Teen pregnancy is an important issue in America today and has been for several decades.
In the 60’s and 70’s, it was handled much differently than it is today. When a teenage girl
became pregnant in the pre-abortion era, it was hidden at all costs. The girl became a pariah if
she was ever found out and as it was considered a disgrace for a young unmarried girl to become
pregnant. Families would often take great lengths to hide the pregnancy, even going so far as to
send the girl away to have the baby in secret and would often place the baby up for adoption then
going about life as though nothing had occurred. No one knew the affects this would have for
the mother and child until many years later, when the child became old enough to search for the
mother who gave them up. It affected the mother in the ...view middle of the document...
Then many of these babies were born with medical issues due to their
mothers’ young age. Studies show that babies born to teen mothers are at “increased risk for a
number of health risks” (health.com, 2012). These risks include the following: low birth weight
and cognitive issues because of the fact that teen moms are less likely to seek prenatal care and
are more likely to engage in unsafe behavior, such as taking drugs, smoking or drinking alcohol.
Babies born to teen moms are also at a higher risk of being neglected and or abused.
Additionally, many women carry life-long scars from having their child taken from them at birth.
The community has responded by pushing education. By teaching teen girls the risks of
unprotected sex, many girls who were ignorant are learning how to protect themselves. Health
clinics are now giving away free condoms and parents are encouraged to have serious talks with
their children concerning sex and how to avoid becoming a statistic. Additionally, while there
were times that girls would have to drop out of school if they did become pregnant, many
schools have created programs that encourage girls to stay in school before and after the birth of
their child. The community, as a whole, needs to address and stand behind the nation's collective
efforts to convince teens to postpone childbearing and we must be more creative and more
intense, and must begin today"(R.Stein, 2010).
Stein, R. (2010, January 26). Rise in teenage pregnancy rate spurs new debate on arresting it. The Washington Post.com. Retrieved May 27, 2012, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/25/AR2010012503957.html
Teen Pregnancy & Health Risks to the Baby. (2012). health.com. Retrieved May 27, 2012, from http://www.healthcommunities.com/teen-pregnancy/children/risks-to-baby-in-teen-pregnancy.shtml