. In fact, according to Teen Help, “teen pregnancy and birth rate was much higher prior to 1980 (and especially in the 1950s and 1960s.)” (Help, 2010) http://www.teenhelp.com/teen-pregnancy/teen-pregnancy-statistics.htmlThe difference between today and the 50’s and 60’s however is that back then the majority of teenage mothers were already married. Also most of the mothers were around 18 or 19, since it was normal to be married and settled down by that age. Today many mothers are fifteen or sixteen years old. Some are even as (Help, 2010)baby, therefore it's even harder for the mother. All of a sudden the girl is thrown into the world of responsibilities and duties, where the baby's needs come before her own. She is expected to balance her school or a job with the full time task of raising a baby. Her world is changed from her world of dates, parties, sleepovers and waiting for a Saturday so you can sleep late, to the world of doctor appointments, diapers, baby formulas, bills, and day care.

Experts say that girls have babies from lack of self-esteem. "Too often, adolescent pregnancy is what happens to poor kids," says psychologist Judith Musick. "It can be a symptom of having no better options." They need someone to love and someone to love them back. What's cuddlier and cuter than a baby is? A baby gives them something to look forward to and something that gives meaning to their life. Studies show that a lot of teenage mothers come from poverty and some of them don't know any better. There's definitely a lack of education but it doesn't have a direct relationship to race or ethnic background. A lot of teenage moms don't think that they have anything to lose by having a baby.

Communities and Governments have tried to help out teenage mothers but sometimes what they do just isn't enough. There is After-School Care for young adolescents and there are community learning centers. In 1984 about 8.7 million girls were living with a baby and without the father. Only 58% of those girls have been awarded child support. Of those who were supposed to get child support in 1983, only half received the amount due. Twenty-six percent received partial payment and 24% had gotten no payments at all. Federal, state, and local funds must be provided for after school programs for young mothers. Legislative initiatives have to provide authorization to help communities start and operate a variety of programs that could be run by schools or churches or some kind of agencies.

Unmarried teenage moms, by contrast, are the hearts of underclass problem. Giving birth to children whom will never have a father and who sometimes spend a lifetime on welfare. There's a special program to help moms under 18 which provides a place to live, if the girl doesn't have any, like a church or a shelter. The girls are also provided with parental instructions, supervised childcare, and insist on finishing high school. There's also allowance and training sessions. Some of the mothers are given federal financing and a mixture of public and private management. Maybe, if the mothers would be given another chance, they would have taken a different path, and not have kids at such an early age. They have probably learned their lesson and suffered the consequences. First they'd finish their education, get a good job with a good salary, then get married, start a family and support it.

Approximately 60% of children born to teenagers who are not married, and the...