6 March 2013
Paper #3 How to Stop the Rise of Teenage Pregnancy
I turn on my television and an MTV show is on. I spend a little time watching it, though I’m not sure what I am watching. There are girls that look my age, and I see they have children. They are arguing with their boyfriends and their parents, but most look happy overall. A commercial comes on it tells me “16 and Pregnant” will be right back. Curious about the name and the concept of this TV show, and why it even was a TV show with that name, I turned to my good friend Google. Off the Wikipedia blurb I discovered, “16 and Pregnant is an MTV reality television series produced by Morgan J. Freeman and Dia Sokol Savage... It follows the stories of pregnant teenage girls in high school dealing with the hardships of teenage pregnancy” (“16 and Pregnant”). My dad walked by and asks what the show is about, I explain; he walked away shaking his head.
This was heartbreaking to him. In his years, pregnancy at such a young age was unheard of and the thought of being unmarried? Forget it! It was not acceptable. For my generation? My graduating class had 9 pregnant senior girls, and those were just the ones we knew of. Statistically speaking, it could have been higher. The Center for Disease Disease Control and Prevention says, “More than 360,000 teen girls give birth each year in the United States. One half of teen mothers do not finish high school.” Peggy Peck, a journalist for ABC Health News found that, “In 2006, there were 42 births per 1,000 U.S. teenage girls, which was 4 percent higher than 2005.” It has been reported that, “the United States continues to have the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and birth among developed countries” (Minnick 1). So why is that? Why as one of the leading countries with some of the best, health care, medications, and doctors are we struggling to reduce pregnancy among adolescents? The CDC recommends 3 solutions to this ongoing problem: * Include evidence-based sex education that provides accurate information and supports the needs of teens throughout their development. * Include efforts to help parents and teens communicate effectively with each other. * Ensure sexually active teens have access to effective and affordable contraceptives. It is to be believed that these methods will help solve this ongoing epidemic among adolescents. As a country we can sit back and do nothing, but that would not be a good solution. We need to step up and help these children who will be the leaders of our nation tomorrow. After all, “Becoming parents while still adolescents can have numerous long term negative consequences...which include health impacts for both the mother and the baby along with other social, emotional, and economic detriments” so let us do everything we can as a nation to stop this (Elders 1).
In 2009, “President Barack Obama signed an appropriations bill that ended funding for existing abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and put new teenage pregnancy prevention initiative in the newly funded Office of Adolescent Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services” (Krisberg 1). We have already put in the start to help fix the pregnancy problem but we need to continue to apply it. "Abstinence works for some teens, but the idea that most teens will wait to have sex indefinitely is rigid and impractical" said Dr. Richard S. Guido, chair of ACOG's Committee on Adolescent Health Care in an interview with Peck. And this statement is rather true. In high school, there is so much pressure, especially among boys to “lose it” even if it is just in a one night stand. When all children were being taught in school was that sex was bad and you must wait, the talk of the benefit of condoms and other contraceptive methods was looked down upon. It made the children feel as if they were doing something wrong getting protection so it was easier to just do it without...