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Teenage pregnancy is a growing epidemic in the United States. In her article titled “10 things you didn’t know about pregnant teenagers in America,” Linda Lowen states that “615,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 became pregnant in 2014.” In Texas there were 33,144 teen mothers in 2015. “Complications of pregnancy is the second highest cause of death for teenage girls. Moreover, the young age of the mother can negatively affect the baby’s health as well. As Elizabeth Eden contends “There are special risks to a baby when the mother is not fully mature. Because most teenagers are not physically, emotionally, or financially ready to carry and care for a child, their babies tend to have low birth weight and are predisposed to a variety of illnesses”. Teen pregnancy can complicate a young woman’s life in many ways. For example, there are many health risks associated with teen pregnancy. Eden states that “compared with mothers in older age groups, teenage mothers are at greater risk of having medical complications. Pre-eclampsia is very common in teenage mothers. They are very young meaning that there is a condition with their blood pressure.” A young woman’s pelvis does not reach the maximum size and strength until the age of eighteen.
A female younger than eighteen will have complications with vaginal delivery. For this reason, a C-section is higher in teenage mothers. For example, a thirty-year-old woman would have a better chance of vaginal delivery and the baby would have a better chance of living, because she has grown both mentally and physically. If it were a fifteen-year-old having a child, she would have complications, because she has not fully developed. She has just got out of puberty. Her body still had years of growing, both physically and mentally. In this case she would have to have a C-section for the best chance of survival for her and her child. Teenage Pregnancy is very dangerous not only to the woman, but also to the baby. Often when a young girl gets pregnant she hides her pregnancy for as long as she can. The main reason that young girls do this is because they come from abusive homes. Where they are either verbally, mentally, or physically abused. Or the individual might come from a home where religion is a priority, and abortion is an absolute no. Some mothers, fear that their family will be disappointed in them, verbally abuse them, or even go as far to hit them directly. This causes the mother to get an abortion. Getting an abortion comes with consequences. In an article titled Abortion Risks, Abortion Dangers, and Abortion Complication, written by an unknown author, the author states, “After a young girl has an abortion there are many side effects. For example, suicidal thoughts, shame, regret. Eating disorders, depression and anxiety”.
Some mothers even go as far as running away to a different state, to have an illegal abortion. They feel very forced to do this because they fear that their family will hurt them or disown them. Young teens travel to Mexico to have this illegal procedure done. Doing this procedure can cause the young teen medical problems later in her life. For example, the individual could become sterile. Which means the individual cannot have any more children. The individual could also encounter pelvic infection, cut or torn cervix, heavy bleeding. All of these are huge medical risk a patient can encounter if producing with an abortion. The most common risk is death. Most girls do end up dying because they got an infection. We need to talk more with our teenage mothers. Let them know they are not alone. Babies that are born to teen mothers are highly likely to die in their first year of life because teen mothers do not receive the correct prenatal care. In other words, often they do not get the correct nutrition. For this reason, “babies born to teenage mothers have low birthweights”. Babies than have low-birthweight have lungs that are not fully developed. This can cause brain bleeds, respiratory distress syndrome, and intestinal problems. Babies that weigh three and a half pounds or less, are one hundred times as likely to die. Babies between four pounds and five pounds are more than five times as likely to die in their first year of life than normal-weight babies. Research shows that “more than sixty percent of young, unmarried mothers live in households that qualify as being in poverty. One in four young mothers will go on a welfare benefit program within three years of their child being born. Teen mothers have a very high chance of being in poverty and not finishing high school or going to college. This is a huge disadvantage. Statistics say that fifty percent of teenage girl’s dropout of high school to take care of their child. The unknown author states, “This puts them at a disadvantage when it comes time to find a good paying job. The evidence is clear.
In the past two decades, the median income for college graduates has risen by nineteen percent while the median income for those who dropped out of high school has decreased by twenty-eight percent.” Most of the time the mother is a single parent, but the mother did not create this child alone. Every baby has father. 80% of the time when a teenage boy finds out he is going to be a father he vanishes. 8 out of every 10 teen fathers abandon the mother and their child. This is the primary reason teen mothers end up being in poverty. Teen fathers simply do not contribute.” Only 1 in 5 teen men, the fathers of these children, will go on to marry the mothers.” This makes it essential for child support to be provided to maintain the stability of the household. Many teen fathers, however, pay less than $800 per year in child support because they also don’t have a good paying job to provide support for their child’s household.” The teenage fathers that do decide to stick around, they end up dropping out of high school. They feel pressured to take care of their new born child. When a teenage father tries to get a job, he will have employers who judge them due to his actions. The employers often think of him as a delinquent. This puts the teenage father at greater risk of struggling financially. We tend to focus on only teenage mothers, and the child. We forget that teenage fathers need help, and advice just as much as the mother does.
Ultimately, teen pregnancy is a growing problem here in the United States. We as a nation give little to no resources to our at-risk teens, or our teen mothers. In the Dutch culture, they as a nation talk to their children, and at risks teens about sex, and how to stay protected. It is proven that they have better relationships with their families. Here in America, we do not talk to our kids, or our at-risk teens. That is why young teens run away from home, go to different states to have illegal procedures done This is where we mess up. We can learn from the Dutch culture and by adapting to it. We as a nation need to talk more and give the resources our young teens need. If we do this, we will have better relationships with our kids, and our teen pregnancy rates will go down.
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