Teen Pregnancy Factsheet
- According to the CDC, 329,797 babies were born to women aged 15-19 in 2011 in the United States.
- However, 2011 was also the year of lowest recorded birthrate in 70 years of tracking adolescent childbirth.
- But the U.S. rate of adolescent pregnancy is still the highest amongst the most developed countries in the world, and is twice as high as the rates in Australia and Canada.
- Approximately 82% of teen pregnancies are unintended, and they accounted for 1/5th of all accidental pregnancies in the U.S. in 2006, according to Planned Parenthood.
- There are also many racial disparities in teen pregnancy, seen on the right (from the CDC).
- Adolescent mothers are: more likely to have lower family incomes, more likely to be poor and receive public assistance, likely to be less educated, less likely to get married.
- Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and risk of pregnancy.
- However, some adolescents may choose to engage in intercourse, which is totally fine!
- There are several ways to protect yourself, but they have varying degrees of successful prevention.
- These are only a few ways to reduce the risk of pregnancy. There are several other options not shown to the left, and it’s very important to find out which one is the best option for you. Whether it fits into your lifestyle, its convenience, its effectiveness, its cost and whether it is a safe option for you are crucial considerations.
In the Event of Pregnancy
- Solutions to the pregnancy that teens commonly choose are adoption, abortion, or keeping the baby. It is crucial to decide which one is the best option for you and your family, should you decide to involve them.
- Abortion is an option and does not make you any less moral should you choose to take it.
- If you choose to keep the baby, you do not have to give up on a college education. You might have family willing to take the baby in, but there are options to get into college even if you choose to care for it yourself.
- Teen mothers are often shamed for having engaged in sexual intercourse, however it is not your fault and it is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s important to build a supportive network of people who understand this.
- How you handle the pregnancy is your choice, and you get the final say.
Things to Remember
- Be aware of the risks of intercourse and take appropriate steps to keep yourself and your partner healthy.
- Practice safe and consensual sex! Only engage in it when you and your partner feel emotionally prepared.
Articles by Mai Thao/Youth Media Force