Top-Rated Free Essay

Teenage Pregnancy

Good Essays
The National Youth Commission, supported by the Department of Health and the World Health Organization, convened the 2014 National Summit on Teen Pregnancy last April 24. This summit, which saw the active participation of adolescent youth, delivered a clear message: Adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH), or the lack thereof, is fast becoming the defining issue of this generation of young Filipinos. Without a robust response from all stakeholders, the Philippines is on track toward a full-blown, national teenage pregnancy crisis.
Staggering facts support this call for concern. Recent (2014) data from the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA) reveal that every hour, 24 babies are delivered by teenage mothers. According to the 2014 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality (YAFS) study, around 14 percent of Filipino girls aged 15 to 19 are either pregnant for the first time or are already mothers—more than twice the rate recorded in 2002. Among six major economies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Philippines has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies and is the only country where the rate is increasing, per the United Nations Population Fund.
According to Josefina Natividad, YAFS coordinator and director of the University of the Philippines Population Institute, young Filipinos have limited access to sex education and ASRH services, especially if they are underage and unmarried. Seventy-eight percent are not using any form of contraception or protection against sexually transmitted diseases and infections when they are having sex for the first time. While government programs aim to delay the beginning of childbearing and hasten fertility decline, teenage pregnancies continue to increase. Perhaps it is really time for a new and more collaborative strategy?
Data show that pregnant teenagers in the Philippines are mostly 17 to 19 years old. They live with their mothers, parents, or relatives. The father of the child is, in most cases, a teenage boy.
Reasons for becoming pregnant among teenagers include: unplanned sexual encounters (“getting caught up in the moment”) and peer pressure; lack of information on safe sex; breakdown of family life and lack of good female role models in the family; and absence of accessible, adolescent-friendly clinics.
Teenagers from poor backgrounds are disproportionately represented among pregnant teenagers. However, experts have argued that teenage pregnancy should be understood as a symptom of dire economic conditions rather than a cause of it. Teenage pregnancy perpetuates the cycle of poverty and inequality because most pregnant teenagers have no source of income and face greater financial difficulties later in life. This is because they drop out of school and are less likely to pursue further education or skills training.
Teenage mothers face critical health risks, including: inadequate nutrition during pregnancy due to poor eating habits; dangers associated with the reproductive organs not ready for birth; and maternal death due to higher risk of eclampsia, among others.
Alarmingly, while maternal deaths are decreasing in the Philippines, teenage maternal deaths are increasing. Ten percent of pregnant teenagers died in the last year, according to the PSA. Data from the WHO also show a high and increasing incidence of fetal death in Filipino mothers under 20.
At the end of the teenage pregnancy summit, the participants strongly endorsed a comprehensive sexual education curriculum; forging a “Batang Ina” social movement; and establishing adolescent-friendly spaces. The enactment of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act was also recognized as an important step to make ASRH services more accessible to those in need.
As an international child rights organization, Plan International believes that the rights and needs of adolescent girls and boys, including their right to access ASRH services, must be ensured. In our work in the Philippines, ASRH continues to be a priority in line with our global “Because I am a Girl” campaign and national Batang Lusog program.
We are implementing ASRH interventions in Southern Leyte and Eastern Samar, where cases of teenage pregnancy are increasing. Youth-Friendly Spaces are being established to provide peer education and counseling on ASRH and rights. This is complemented by our response to eliminate gender-based violence in communities by establishing Women-Friendly Spaces. These measures help prevent teenage pregnancy by disseminating the right information about the risks and impacts of teenage pregnancy on the teen mom and the infant. An exploratory study by Plan International on the rising incidence of teenage pregnancy in “Yolanda”-affected areas is also being designed.
In the face of numerous challenges that Filipino adolescents face every day—discrimination, gender-based violence, harmful gender stereotypes—they must be equipped with the life skills and assets to help them make the best decisions for themselves and their community. When adolescents choose to have sex, they have a right to access not just information but also inclusive ASRH services.
At the end of the day, when an adolescent, especially a girl, knows her rights, is empowered to choose, and is heard, she can improve not only her life but also the life of her immediate and future families. So, maybe it’s time to have this discussion with your (grand) daughter or niece now?
Carin Van der Hor is the director of Plan International Philippines and is the mother of two teenage girls.

Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/74517/teenage-pregnancy-among-todays-filipino-youth#ixzz3F2ca9Lge
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Best Essays

    Teenage Pregnancy

    • 1352 Words
    • 6 Pages

    The teenage pregnancy strategy began in 1999 with a target to cut half the teenage pregnancies in the UK by 2010. The research from the social exclusion unit set the report on teenage pregnancy and this became the Government’s Strategy over the next 10 years. Political objectives are the Government ideology on what needs to happen and what actually happens in society, focus is now on their objectives, supporting identified vulnerable groups with low aspirations and lack of motivation. Vulnerability…

    • 1352 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    Teenage Pregnancy

    • 842 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Teenage pregnancy is a situation which involves female adolescents. A teenage female can be pregnant as early as age twelve or thirteen, although it is usually 14 and older. Teen pregnancy often depends on numerous societal and personal factors. The rates of teenage pregnancy vary from country to country and are related to differences of sexual activities, the general sex educations being provided and contraceptives being available. Teen pregnancy will sometimes involve low birth weight. Social matters…

    • 842 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Teenage Pregnancy

    • 639 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Teenage Pregnancy In today’s society teens are faced with many pressures. The effect of these pressures put on them is the inability to make right decisions when it comes to certain situations. One of these most common situations teens find themselves in is becoming a parent at a young age, a result of pressure from peers. I’m Melle, and I’m Maxine and were going to talk about one of the problems of the youth—teenage pregnancy. It isn’t shocking to see a high school student pregnant these…

    • 639 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Teenage Pregnancy

    • 1804 Words
    • 8 Pages

    of Teenage Pregnancy . I have conducted a research in which parents or guardian and also the people of my community can be aware of the causes of Teenage Pregnancy . The Rae town community is a small environment .I live in this community for 17 years now ;during these years I have seen that teenagers are getting pregnant at a early age and getting kick out of school. So I decide to go ahead and do a investigation on this specific topic.In this project the reader will learn more about teenage pregnancy…

    • 1804 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    teenage pregnancy

    • 596 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Teenage pregnancy Contents CAUSE EFFECTS DISADVANTAGES PREVENTION What is teenage pregnancy? Teenage pregnancy is defined as a teenage girl, usually within the ages of 13-19, becoming pregnant. The term in everyday speech usually refers to girls who have not reached legal adulthood, which varies across the world, who become pregnant. Causes and of teenage pregnancy Teen pregnancies may result for different reasons in industrialized countries as compared to developing countries…

    • 596 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Teenage Pregnancy

    • 2274 Words
    • 10 Pages

    to become pregnant and the processes involved in the decision to carry a nonmarital teenage pregnancy to term. Some researchers have investigated factors influencing the pregnancy options considered by young women in the United States who choose abortion;1 others have explored pregnancy decision-making by comparing the characteristics of young women who opt for abortion, birth or adoption.2 But rarely has pregnancy decision-making been investigated by examining the influences bearing on young women…

    • 2274 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Teenage Pregnancy

    • 607 Words
    • 3 Pages

    1. (Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE) Another problem facing teen mothers is the use of drugs and alcohol, including cigarette smoking. No amount of any of these substances is safe for use in pregnancy. In fact, their use can complicate pregnancy even further increasing the likelihood of premature birth and other complications. 2. Rebecca B. Singson In the Philippines, the sexual revolution has ushered in a period in which the average adolescent experiences tremendous pressures to have sexual experiences…

    • 607 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Teenage pregnancy

    • 1162 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Research Essay WRI 102- Teen Pregnancy: Paying the price for your own actions. Teen pregnancy has always been a problem, but latest studies and statistics show us that even with increased sex education, teen pregnancy is increasing causing many concerns for our society. What is teen pregnancy? The obvious simple answer may be a teenager getting pregnant. Just for a couple of minutes of “fun”, most teenagers put themselves into a lifetime of distress. Furthermore, teens today do not think about…

    • 1162 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Teenage Pregnancy

    • 713 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Teen Pregnancy In today’s society, teenage pregnancy has become the highest percentage rate in the U.S. In this present day, the problem is continuing and is vastly affecting our communities. The problem is that teens need to know how easily they can become pregnant. They are effected emotionally, financially, and many other ways. Teenage girls are not prepared to take responsibility of a child at such a young age. I believe the society needs to become more aware of this problem and get more…

    • 713 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Teenage Pregnancy

    • 974 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Teenage Pregnancy Teenage pregnancy is a huge issue going on in the United States. Not only does it dramatically decrease the chance of the teen having a good future, it also costs the U.S nine billion dollars a year. With approximately 750,000 American teenagers getting pregnant every single year the government is beginning to worry. Although teenage pregnancy is an issue for young girls all around the world the U.S has the highest pregnancy rate – twice as high as…

    • 974 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays